DIEGO VELÁSQUEZ Moenippus 1639 / 1919 Madrid [R/V] - x +

CN: VelD1639moen

MT: post card: lithograph on paper (14x9)

TX: printed at upper center in Spanish <VELÁZQUEZ>, at center <Menipo>, at right <1.207. M. DEL PRADO>, at rear upper center <TARIETA POSTAL>, at lower right <FOT. LACOSTE- -MADRID>

DN: Ms. Lydia Vassiliades - 2006

CM: Moenippus (3rd century BC) of Gadara, was a Cynic and satirist. His works, which are all lost, were an important influence on Varro and Lucian. The Moenippean satire genre is named after him. Little is known about the life of Moenippus. He was a native of Gadara in Coele-Syria. The ancient sources agree that he was a slave. He was in the service of a citizen of Pontus, but in some way obtained his freedom and lived at Thebes. Diogenes Laërtius relates a dubious story that he amassed a fortune as a money-lender, lost it, and committed suicide through grief.Lucian ranks Moenippus with Antisthenes, Diogenes, and Crates as the most notable of the Cynics. § His works (written in a mixture of prose and verse) are all lost. He discussed serious subjects in a spirit of ridicule, and especially delighted in attacking the Epicureans and Stoics. Strabo and Stephanus call him the "earnest-jester" (Greek: spoudogeloios). His writings exercised considerable influence upon later literature, and the Moenippean satire genre is named after him. Although the writings of Moenippus no longer survive, there are some fragments of Varro's Saturae Moenippeae, which were written in imitation of Moenippus. One of the dialogues attributed to Lucian, his avowed imitator, who frequently mentions him, is called Moenippus, but since the sub-title "The Oracle of the Dead" resembles that of a work ascribed to Moenippus by Diogenes Laërtius, it has been suggested that it is imitated from his Necromancy. § Diego Velázquez was 40 years old when he embarked to paint Moenippus. [Megakles Rogakos 08/2006]