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Apology
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Interim Readings > Holiday Interim I: Plato's Apology

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message 1: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments The Greek word apologia means a defense speech. An apology in ancient Athens was the defense that someone charged with an offense would present in court. But Socrates does not defend himself in a typical fashion, and his speech at times simply drips with irony. His very first statement is an ironic appreciation of the his accusers' argument. Does Socrates sound like someone fighting for his life?


message 2: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Athenian juries consisted of 500 men (sorry, ladies, but this is the 5th Century BC and yes, it was only men). A simple majority was sufficient to condemn the accused to death. Prosecutions in Athens were brought not by the state but by private individuals. Here's a brief description of the process:
http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects...

The traditional form of defense included an appeal to the emotions of the jurors, an appeal to their mercy, often accompanied by weeping. This is what the jury would have been likely to expect. But as Thomas says, Socrates did not defend himself in a typical fashion.


message 3: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments The introduction to the Apology in the Hamilton-Cairns collection says (the first portion of the quotation will be a spoiler if you don't know the outcome of the trial) (view spoiler) Great spiritual leaders and and great saints adorn the pages of history, but Socrates is not like any of them."

Having read the dialogue, would you agree that Socrates was a great spiritual leader, or a saint, or both? Or something different from both, and if so what?


message 4: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Everyman wrote: "Prosecutions in Athens were brought not by the state but by private individuals."

This is an important point, because it meant that citizens could bring accusations as a kind of vendetta. This is apparently what happened to Socrates. We don't know exactly what Socrates did to offend his accusers, but any offended citizen had the right to hale the offender to court. And if the accused was acquitted, he could be accused again on the same charges and the same case would be heard before a new jury.

The accused man would have to defend himself in court (no attorneys here) which is why rhetoric was such an important art in Athens. Teachers called sophists were employed by wealthy families to train their children in the art of persuasion, in part because influential Athenians could expect to be haled into court many times by their political enemies or business competitors.

These are the same sophists who Socrates throughout his life exposed as charlatans wholly uninterested in the truth, and rhetoric as a means of disguising lies as truth. And now he is in court, expected to use the art of rhetoric to persuade the jury that the charges are false.


Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "Does Socrates sound like someone fighting for his life? ..."

Yes and no, depending on what we think his life consists in. Is he trying to get an acquittal and avoid the death sentence? No. Is he fighting for the way of life that he has followed all those years? Yes.


Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Everyman wrote: "Great spiritual leaders and great saints adorn the pages of history, but Socrates is not like any of them..."

I'm not sure why he says Socrates is different from great spiritual leaders and saints. Could you elaborate a little?


message 7: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Patrice wrote: "He so often talks of one god, rather than the pantheon. There is something different about his religious beliefs, he doesn't stick to convention. And in spite of the impression he tries to give I do see how he could be held guilty of impiety. "

When he speaks of "the god," it seems that he is often speaking of his daimon, his personal spirit. I'm not sure if there was anything unorthodox or illegal about believing in personal spirits, but not believing in the state gods was an certainly an offense.

The original charge against Socrates is that he corrupts the youth by "teaching them not to believe in the gods (theoi) the state believes in, but in other new spiritual beings (daimonia)". But in his little exchange with Meletus (which would be unorthodox legal procedure, so this may be Plato's creativity at work) Socrates gets Meletus to change his charge to one of complete atheism, a charge that he can easily refute. He deftly changes the charge, with Meletus' help, ever so slightly. Does this suggest that maybe there is something to the original charge after all?


message 8: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Nemo wrote: "Thomas wrote: "Does Socrates sound like someone fighting for his life? ..."

Yes and no, depending on what we think his life consists in. Is he trying to get an acquittal and avoid the death senten..."


I really like that. And it does fit with his philosophy, that how you life your life is more important than how long you live your life.


message 9: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Nemo wrote: "Everyman wrote: "Great spiritual leaders and great saints adorn the pages of history, but Socrates is not like any of them..."

