FREE READ ´ Why Socrates Died

Robin Waterfield ´ 1 FREE READ

FREE READ ´ Why Socrates Died À ❰PDF❯ ✓ Why Socrates Died Author Robin Waterfield – A revisionist account of the most famous trial and execution in Western civilization— one with great resonance for American society today In the spring of 399 BCE Socrates stood trial in his native A revisionist account of Ilization Yet time has transmuted the facts into a fable Aware of these myths Robin Waterfield has examined the actual Greek sources Why Socrates PDFEPUB or and presents a new Socrates not an atheist or the guru of a weird sect but a deeply moral thinker whose convictions stood in stark relief to those of his former disciple Alcibiades the hawkish a. I recently reread Plato's four death of Socrates dialogues Euthyphro Apology Crito Phaedo and wanted a bit historical background than I could glean from the Penguin introduction Waterfield's study sub titled Dispelling the Myths delivered exactly what it promised Waterfield places Socrates's trial in the perilous context of the recently lost Peloponnesian war and just overthrown tyranny of the Thirty Throughout his life Socrates had never bothered to hide his contempt for democracy Praised by an oracle inspired by a god he was elitist to the core – although in the philosophical than the socio economic sense Still there was a disturbing degree of overlap and Waterfield is convincing that Socrates was tried and condemned for his irritating political posture not martyred for his noble philosophyWaterfield's writing is clear if a bit dry – especially by comparison to IF Stone's fiery Trial of Socrates which has aged better than I expected He also offers a concise overview of the course of the Peloponnesian war which you know – if you've slogged through Thucydides or even Kagan is not easy to do

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Nd self serving military leader Refusing to surrender his beliefs even in the face of death Socrates as Waterfield reveals was determined to save a country that was tearing itself apart one in moral decline Why Socrates Died is not only a powerful revisionist book but also a work whose insights translate clearly from ancient Athens to modern America. An enjoyable read it narrates the socio political context leading to Socrates' trial and execution in 399 BC Although the last chapter is a bit disappointing it is well argued and documented The book argues that Socrates was condemned because he was a known critic of democracy and traditional values and a teacher and close friend of impious oligarchs like Critias and Alcibiades A reuired reading for anyone interested in Greek history and philosophy

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Why Socrates DiedA revisionist account of the most famous trial and execution in Western civilization one with great resonance for American society today In the spring of BCE Socrates stood trial in his native Athens The court was packed and after being found guilty by his peers Socrates died by drinking a cup of the poison hemlock a defining moment in ancient civ. While we hear about a “trial of the century” every 10 or 12 years in this country there are only two trials that command our attention after two millenniums One is the trial of Jesus before Pontius Pilate in Roman occupied Judea and the other the trial of Socrates about 400 years before in Athens Greece The 2009 book “Why Socrates Died Dispelling the Myths” by Robin Waterfield looks at that second trial a trial of the Greek philosopher by a jury of 500 people Waterfield who lives on a farm in southern Greece is best known for his translations of ancient Greek playwrights historians and philosophers He knows his stuff and his bibliography runs 18 pages We learn that trials in ancient Athens could last no than one day We also find out that there was no public prosecutor; individuals brought cases against other individuals “The main curiosity here is that even for the most serious crimes such as murder the state offered no help; if no individual chose to prosecute a case it would not come to court” The organization of the book however bothers me While the author is indeed wise to provide context to the famous one day trial of Socrates in 399 BC I think in this case there is much too much of a good thing The first 47 pages examine the charges against Socrates the Athenian legal system and reliability of the two main sources about the trial itself Then for 146 pages we get a biography of the infamous Alcibiades a student of Socrates and a unnecessarily detailed history of the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta and its effect on Athenian life Then we return to the trial for 11 pages and the book ends In a 208 page book excluding the bibliography references glossary and index the trial gets only 58 pages Yes the Peloponnesian War and Alcibiades deserve mention but not three uarters of the book The ending seems truncated Waterfield re creates the prosecution speech against Socrates over four pages Although we get a small discussion early in the book about Xenophon’s and Plato’s versions of Socrates’ defense speech concluding the book we get no uotations from either of these sources There is no discussion of the immediate aftermath of the trial or the changing interpretations over the centuries by historians and philosophers of the validity of the charges or the justness of the verdict