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The Last Days of Socrates

(Great Books in Philosophy)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  33,596 ratings  ·  914 reviews
A new translation of Plato's four-part dialogue that eulogizes the genius of his mentor Socrates.

Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death in 399 BC represents a significant moment in Western literature as well as a watershed in the life of ancient Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates- co
Paperback, Penguin Classics, 256 pages
Published January 25th 2011 by Penguin Classics (first published -400)
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Emma Four dialogs: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (death scene only)
Emma This particular book cannot be read for free, however, these dialogues of Plato can be read online for free in other translations that are no longer p…moreThis particular book cannot be read for free, however, these dialogues of Plato can be read online for free in other translations that are no longer protected by copy right, because too much time has passed.
or if you want the audio books:

Look for the names of the four dialogues involved. Read them in order.(less)

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Sep 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all thinkers
When he was tried, convicted and ordered to death in 399 B.C.E., Socrates was already seventy years old: he had lived through the imperialistic spread of Athenian democracy and culture under Pericles, twenty-five years of first cold and then heated war with Sparta, the defeat of Athens in 404 B.C.E., the short-lived oligarchy imposed on that city by the Spartans, and finally the reestablishment of democracy in his homeland. During all of that time, the former bricklayer was known for practicing ...more
Shivam Chaturvedi
Somebody should tell Jon Snow to read this book. Poor guy, Ygritte wouldn't stop giving him hell. "You know nothing, Jon Snow" says she, all the time.

If only Jon would read Socrates, he would have the greatest of retorts, the greatest of Socrates' teachings as his come back.

"The only true wisdom is in knowing that you know nothing."

Take that Ygritte!

PS - Here is some mindbogglingly brilliant analysis of the famous painting on Socrates's death by Jacques Louis David
Jul 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: philosophy
The world needs a superhero.

The name of that superhero is Socrates.

What do you mean you've never read this book - what the hell are you waiting for?
Manuel Antão
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2000
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Epaminondas: "The Trial and Death of Socrates" by Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo (trans. G.M.A. Grube)

(Original Review, 2000-12-02)

I'm not trying to do much more than suggest Plato isn't starting from a blank sheet but from huge trauma: the death of a way of life that produced his great teacher, Socrates, but at the same time, killed him. The jurors who vote to put Socrates to death, after listening to the speeches, are the citizens
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy, ebook
I was a bit wary going in but I was pleasantly surprised that this book wasn't as difficult to understand as I'd expected it to be.

The edition I read covered three dialogues about Socrates (Apologia, Crito and Phaedo), who was tried for supposedly corrupting the youth of Athens as well as for encouraging worship of gods not recognized by the State. I've always heard that Socrates was a powerful orator and the way he defended himself in front of the court proves that. Even when he was sentenced t
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
Socrates was a favorite philosopher of my youth but also a chilling reminder on the power of groups, the masses who will always seek to destroy who they don't understand or who challenges them.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I wish I had read these 4 dialogues before they made us work through The Republic back in school. Plato can seem so distant and archiac so much of the time, but here there is an actual sense of human urgency: Socrates is about to die. A lot of times the dialogues feel completely neutered from any real world concern, you just see these people walking around, having their abstract little discussions as Socrates schools them all. But here you see those discussions finally grounded by a frank acknow ...more
Liz Janet
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
Some times I disagree with the philosophical standing of Plato, other times, I love his works. Particularly this one (or the four combined), depicting the last days of Socrates, mostly arguing for the soul as an immortal constant, referring to form as unchanging and eternal, the common reference to non-empirical knowledge, the difference between the incorporeal and corporeal, and the nature of the soul . I am not going into any detail about these things, because I do not have the background requ ...more
B. P. Rinehart
Since I have individually reviewed each dialogue concerning their content I will be personal here. I obviously enjoyed reading these dialogues. I was not only enlightened by them, but moved as well in certain parts, more by Socrates' friends than the man himself. This really should be the jumping off point for anyone interested in philosophy because it sets the tone and you can compare every strand of philosophy after it against it. Plato did not create [western] philosophy, obviously, but he su ...more
Daniel Silveyra
Socrates is a little bit like Superman. As a young man, both are very appealing for their heroism and pristine behavior. As one ages, however, they begin to dissatisfy - there is no way these people could be real.

This is obviously due to Plato's portrayal of the man, an homage so complete that Socrates becomes pure ideal and ceases to be human. He stands for intellectual honesty and curiosity, morality and justice, without any compromise.

This book is about as good an example of that as possible,
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading, because I miss philosophy. Disclaimer, this review is 0% intellectual because after four years of studying philosophy in undergrad, I'm unable to be serious when talking about Plato, or Socrates, or Aristotle (maybe Aristotle? I might still have some cerebral life left in me to discuss the Ethics... but I digress. Another review, another day).

Anyway, Socrates. I've always had this love/hate relationship with him. He's like that asshole who comes to every fucking party and for some re
Dec 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this blew my mind
Jun 10, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There are some books that are beyond "liking" or "not liking." They exist on a completely different plain than the rest of literature. This is one of those books. You don't read "The Trial and Death of Socrates" to be entertained; whether you like it or not is completely immaterial. By reading it, you gain an appreciation for one of the greatest thinkers of all time, and a valuable window into the soul of humankind.