I'm not sure why he says Socrates is different from great spiritual l..."


He doesn't really say. That's why I asked.


message 10: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Everyman wrote: "And it does fit with his philosophy, that how you life your life is more important than how long you live your life. "

Socrates alludes to Achilles' dilemma, which is similar, but not entirely. Achilles chooses glory in battle over a long life. Socrates chooses to "speak truth to power," knowing that it will cost him his life. It is a kind of glory, but different than that of Achilles. The glory of conscience, perhaps.


message 11: by Roger (last edited Nov 30, 2013 06:15AM) (new)

Roger Burk | 1730 comments Socrates doesn't seem to actually want to be condemned--he reminds the jury of his service to the city in battles and in resisting tyranny, and he points out members who have personal knowledge of his innocence. But he'll only go so far--he refuses to weep and wail and bring out his family and beg for acquittal, as was apparently standard practice. More than obtaining acquittal, he wants to show the charges to be ridiculous. He makes Meletus look foolish in cross-examination. But he does so using an unconvincing logical trap: he could not want to make the young men of Athens bad, because no-one wants to live among bad men. I can understand why the jury would want to condemn him after that.


message 12: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Roger wrote: "Socrates doesn't seem to actually want to be condemned.."

Because his condemnation would be unjust from his pov, and he doesn't want the Athenians to commit injustice.

He doesn't appeal to the passions and desires of the people like a rhetorician or poet, but prefers to appeal to the rational faculty, which again is consistent with his philosophy that passion and desires should be subjected to reason.

But he does so using an unconvincing logical trap: he could not want to make the young men of Athens bad, because no-one wants to live among bad men.

I don't see any fallacy in that argument.


message 13: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "The original charge against Socrates is that he corrupts the youth by "teaching them not to believe in the gods (theoi) the state believes in, but in other new spiritual beings (daimonia)"..."

I never quite understood why Euthyphro was included in the "Trial and Death of Socrates" series until now.

Socrates asks the question, "What is piety?", and challenges people's conception and practice of piety, just as he does virtue and justice. That can be exasperating. His exchange with Meletus proves his point: Meletus can't even tell the difference between atheism and strange beliefs, let alone piety and impiety.


message 14: by Everyman (new)

Everyman | 7718 comments Roger wrote: "More than obtaining acquittal, he wants to show the charges to be ridiculous. He makes Meletus look foolish in cross-examination. But he does so using an unconvincing logical trap:"

Isn't this typical Socrates, though? He uses unconvincing logical traps in many of the dialogues.


message 15: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments I wonder if the jury sees the trap that Socrates lays for Meletus as clearly as we do. And if they do, does this weaken his argument or make it stronger? Does the jury hold this against him? Are the jury members really interested in the truth of the charge?

Socrates seems to believe that the truth of the charge doesn't matter, and that he will be convicted based on the hatred that his accusers have stirred up against him. But the rhetorical tricks that he plays on Meletus don't do much to repair his reputation as a sophist, as untrue as that reputation may ultimately be.


message 16: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "His exchange with Meletus proves his point: Meletus can't even tell the difference between atheism and strange beliefs, let alone piety and impiety. "

Perhaps Socrates offers a defense as an opportunity to demonstrate what he truly believes, regardless of the charge, which he seems to think is irrelevant inasmuch as he will be convicted anyway. The exchange with Meletus leads Socrates to a discussion of his daimon, the personal deity that warns him not to do certain things, and how his "daimonic" spirituality is in fact pious. I have the feeling that this is what he really wants to share with the audience.


message 17: by Roger (last edited Dec 01, 2013 08:54AM) (new)

Roger Burk | 1730 comments Socrates says that he could not want to make the young men of Athens bad, because no-one wants to live among bad men. If I were a juror, I would be more irritated than swayed by this sophistry. A man could want to make young people bad because he thought that he could then take advantage of them, or because he did not know the difference between good and bad, or out of sheer maliciousness, or because their badness would not affect him, or for many other reasons. If you ask me, Socrates makes this argument not because it's persuasive, but because it makes Meletus look like a fool.


