Socrates on Trial, Part 1: Apology
What does it mean to live a virtuous life? Why was Socrates’ self-defense at his trial so seemingly lackluster? Where does his “death before dishonor” attitude originate? Was he actually a heretic?
Brian Wilson from Combat and Classics joins us this week for a discussion on the trial that ended in Socrates ultimately being sentenced to death by drinking hemlock. Why would Athenian jurors vote to execute the man Plato called “the best of all men of the time, the wisest and most just of all men”?
Show Notes and Further Reading
Combat and Classics is a series of free online seminars for active duty, reserve, and veteran U.S. military, sponsored by St. John’s College.
Plato’s Apology is Plato’s version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself against the charges of “corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel.” Free versions (with the same line numbers Wilson references in this episode) can be found here and here.
This discussion is continued in Part 2 of this series, on Crito, Plato’s account of Socrates’ last days in prison.