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  2. Socrates Meets Jesus: History's Greatest Questioner Confronts the Claims of Christ
  3. History Gadfly: Tonsor: Western Civ: Socrates
  4. Books similar to Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus (The Great Philosophers, Vol 1)
  5. Socrates : The Suicide Of Socrates

Plato l. By this progression, Greek philosophy , as first developed by Socrates, was spread throughout the known world during Alexander 's conquests. Socrates' historicity has never been challenged but what, precisely, he taught is as elusive as the philophical tenets of Pythagoras or the later teachings of Jesus in that none of these figures wrote anything themselves.

Although Socrates is generally regarded as initiating the discipline of philosophy in the West, most of what we know of him comes from Plato and so this honor is, rightly, challenged.

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The "Socrates" who has come down to the present day from antiquity could largely be a philosophical construct of Plato and, according to the historian Diogenes Laertius 3rd century CE , many of Plato's contemporaries accused him of re-imagining Socrates in Plato's own image in order to further Plato's own interpretation of his master's message. Many different schools of philosophy were founded by Socrates' student and his influence would be felt for generations and even to the present day.

He studied music , gymnastics, and grammar in his youth the common subjects of study for a young Greek and followed his father's profession as a sculptor. Tradition holds that he was an exceptional artist and his statue of the Graces , on the road to the Acropolis , is said to have been admired into the 2nd century CE.

Socrates Meets Jesus: History's Greatest Questioner Confronts the Claims of Christ

Socrates served with distinction in the army and, at the Battle of Potidaea, saved the life of the General Alcibiades. He married Xanthippe, an upper-class woman, around the age of fifty and had three sons by her. According to contemporary writers such as Xenophon , these boys were incredibly dull and nothing like their father. Socrates seems to have lived a fairly normal life until he was challenged to reecaluate himself by the Oracle at Delphi which claimed he was special.

When he was middle-aged, Socrates' friend Chaerephon asked the famous Oracle at Delphi if there was anyone wiser than Socrates, to which the Oracle answered, "None. He found, to his dismay, "that the men whose reputation for wisdom stood highest were nearly the most lacking in it, while others who were looked down on as common people were much more intelligent" Plato, Apology , The youth of Athens delighted in watching Socrates question their elders in the market and, soon, he had a following of young men who, because of his example and his teachings, would go on to abandon their early aspirations and devote themselves to philosophy from the Greek 'Philo', love, and 'Sophia', wisdom - literally 'the love of wisdom'.

The True Core Of The Jesus Myth - Christopher Hitchens @ FreedomFest (1)

Among these were Antisthenes founder of the Cynic school , Aristippus the Cyrenaic school , Xenophon whose writings would influence Zeno of Cithium, founder of the Stoic school and, most famously, Plato the main source of our information of Socrates in his Dialogues among many others. Every major philosophical school mentioned by ancient writers following Socrates' death was founded by one of his followers.

History Gadfly: Tonsor: Western Civ: Socrates

The diversity of these schools is testimony to Socrates' wide ranging influence and, more importantly, the diversity of interpretations of his teachings. The philosophical concepts taught by Antisthenes and Aristippus could not be more different, in that the former taught that the good life was only realized by self-control and self-abnegation, while the latter claimed a life of pleasure was the only path worth pursuing. No matter the diversity of the schools which claimed to carry on his teachings, they all emphasized some form of morality as their foundational tenet.

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Notable among these critics was, allegedly, Phaedo, a fellow student of Plato whose name is famous from one of Plato's most influential dialogues and whose writings are now lost and Xenophon, whose Memorablia presents a different view of Socrates than that presented by Plato. However his teachings were interpreted, it seems clear that Socrates' main focus was on how to live a good and virtuous life. The claim atrributed to him by Plato that "an unexamined life is not worth living" Apology , 38b seems historically accurate, in that it is clear he inspired his followers to think for themselves instead of following the dictates of society and the accepted superstitions concerning the gods and how one should behave.

In BCE Socrates was charged with impiety by Meletus the poet, Anytus the tanner, and Lycon the orator who sought the death penalty in the case. Socrates' relationship to this regime was through his former student, Critias , who was considered the worst of the tyrants and was thought to have been corrupted by Socrates.

It has also been suggested, based in part on interpretations of Plato's dialogue of the Meno , that Anytus blamed Socrates for corrupting his son. Anytus, it seems, had been grooming his son for a life in politics until the boy became interested in Socrates' teachings and abandoned political pursuits.

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Books similar to Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jesus (The Great Philosophers, Vol 1)

As Socrates' accusers had Critias as an example of how the philosopher corrupted youth, even if they never used that evidence in court, the precedent appears to have been known to the jury. Ignoring the counsel of his friends and refusing the help of the gifted speechwriter Lysias, Socrates chose to defend himself in court. There were no lawyers in ancient Athens and, instead of a solicitor, one would hire a speechwriter. In his Apology, Plato has Socrates say:.

If you put me to death, you will not easily find another who, if I may use a ludicrous comparison, clings to the state as a sort of gadfly to a horse that is large and well-bred but rather sluggish because of its size, so that it needs to be aroused. It seems to me that the god has attached me like that to the state, for I am constantly alighting upon you at every point to arouse, persuade, and reporach each of you all day long. Apology 30e. Plato makes it clear in his work that the charges against Socrates hold little weight but also emphasizes Socrates' disregard for the feelings of the jury and court protocol.