message 18: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Roger wrote: "Socrates says that he could not want to make the young men of Athens bad, because no-one wants to live among bad men. If I were a juror, I would be more irritated than swayed by this sophistry. "

This is interesting as an exercise in logic:

1. a) "make young men bad" is a sufficient condition for b) "live among bad men"
2. if a) is sufficient for b), then b) is necessary for a). Therefore, wanting to live among bad men is a necessary condition for wanting to make young men bad.
3. if not b), then not a)

To me, Socrates' arguments are logically sound, and consistent with his philosophy that nobody commits injustice voluntarily. If memory serves, you disagree with that. But it doesn't mean Socrates should be charged with sophistry. :)

Granted, there are many motives that might induce people to corrupt others, but the inevitable consequence is that they end up living among corrupt men. If you want to avoid the latter, you have to avoid the former.


message 19: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "Perhaps Socrates offers a defense as an opportunity to demonstrate what he truly believes.."

In a typical Socratic way, perhaps. The daemon is not unlike Socrates himself, i.e., always acting as an agent of negation. But how to make a belief or spirituality out of it is beyond me. :)

WRT the charge against Socrates, I think it'd be quite tedious, if not impossible, to try to make a distinction between the gods of Athens and other spiritual beings, as the Greeks incorporated many gods from other races and cultures into their own worship.


message 20: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "Roger wrote: "Socrates says that he could not want to make the young men of Athens bad, because no-one wants to live among bad men. If I were a juror, I would be more irritated than swayed by this..."

Socrates' method is to defeat his opponents by questioning their definitions. But here he assumes that everyone knows what the good is and what the bad is, as if these things were not also in need of definition. Is it true that everyone agrees what the good and the bad are? It seems to me this is a matter of debate, particularly in a free and democratic society.


message 21: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "The daemon is not unlike Socrates himself, i.e., always acting as an agent of negation. But how to make a belief or spirituality out of it is beyond me. :)"

An excellent point. It's why I have always thought of Socrates as a kind of cynic. I think that Plato built something positive upon a negative Socratic foundation. This is hard to demonstrate since it's impossible to entirely separate Socrates from Plato, but it's the only way that Socrates makes any sense to me.


message 22: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "Is it true that everyone agrees what the good and the bad are? It seems to me this is a matter of debate, particularly in a free and democratic society."

LOL! A man is about to be sentenced to death, and now you want to have a debate about the definition of good? Talking about filibuster! It's a pity they didn't do it back then, Socrates might have survived after all.


message 23: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "I don't know what people are talking about when they say they are not religious but they are "spiritual". "

Me either. :)


message 24: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Patrice wrote: "Don't you get the feeling that there is an "official" religion? Yes, Dionysus came from India and the other gods came from Egypt and Anatolia, but it seems to me that there was an accepted pantheo..."

At the beginning of the Republic, Socrates is on his way back from a brand new festival honoring a foreign deity, the Thracian goddess Bendis. I can never read this without remembering that Socrates was charged with "introducing new deities".

I think what was offensive to the Athenians was that Socrates had his own special deity, a personal deity. He claims that his daimon is no different than other forms of divination, but it is in one important way: his daimon tells him to go about the city cross-examining people and refuting those who think they are wise when they are not. This is the kind of spirituality which might get on people's nerves.


message 25: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "LOL! A man is about to be sentenced to death, and now you want to have a debate about the definition of good? "

Why not? The prospect of death means nothing to Socrates.


message 26: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "his daimon tells him to go about the city cross-examining people and refuting those who think they are wise when they are not..."

Well, Socrates could say that he was prompted by Delphic Apollo, who named him the wisest man alive. There is the official sanction.

(His daemon couldn't have told him so, it's against his MO.)


message 27: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "I think that Plato built something positive upon a negative Socratic foundation"

You're not alone in thinking that, though I think that the positive is implied in the negative. How does one know something is false unless he has a standard to measure against?


message 28: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "Well, Socrates could say that he was prompted by Delphic Apollo, who named him the wisest man alive."

