One day in the 4th century BCE, Alexander heard there was an eccentric philosopher living in Athens. The young Macedonian king wanted to know more about Diogenes.
Diogenes lived in a large ceramic jar or pithos, because he rejected houses, and looked like an ascetic because he refused clothing. He hailed from Sinope in the Black Sea, but lived as a beggar in Athens. In the marketplace there, where people traded, shared information, or just met one another, Diogenes would mock the law, beliefs and customs with his sharp words; he provoked people into debate.
Even Alexander—who later became known as A...