Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumor or spread gossip.

In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom. One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?”

“Wait a moment,” Socrates replied, “Before you tell me I’d like you to pass a little test. It’s called the Triple Filter Test.”

“Triple filter?” asked the acquaintance.

“That’s right,” Socrates continued, “Before you talk to me about Diogenes let’s take a moment to filter what you’re going to say. The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?”

“No,” the man said, “Actually, I just heard about it.”

“All right,” said Socrates, “So you don’t really know if it’s true or not. Now let’s try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about Diogenes something good?”

“No, on the contrary…”

“So,” Socrates continued, “You want to tell me something about Diogenes that may be bad, even though you’re not certain it’s true?”

The man shrugged, a little embarrassed. Socrates continued, “You may still pass the test though, because there is a third filter, the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about Diogenes going to be useful to me?”

“No, not really.”

“Well,” concluded Socrates, “If what you want to tell me is neither True nor Good nor even Useful, why tell it to me or anyone at all?”

The man was bewildered and ashamed. This is an example of why Socrates was a great philosopher and held in such high esteem.

It also explains why Socrates never found out that Diogenes was banging his wife.

10

Fayum Mummy Portraits, dating from around 30 BC to the mid 3rd century AD. 

The portrait heads were attached to Egyptian mummies of the Roman period, covering the faces of the deceased In the top pictures, you can see now they were bound to the mummy. Dating from the time of the Roman occupation of Egypt, they are closest to Graeco-Roman artistic traditions. Around 900 are known to survive and they are some of the only surviving evidence of Classical panel painting traditions. Due to their burial in hot, dry conditions with the bodies, many have survived in excellent condition. 

The term Fayum comes from an area of graveyards (necropoli) where they were found in large numbers, buried in communal catacombs. 

Painted on wooden board (and sometimes on cloth), either in encaustic (wax) or egg tempera. 

The signs as mythical heroines of the old Greece

Cirke - the men-bewitching primordial mother of the sorcerer Aries

Amphitrite - the ruler of the sea Taurus, Capricorn

Pandora - the beautiful evil Gemini, Aquarius

Eurydice - symbol for deceased loves ones Cancer

Daphne - virgin bay tree Leo, Sagittarius

Psyche - the love of the god of love Virgo, Pisces

Helena - the most beautiful woman of her time Libra

Medea - the cooley and powerful witch Scorpio

Hellenistic amethyst intaglio depicting a maenad holding a thyrsus in one hand and a phallus in the other, dated to the 2nd century BCE. The intaglio is set in a modern gold ring. Image found on pinterest, but ultimate source unknown.