Does he actually say this anywhere? I'm not sure if he differentiates clearly between "the god" and his daimon. I do find this a bit puzzling.

My reading is that the god issuing the command is his daimon; it seems inconsistent if it is a positive command telling him to do something -- but the command is to do something negative insofar as it is to refute those who believe themselves wise when they are not.


message 29: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1730 comments Starting at section 21, Socrates relates that the Delphic oracle told one Chaerophon that no man was wiser than himself, Socrates. He calls on Chaerophon's brother, who is present, to verify the story, so it seems to be historical. But the oracle didn't direct Socrates to go about showing everyone else how ignorant they really were--that was Socrates's idea. No wonder the Athenians wanted to get rid of him.


message 30: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "Nemo wrote: "Well, Socrates could say that he was prompted by Delphic Apollo, who named him the wisest man alive."

Does he actually say this anywhere? I'm not sure if he differentiates clearly bet..."


I think Socrates took the command from the god of Delphi, not his daemon. Socrates invoked the god of Delphi as his witness in section 21a, and went on to say that he obeyed the command of the god in 21e and 30a. The daemon was introduced much later, in 31d, by way of explaining why Socrates didn't run for public office, and in 40a, as an indirect proof that the trial and impending death was not an evil thing for him. All the other references to the god seem to point to the oracle at Delphi.


message 31: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "And as god is the ultimate authority, I don't think he believes in god. I picture him winking at us when he talks about the authority of the oracle. "

IF that is the case, the joke is on him. That's part of the irony.

As he said in his own defense, he obeyed the oracle, left his personal affairs unattended, and dedicated his whole life to discovering the meaning of the oracle. He received nothing but envy and hatred from those whom he professed to care for as a father his children, and in the end, he was sentenced to death by the same.


message 32: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Patrice wrote: "But does he obey the oracle? I'm not sure I follow.."

Socrates compared his obeying the oracle to obeying the generals of Athens in battles. It is on record that Socrates obeyed military authority, kept his station and was noted for his bravery during battles.

So I should have done a terrible thing, [28e] if, when the commanders whom you chose to command me stationed me, both at Potidaea and at Amphipolis and at Delium, I remained where they stationed me, like anybody else, and ran the risk of death, but when the god gave me a station, as I believed and understood, with orders to spend my life in philosophy and in examining myself and others, [29a] then I were to desert my post through fear of death or anything else whatsoever



message 33: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Socrates obeyed military command. If he obeyed man within reason, why not the oracle at Delphi? I have no problem believing his story. Having said that, I'd agree that the form of Socrates' "piety" is quite curious.

I think it was Elie Wiesel who said, "The opposite of love is not hatred, but indifference." Socrates was not indifferent to the oracle, but he actively and earnestly engaged it, dedicated his whole life to discovering its meaning, either proving or disproving it. That maybe indeed be a form of piety...


message 34: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments All the oracle really says is "no" in response to the question, "Is there anyone wiser than Socrates?" It's a strangely direct reply, given the reputation of the oracle for cryptic responses. I have to agree with Roger that Socrates' testing the truth of the oracle is entirely Socrates' decision. Some translations are a bit misleading here, e.g., "I pursued my investigation at the god's command" is more literally "by investigating in accordance with the god" (kata ton theon). The word "command" is not literally in the Greek.

But Socrates does not take the oracle at her word either, which is a nice point. But I also think he is being ironic when he says that he wishes to disprove the oracle. Socrates wants to show that if he is in fact the wisest of men, then the pinnacle of human wisdom is an acknowledgement of human ignorance. He says what the oracle is really saying is that "human wisdom is something of little or no worth." He takes it as his divine mission to demonstrate this to his fellow citizens.

