Characters

  1. Socrates: Socrates of Athens is among the most famous figures in world history for his contributions to the development of ancient Greek philosophy which provided the foundation for all of Western Philosophy. He is, in fact, known as the “Father of Western Philosophy” for this reason.
  2. The Athenians: Athens was the largest and most influential of the Greek city-states and its people were known as Athenians.
  3. Crito: An old friend of Socrates, about his age.
  4. Aesculapius: Asclepius was a god of healing; it was the practice at the time to sacrifice a rooster to Asclepius after you are healed of a disease.

Introduction

This chapter revolves around Socrates who was a preacher in the streets of Athens. He lived there for about 400 B.Ç. He was a keen observer and allowed very few things to escape from his notice. He said that there were higher and nobler deeds than making sacrifices to Athene and the other Gods of Greece. He preached to people to know themselves and asked them to see what was right, just, true, and beautiful. Socrates became famous because he chose the streets for talking to people. He would question them, argue with them, and then would leave them to think for themselves. His fame had spread far and wide. A special group of pupils like Plato gathered around him and followed him wherever he went.

Summary

Socrates childhood

The first part of the chapter is about Socrates who lived in Athens for about 400 years B.C. As a boy, he was ugly and undersized. He had a flat nose and bulging eyes. His father was a poor stone-cutter. At school, he learned music and gymnastics. He also learned some science and mathematics and a little about the stars. This strange creature with a short neck and plain face was a thoughtful child. He allowed very few things to escape his notice.

He did not have a big house or fine furniture. He did not seem to want either wealth or beautiful possessions. He gave to his mind all that was noble, honorable, and just. He went around the town on foot and talked to people. He told his countrymen that everyone must learn to think for themselves, so that by using his reason he would have the power to see what was right, just, true, and beautiful and so shape his own conduct. He wanted Athens to be a perfect state.

Socrates was condemned to death

The second part describes when Socrates becomes an old man, his fame spread far and wide. Socrates taught the people that good conduct was better than worshipping Gods and Goddesses. He said that there were higher and nobler deeds than making sacrifices to Athene and other Gods. At this many people thought that he was leading the young astray. So Athenian government filed a suit against him. He was ordered to appear before the court and stand his trial. His friends advised him to run away or hide for some time. But he did not listen to his friends’ advice because he knew that he had done nothing wrong. He had only taught what he believed to be just, true and honorable. The government officials as well as some people thought that he was misleading the young.

Socrates spoke to the court in his defense, but the judges found him guilty and condemned him to death. Plato and other disciples of Socrates wept bitterly when he was given a cup of poison to drink. Thus, Socrates, the greatest of all the Greeks was dead.

Conclusion

Socrates was a Greek philosopher from Athens who is credited as the founder of Western philosophy and among the first moral philosophers of the ethical tradition of thought. An enigmatic figure, Socrates authored no texts and is known mainly through the posthumous accounts of classical writers, particularly his students Plato and Xenophon.

Socrates was a philosopher who always finds the truth. He had many disciples through which he discussed the difficult questions. Anything worth of him was truth Plato a great disciple of him wrote many books which came with many information. He preferred to die with the cup of poison instead of stopping his methods of finding the truth.