Diogenes Laertius biographical model and Marsilio Ficino 's "Vita Platonis"

Teresa Rodriguez


In this paper I propose that the biographical model found in Book 3 of theDiogenes Laertius’ Lives has a flexible structure which categories can be“filled” or “emptied”, according to the interests of the biographers. Theseinterests are manifold and, through the centuries, have favored or avoidedcertain categories without implying that the model disappears; on thecontrary, it seems to survive to this day. To show this, I analyze MarsilioFicino’s “Vita Platonis” (and Robichaud’s interpretation of this “Vita”) andcompare it to Emilio Lledó’s biographical sketch in the Spanish edition ofPlato’s Dialogues. I show that the model of Diogenes Laercio survives andthat its structure is not surpassed, as commonly held.

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