Why should the citizens of Athens spare the life of a citizen who is convinced that human wisdom is worthless, and whose stated mission is to prove this?


message 35: by Thomas (last edited Dec 02, 2013 09:49PM) (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Patrice wrote: "I'm confused! If he literally believes in and respects the gods, why wouldn't Athenians praise his wisdom, if they are in fact, pious! But maybe that is another ironic twist? They care more abou..."

Another good question! Perhaps the majority was not convinced by Socrates' witness, or they believed Socrates misrepresented what the oracle meant. As Socrates says, he was judged more on the basis of his reputation than the truth of the charge.

You're right that the war probably had something to do with the reason for the indictment. But that's not quite apparent from the Apology.


message 36: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Thomas wrote: "Why should the citizens of Athens spare the life of a citizen who is convinced that human wisdom is worthless, and whose stated mission is to prove this? "

Why not? He provides free entertainment. :)

If he can prove that everybody, including himself, is equally ignorant, the Greeks would most likely acquiesce and acknowledge the superiority of the gods.

The problem is, there is no way for him to prove the ignorance of others without demonstrating his own wisdom at the same time. However insignificant he may be, he is still a head above all the rest. That, the Greeks cannot tolerate. It's incompatible with democracy.


message 37: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1730 comments Remember that all the Delphic oracle did was tell Chaerophon that no-one was wiser than Socrates. Socrates also believed that he had a divine "mission to if searching into [him]self and other men," but he didn't get that from the Oracle, at least not publicly so far as we are told. The Athenians can be excused for doubting the divine origin of the mission, and for finding it very irritating.


message 38: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments The oracle did not explicitly command Socrates to go about cross examining others. It was his own idea. I agree. What is fascinating to me is how he interpreted the oracle, turned it into a life-long mission, and why he believed what he did was piety, in accord with the god.


message 39: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "If he can prove that everybody, including himself, is equally ignorant, the Greeks would most likely acquiesce and acknowledge the superiority of the gods.
.."


I think that's exactly right. The big question is then whether the gods communicate their wisdom to human beings, or if humans are simply condemned to ignorance. If the gods can enlighten us, how? And what is the substance of this wisdom? (I'm afraid the oracle at Delphi is a less than lucid teacher.)

Maybe this is where Socrates' daimon comes in.


message 40: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Julia wrote: "I'm keeping in mind that Socrates never actually wrote anything; rather, there are three primary sources: Aristophanes, Xenophon, and Xenophon.The Stanfo..."

We are actually going to be discussing Xenophon's Apology (and Plato's Crito) starting next week, and then Aristophanes' The Clouds a couple weeks later. (See, there is a method to my madness!) The schedule is posted here: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...

I'll be opening a new thread for each of these, so I hope you'll tune in. We'll try to compare Plato's and Xenophon's accounts. There are some interesting differences!


message 41: by Julia (new)

Julia (juliastrimer) Thomas wrote: "Julia wrote: "I'm keeping in mind that Socrates never actually wrote anything; rather, there are three primary sources: Aristophanes, Xenophon, and [author:Xenophon|148..."

Thanks so much, Thomas--I'm new today, so will definitely check out the link. You have this very well planned :-)


message 42: by Mike (last edited Dec 03, 2013 01:20PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike (mcg1) | 73 comments Two issues:

1. Socrates' support for the Thirty Tyrants is inseperable from the charges at this point. I think he knew he was going down and decided to dispense with the friendly, jocular tone that he used in the agora in favor of "truth to power".

2. I can't see the crowd and those in governance caring about characteristics that distinguish a philosopher from a sophist. Let's say your house is overrun by red ants, and you see a black ant. You won't kill it?

There's a fundamental lack of communication between the demos and Socrates that leads to his undoing. Both are at fault in some ways.


message 43: by Roger (new)

Roger Burk | 1730 comments Patrice wrote: "Thomas wrote: "Patrice wrote: "He so often talks of one god, rather than the pantheon. There is something different about his religious beliefs, he doesn't stick to convention. And in spite of the ..."

