Plato's  Apology  is one of the most famous and admired texts in world literature.  It offers what many scholars believe is a fairly reliable account of what the Athenian philosopher Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE) said in court on the day that he was tried and condemned to death on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. Although short, it offers an unforgettable portrait of Socrates, who comes across as smart, ironic, proud, humble, self-assured, and fearless in the face of death.

The work was written by Plato  who was present at the trial.  At the time he was 28 years old and a great admirer of Socrates, so the portrait and the speech may be embellished to cast both in a good light.  Even so, some of what Socrates' detractors called his "arrogance" comes through. The  Apology  is most definitely not an apology: the Greek word "apologia" really means "defense."

This is a little complicated.  The trial took place in Athens in 399 BCE.  Socrates was not prosecuted by the state--that is, by the city of Athens, but by three individuals, Anytus, Meletus, and Lycon.  He faced two charges:

Plato's  Apology  is one of the most famous and admired texts in world literature.  It offers what many scholars believe is a fairly reliable account of what the Athenian philosopher Socrates (469 BCE - 399 BCE) said in court on the day that he was tried and condemned to death on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth. Although short, it offers an unforgettable portrait of Socrates, who comes across as smart, ironic, proud, humble, self-assured, and fearless in the face of death.

The work was written by Plato  who was present at the trial.  At the time he was 28 years old and a great admirer of Socrates, so the portrait and the speech may be embellished to cast both in a good light.  Even so, some of what Socrates' detractors called his "arrogance" comes through. The  Apology  is most definitely not an apology: the Greek word "apologia" really means "defense."

This is a little complicated.  The trial took place in Athens in 399 BCE.  Socrates was not prosecuted by the state--that is, by the city of Athens, but by three individuals, Anytus, Meletus, and Lycon.  He faced two charges:

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SparkNotes: The Apology: Summary


The Internet Classics Archive | Apology by Plato

Posted by 2018 article

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