An Encounter to Remember

For centuries of European art, one of the most frequently portrayed moments from classical antiquity was that of an apocryphal meeting of the young Alexander of Macedonia (later to be known as “the Great”) and the much older Diogenes of Sinope (later to be known as “the Cynic”). It is hard to imagine a more unlikely pair. Alexander was the brash young king of Macedonia, who had conquered Greece and was on his way to conquering the world. Diogenes was the antisocial, ascetic philosopher who lived in a barrel and rejected all of the norms of civilized behavior.