Menippus was a ancient greek philosopher who lived in Thebes in the 3rd century BC. He was famous for his cynical writing, he even founded a seriocomic literary genre known as Menippean satire. It was imitated by Greek and Latin writers and influenced the development of Latin satire.
He was born at Sinope in Asia Minor, but his family was originally from Gadara, in Palestine. According to Diogenes Laertes, he was at first a slave, but afterward obtained his freedom by purchase (with money he made by begging), and eventually succeeded, by dint of money, in obtaining citizenship at Thebes. Here he pursued the employment of a money lender, and obtained from this the title "one who lends money at daily interest". Having been defrauded, and having lost, in consequence, all his property, he hung himself in despair. Menippus was the author of several works, now completely lost; they satirized the follies of human kind, especially of philosophers, in a sarcastic tone. Among other productions, he wrote a piece entitled "The Sale of Diogenes", and another called "Necromancy". They were a medley of prose and verse, and became models for the satirical works of Varro (hence called Saturae Menippeae). The roman satirist Lucian mocked Menippus in his play Dialogues betwen Charon and Menippus and Hermes and Menippus.