The extant writings of Crates the Cynic include a poem about a city called Travelling Bag (Pera). It is a peculiar example of uniting the Cynic literary expression (tropos) with Cynic way of life (bios). The paper focuses on two aspects of the poem. The first one concerns the poem’s form: It shows the tendency to parody the poetic authority (Homer), mixing jest with seriousness. The second one, concerning its content, deals with the Cynic “political” views and elucidates the progress from Diogenian topics (self-sufficiency, life in accordance with nature) to new, Cratetian issues (philanthropy, voluntary poverty, disapproval of war). However, the underlying motivation remains Socratic, namely philosophy as a means helping the human community to achieve practical wisdom.
Ancient Cynicism, Ancient utopianism, Crates of Thebes, Paignia, Voluntary poverty