How can one possibly quanitfy and encapsulate that into three, four, or five star
You know, Socrates was kindof a dick.
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As far as ancient wisdom goes, this is it. The trial was great (and I was reminded that I actually read it before, pre-goodreads documentation... probably college), and I think that Socrates would probably be the most interesting historical personage of all time to talk to. However, the post-trial dialogues reminded me of the irrational side of Socrates. You still gotta respect a guy who philosophizes until his peers kill him for corrupting the youth, but I just wish he didn't use his last words ...more
Mehwish Mughal
What have I just finished reading? A masterpiece? No, more than that - much more than that!
An experience so exhilarating that I am left with no words. Perhaps, what I am feeling now surpasses description!

You must read it, to experience it!

David Sarkies
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of Wisdom
Recommended to David by: David Hester
Shelves: philosophy
Thoughts from Socrates' trial and execution
13 October 2012

While I have written commentaries on collections before I have since tried to steer away from doing that to instead write about the individual pieces contained therein. Okay, in one way it does help to bump up the number of books on my shelf, but then again that is somewhat irrelevant (It's not as if I win a prize if I have the most books on my shelf, or the most reviews). Generally I find it better to comment on the individual pieces be
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming
This was a really interesting book because it illustrates how Socrates is able to argue without creating fallacies. I thought it was good.
Rashid Saif
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Can you imagine the gall of someone "reviewing" Plato 😂 ! The dialogues are a must if you're a sane responsible human who knows the worth and virtue of wisdom.

This translation is very accessible; the introductions are especially helpful.
Feb 22, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
When your Introduction to Philosophy (or to Humanities, or to Rhetoric, or to...) course had you read this your first semester of college, it was presented as the origins of Western thought. With all that reverence paid, reading it a decade and a half later, I either didn't remember or didn't understand that "The Apology" is downright funny. Socrates is a man daring a court to put him to death and he is very keen on putting them in their place.

Alas, the other dialogues aren't nearly as engaging,
Becky Pliego
I liked it much more than I expected, and I liked Socrates as a character very much.

If I could make any wish at this moment, I would wish to see and hear Socrates and Saint Paul having a beer together and discussing all things that pertain to life and the life to come. Especially, because I would like to see what face Socrates would make when he'd find himself with no more questions to ask and facing Truth itself in the Gospel presented by Paul.
Jan 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
These dialogues will require you to be attentive and clear of mind, as there might be moments when you will have to reread a paragraph or two, however when you understand what it is that they are discussing, the dialogues will flow and you'll be able to keep up and ask questions, and that is extremely enjoyable.
Feb 08, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Last Days of Socrates (2003) is a collection of four of Plato’s dialogues, all centred around the last days that his tutor Socrates was alive. The four dialogues follow Socrates’ adventures as he goes to court to face his accusers in his trial, his conviction and his final moments before taking the poison and dying.

The first dialogue, Euthyphro, takes place at the Athenian court, when Socrates has to wait for his trial to begin. There, while waiting, he meets a man, Euthyphro, who comes to
Tan Yi Han
Jun 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm still on the last chapter (Phaedo), but I've run out of time. Have to return the book. So let me review based on the first 3 chapters.

This book uses a very original style of writing to give readers an inside look into the life and wisdom of Socrates in his last days.

Socrates liked to examine people. But he wasn't concerned about their appearance. He liked to examine people who thought themselves wise/clever and see if they really are.

His tool? A method of argument called the elenchus. Unlik
Jun 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
I read the 1969 Penguin edition of this book, which was translated by Hugh Tredennick.
Written by Plato, this text is a testimony to the great philosopher, Socrates (469-399 BC). It is set out in four parts - Euthyphro, The Apology, Crito, and Phaedo. To clarify for new readers to this era, Plato held Socrates to the highest esteem, as any follower would to their prophet. Also in this work, the reader will notice how Socratic metaphysics inspired Plato’s own philosophies.
Having been accused by
Evelyn Woagh
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned and felt some things by reading this. It stuns me still that one can so logically embrace death, and have such sound and sensible reasoning for that acceptance. While mostly understandable, and contextually appropriate, I still had trouble not feeling sad at such a loss, similar as his close friends did. Of course, for many important people, figures, and ideas throughout history, their paths seems set either to become martyrs or lifelong ideological despots.

In my reading I found that S
Lucy Phelan
Jun 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The portrayal of Socrates is so insightful, you can imagine being in Ancient Greece and having that terribly repetitive conversation with him. Plato has really captured the essence of his mentor and I find that absolutely astounding, more so, I feel compelled to read up about Socrates every time. To my amazement, his portrayal hasn't only bought Socrates to life but it has made him immortal, for thousands of years he has been living in this fantastically written piece of literature spreading his ...more
Dec 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Euthyphro: Tricky. May need to reread this one a couple times.

Apology: Here we get an impassioned plea for intellectual freedom plus the promotion of ethical and civil disobedience. Great stuff.

Crito: A little too much law and authority worship.

Phaedo: This is the ultimate existential dialogue. Plato's Socrates makes death seem even more enticing than do the monotheists (who seem to have taken a good deal from Plato). I find it easy to like a work that relates such optimism about immortality.
Nov 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I haven't read much Plato since my college years. I loved the Apology, and the first 2/3 of Phaedo and I enjoyed the rest (Euthyphro, Crito, and end of Phaedo). I loved coming across phrases and quotes that I've heard again and again: "The unexamined life is not worth living... is there not one true coin, for which all things ought to exchange?--and that is wisdom... As for me, all I know is that I know nothing..." Amen.
Greta Faith
Is there a rating lower than one star??
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(Greek: Πλάτων) (Arabic: أفلاطون) (Alternate Spelling: Platon, Platón, Platone)
Plato is a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of Western p

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