Fowler renders this passage,

"This, I do assure you, is what my God commands, and it is my belief that no greater good has ever befallen you in this city than my service to my God."

But Tredennick puts it this way: "For know that the god commands me to do this, and I believe that no greater good ever came to pass in the city than my service to the god."

The Greek has "ho theos" and "toi theoi", so "the god" seems better to me. Which god, though?


message 44: by Thomas (last edited Dec 03, 2013 08:17PM) (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Nemo wrote: "The oracle did not explicitly command Socrates to go about cross examining others. It was his own idea. I agree. What is fascinating to me is how he interpreted the oracle, turned it into a life-lo..."

I just came across this, and I don't know what to think of it: at 33c Socrates says that people like to listen to him examine those who think they are wise when they are not. But then he says,

As I believe, I have been ordered by the god to do this through dreams and oracles and in every way which divine fate orders a man to do anything whatsoever.

The word moira is literally fate, but Fowler translates "power"; Tredennick "dispensation." The sense is the assignment that the god gives. The word for order is prostasso which has definite military overtones. Its primary meaning is to assign soldiers to a post, so secondarily it means to issue orders. So it's apt that Socrates uses a military analogy to explain his duty to the god.

But which god is he talking about? The god that assigns duties to men, apparently. Perhaps the oracle told Chaerophon something we don't know?


message 45: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Patrice wrote: "I'm wondering if it matters that the oracle's "no" was hearsay? Socrates did not hear the oracle directly, but only second hand and it seems to me that an awful lot of this dialogue is about second hand information, It bothers me that Socrates accepts the report of what the oracle said. And why was the question put to the oracle in the first place?"

Chaerophon was a friend and advocate of Socrates, so it's a good question. In any case, it is hearsay. On the other hand, fibbing about what the oracle said seems beyond outrageous, doesn't it?


message 46: by Lily (new)

Lily (joy1) | 5057 comments A question that comes from a lecture I heard recently that I have not had a chance to explore: in ancient (Greek) pagan religions, was there a concern about morality (e.g., good versus evil) or was morality a concern of philosophy rather than religion? The implication of the lecture I heard was that pagan deities and religion were not about morality, but more the placating, often via sacrifice, of what could not be controlled by other means.


message 47: by Thomas (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Mike wrote: "Two issues:

1. Socrates' support for the Thirty Tyrants is inseperable from the charges at this point. I think he knew he was going down and decided to dispense with the friendly, jocular tone tha..."


I can't argue with this at all, but it serves as a reminder that we are only hearing one side of the story here. We don't get to hear the prosecution, which would presumably have included an argument about Socrates' affiliation with the Thirty. Instead, we have Socrates defying the Thirty when he refused their orders to arrest Leon the Salaminian.


message 48: by Thomas (last edited Dec 03, 2013 08:56PM) (new)

Thomas | 4510 comments Roger wrote:

"This, I do assure you, is what my God commands, and it is my belief that no greater good has ever befallen you in this city than my service to my God." (Tredennick)
"


I don't think this translation is defensible. There is no possessive in the first instance, and in the second instance the possessive is in the accusative case and must refer to service, while "to the god" is dative. So it must be "my service to the god," and not "to my god."


message 49: by Nemo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Lily wrote: "in ancient (Greek) pagan religions, was there a concern about morality (e.g., good versus evil) or was morality a concern of philosophy rather than religion?..."

Good question, and potential for controversy. :)

Does morality exist apart from religion? How do people learn about good and evil?


message 50: by Nemo (last edited Dec 03, 2013 09:42PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nemo (nemoslibrary) | 2456 comments Mike wrote: "Socrates' support for the Thirty Tyrants is inseperable from the charges at this point. "

Socrates supported the democratic government that put him to death in the same manner as he did the Thirty Tyrants.
I did not care a whit for death if that be not too rude an expression, but that I did care with all my might not to do anything unjust or unholy. For that government, with all its power, did not frighten me into doing anything unjust, (32d)
There really isn't anything they can charge him with.


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