Socrates is presented as refusing professional counsel in the form of a speech-writer and, further, refusing to conform to the expected behavior of a defendant on trial for a capital crime. A commission was formed to investigate not only the herm-smashing, but all crimes of irreverence asebeia that could be discovered, offering rewards for information. In a climate of near-hysteria over three months, accusations led to executions including summary executions , exile, torture, and imprisonment affecting hundreds of people, some of whom were close to Socrates Alcibiades, Phaedrus, Charmides, Critias, Eryximachus, and others.

He was not relieved, but reinforcements were sent—too few, too late.

Socrates : The Suicide Of Socrates

The war in Sicily ended in complete and humiliating defeat. Spring brought a new attack on Socrates by Aristophanes Birds , lines —3, —5. Plato sets a dialogue between Socrates and a rhapsode before the news of the defeat reached Athens [ Ion ] , while the city—short of military leaders—was trying to attract foreign generals to help with the war. The treasury was spent, and the citizenry demoralized. Under his leadership, Athens began scoring victories, and morale improved. Democracy was restored, peace offers from Sparta were again rebuffed, and Athens established a commission to rewrite all the existing laws.

One of the Lysis characters, Ctesippus, was present again two years later for a display by two sophists former generals [ Euthydemus ]. Athens won the sea battle of Arginusae, but at such cost that the city never recovered: in barest outline, what happened was this. With thousands dead, and damage to the fleet, two captains were sent to collect the casualties; a storm prevented their doing so, while the generals hastened to give relief at Mytilene. When news of the battle hit Athens, there was outrage at the failure to save the wounded and collect the corpses for burial.

The board of ten generals was charged, but two fled and two were still in Mytilene , so six returned to Athens for trial in October of Lang By luck of the lottery, Socrates was serving on the Prytanes, the presiding committee of Council Plato, Apology 32b; Xenophon, Hellenica 1. Some in the Assembly opposed the illegality, but the opposition so incensed the majority that it overwhelmingly approved a motion to subject the opposition to the same vote as would decide the fate of the generals. Socrates alone among the Prytanes was left standing for the law and the generals; his refusal to allow the vote had the effect of allowing one last, eloquent speech from the floor that proposed a preliminary vote to decide between sentencing the group and permitting separate trials Xenophon, Hellenica 1.

The Assembly approved separate trials, but a parliamentary maneuver invalidated the vote. When the Assembly voted again, it was to decide the lives of the generals up or down. All were condemned. The Athenians were soon to regret having executed their remaining military leaders. The Athenians, recalling their own treatment of the Melians, expected to be slaughtered when the siege inevitably ended, but nothing of the sort occurred.

None of the contemporaneous sources, no matter how hostile to the rule of the Thirty—Isocrates, Lysias, Plato, and Xenophon—denies the legitimacy of their election. That they formed a government that abused and exceeded its authority no one could reasonably deny, but it is against just such governments that acts of civil disobedience must sometimes be directed. Undermining a corrupt government by refusing to harm a good man might be unlawful, but not unjust.

Critias and Charicles, two leaders of the Thirty, sought to intimidate Socrates by forbidding him, unsuccessfully, to speak to men under thirty Xenophon, Memorabilia 1. Socrates, and two young men with him, were said to have attempted to intervene unarmed against the Scythian guards, stopped only when Theramenes himself implored them to desist Diodorus Siculus The Thirty, now increasingly viewed as tyrannical, were also making contingency plans: they sent forces to secure the deme of Eleusis for themselves by putting to death the population on charges of supporting democracy Xenophon, Hellenica 2.

Socrates remained in the city. The Thirty attempted to implicate him in their executions by ordering him to join others in going to Salamis to fetch the former democratic general, Leon. Luckily for Socrates, before the Thirty could exact revenge, the democrats from Phyle entered the city through the Piraeus and met the forces of the Thirty in a battle where both Critias and Charmides were killed. Remnants of the Thirty returned to the city to consider their options. The Three Thousand, increasingly suspicious of one another, deposed the Thirty and replaced them with a Board of Ten that was elected one per tribe Xenophon, Hellenica 2.

The Thirty began abandoning the city for Eleusis as the board called for Spartan help. The Spartans arrived, led by Lysander and by one of their two kings, Pausanias. Pausanias especially attempted to effect reconciliation among all the Athenian factions, allowing the exiles to return and the oligarchs to rule themselves in Eleusis.


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One such exile was Anytus, a man hostile to Socrates and who would later support charges of irreverence against him. Equally contemporary, but contemptuous of Socrates, is the introduction of the Al Qaeda Training Manual Department of Justice translation, ellipses in original : The confrontation that we are calling for with the apostate regimes does not know Socratic debates …, Platonic ideals …, nor Aristotelian diplomacy. Philosophers and students of philosophy with a desire to see how Socrates is viewed outside the discipline might wish to consult the following supplementary document: The Reception of Socrates.

Bussanich, John, and Nicholas D. Smith eds. Cooper, John M. Guthrie, W. Morrison, Donald R. Vander Waerdt ed. Analytic philosophy of Socrates Benson, Hugh H. Benson, Hugh H. Brickhouse, Thomas C. Burnyeat, M[yles] F.

Jones, Russell E. Hyland, Drew A. Hong and E.