Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cleanthes, nicknamed "The Ass," from his slow patience, was born at Assos about 300 B.C. A pugilist by profession, he went to Athens and there heard the discourses of Crates the Cynic, and Zeno the Stoic. He now devoted himself to philosophy, supporting himself by manual labour, and was so successful that on Zeno's death (263) he became the head of the school. Chrysippus, and Antigonus, king of Macedon, were among his disciples. He does not appear to have possessed much originality, and very little can be gleaned from the few fragments of his fifty works that are scattered about the pages of other writers. His Hymn to Zeus indicates some grandeur of thought and language, and was quoted by St. Paul in his speech at Athens. He died about 220 B.C. from voluntary starvation. His doctor had ordered him to fast for two days, and when he had got so far on the way to death he thought it was not worth while retracing his steps.