I heard the claim that Ancient Greek philosophers were generally rich guys who had too much free time on their hands and hence engaged in philosophy, while most people at the time lived very difficult lives and had to work hard in order to survive.
So, are there any known examples of Ancient Greek philosophers who came from poor or mediocre families?
I recognize that details of several Ancient Greek philosophers’ lives are not well-established. However, I was able to find some relevant information.
It seems that, indeed, several Ancient Greek philosophers came from rich backgrounds. One such example is Plato, who apparently belonged to an aristocratic and influential family. Another one is Aristotle. While it is true that his parents died when he was about thirteen, his father was the personal physician to King Amyntas of Macedon, and it is speculated that he spent time within the Macedonian palace while growing up.
It seems that some Ancient Greek philosophers were trained in a certain trade. For instance, it is believed that Socrates was trained as a stonemason, which was the profession of his father. However, I do not know if such philosophers really had the need to practice the trade in order to make money.
I am aware that Pythagoras decided to adopt an ascetic lifestyle and lived with his students in a place that resembled a monastery. However, that does not necessarily mean that he came from an underprivileged background or that he had to work hard.