Cleobulus was the son of Evagoras and a citizen of Lindus in Rhodes Clement of Alexandria called Cleobulus king of the Lindians, and Plutarch spoke of him as the tyrant. The letter quoted by Diogenes Laertius, in which Cleobulus invites Solon to Lindus as a democratic place of refuge from the tyrant Peisistratus in Athens, is undoubtedly a later forgery. Cleobulus is also said to have studied philosophy in Egypt. He had a daughter, Cleobulina, who found fame as a poet, composing riddles in hexameter verse. Cleobulus is said to have lived to the age of seventy, and to have been greatly distinguished, for strength and beauty of person.
There is a stone tumulus on the northern headland of Lindos bay, which is sometimes called the "Tomb of Cleobulus".
Cleobulus apparently wrote lyric poems, as well as riddles in verse. Diogenes Laertius also ascribes to him the inscription on the tomb of Midas, of which Homer was considered by others to have been the author:
"I am a brazen maiden lying here
Upon the tomb of Midas. And as longTell passers by, "Midas lies buried here."
As water flows, as trees are green with leaves,
As the sun shines and eke the silver moon,
As long as rivers flow, and billows roar,
So long will I upon this much wept tomb,
Many sayings were attributed to him:
- "Ignorance and talkativeness bear the chief sway among men."
- "Cherish not a thought."
- "Do not be fickle, or ungrateful."
- "Be fond of hearing rather than of talking."
- "Be fond of learning rather than unwilling to learn."
- "Seek virtue and eschew vice."
- "Be superior to pleasure."
- "Instruct one's children."
- "Be ready for reconciliation after quarrels."
- "Avoid injustice."
- "Do nothing by force."
- "Moderation is the best thing."
- Diogenes Laertius, i. 89; Strabo, xiv.
- Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, iv. 19
- Plutarch, de Ei ap. Delph. 3
- Jeno Platthy, (1968), Sources on the earliest Greek libraries with the testimonia, page 28
- Diogenes Laertius, i. 89
- Diogenes Laertius, i. 93
- Lucile Brockway, George P. Brockway, (1966), Greece: a classical tour with extras, page 220. Knopf
- comp. Plut. Phaedr. p. 264
- Diogenes Laertius, i. 89-93; Suda, Kleoboulos; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, i. 14
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
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- Diogenes Laërtius, Life of Cleobulus, translated by Robert Drew Hicks (1925).
- Cleobulus Epitaph and Riddle