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Todd p. The Sophists and Relativism. Phronesis , — Aristotle Politics b20 notes the existence of individuals who argue that only by convention is one person a slave and another free, and also object to how slavery, being based on force, is unjust. For what seemed new and threatening about the later fifth-century questioning of religion: Parker, Athenian Religion, —12 Parker R Athenian Religion. On Grote as an historian, see the introduction by Cartledge to the reprint of the one-volume abridgement of the History , which unfortunately omits the chapter on the Sophists.

Dover, ed. Yet minor awkwardnesses are outweighed by the gains in terms of a direct, uncluttered response saying the unsayable : how Socrates in the Euthyphro seemingly condones manslaughter ; the raw deal apparently meted out to Xanthippe in the Phaedo Xanthippe is, incidentally, allowed to have her say by Roger Scruton, Xanthippic Dialogues. Democracy was restored to Athens through the authority of the Spartan King Pausanias, jealous as he was of the power wielded by Lysander, the darling of the oligarchs; or so we are told by Xenophon Hellenica II.

Some editors have deleted politikoi as an interpolation, giving each prosecutor a single constituency. For a more overt sneer from Xenophon's Socrates at Anytos' contrasting pre occupations, see Apol. The People Versus Socrates Revisited. ModA , 3: 98 — See Todd p.

Proceedings of the of the British Academy , — It is odd that Stone was apparently unaware of Finley's essay, which seems first to have appeared in Horizon , the New York literary journal.

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Against Andocides c. Against Eratosthenes? Against Agoratus? On a Charge of Overthrowing the Democracy? Against Nicomachus ; Against Philon? In Der historische Sokrates A. The demes to which Socrates and Meletos belonged were the local-government units of Attica and part of each citizen's formal identification. On the practical impossibility of separating out religious from political motives no accusation of impiety without a political dimension , see Parker Athenian Religion, —02 Parker R Athenian Religion. Hesiod and his World. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society , 84 — According to Greek belief, allowing an impious person to remain unpunished was likely to bring down divine punishment on the entire community; see the opening of Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus , where the whole of Thebes suffers from plague through Oedipus' wrongdoing in the eyes of the gods.

Although Parker Athenian Religion, , n. Elsewhere , , n. The trials of Andokides and Socrates date from the same year; the same Meletos may appear as prosecutor in both of them but see above, n. The Erection and Mutilation of the Hermai. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society , 47 — The extent to which these are characteristic features of democracy as opposed to oligarchy seems unclear.

Elsewhere Socrates on Trial , 79—80 , they argue that advocating the abolition of selection by lot need not imply hostility towards democracy in general. Whatever the force of their arguments certain key offices in Athens were elective; oligarchies might employ sortition , they accept that Socrates' opposition to the lot might have been construed by contemporaries as broadly anti-democratic.

Great Speeches: Socrates "In His Own Defense"

But he didn't fr. But, whatever the persuasive power of this argument and it is hard to equate Alcibiades' manifest opportunism with support for democracy; see , n. Xenophon, Polykrates and the Indictment of Socrates. They then argue for Polykrates' pamphlet as the source of subsequent support for a political motive for the trial.


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Here, as elsewhere, individual readers must make their own decision regarding the balance of probabilities. But, from a democratic perspective, the career of Xenophon himself will not bear too close scrutiny. A large assembly can rarely if ever form a fit tribunal for ascertaining facts or deciding questions of law … it is apt to degenerate into a mere mob, open to all the influences and liable to be swayed by all the passions which stir and agitate popular meetings.

For a different explanation of the origins and development of law in Athens, see Sealey, Justice of the Greeks esp. In these circumstances, it is hardly surprising if justice gives way to justification. Legal Space in Classical Athens.

Greece and Rome , — Philocleon's Court. Hesperia , — Ecclesiastic Thorubos and Athenian Democracy. Spectator Sport or Serious Politics? In her account of forensic thorubos , Allen World of Prometheus, ; cf. But the trial in question is surely an imagined — and exaggerated — event.

Bulletin of the Institute of Classical Studies , 39 — The closing statement should be a persuasive and detailed summary of all evidence presented by the team as well a last chance to respond aggressively to testimony or evidence provided by the opposition. Judge: The teacher or an outside adult chosen by the teacher serves as the judge, who reaches the verdict on each of the three charges.

The judge will recognize properly presented objections. When the judge recognizes the objection, the judge will ask the attorney for the basis of the objection.

The Trial of Socrates

The following are acceptable grounds for objections:. Attorneys must sequence their questions so that the relevance of each question is established. Attorneys must establish the credibility of each witness before they can offer factual or opinion testimony.

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Attorneys are not to testify on behalf of their witnesses, or to ask complex questions which include evidence and opinion. Students are evaluated for both the quality of their preparation and the quality of their arguments and counter-arguments during the trial.

Among the criteria guiding evaluation are contribution to team strategy, diligence, collaboration with team members, thoroughness of research, and command of relevant concepts and arguments. Students may choose either the formal essay or dialogue option below. The goal in this assignment is to demonstrate deep engagement with the profound issues raised by the Trial of Socrates.

Students must include a bibliography for any sources found in the library as well sources provided in class. Students should single-space lines spoken by a single character but double space when you shift from one speaker to another. Dialogues should not imitate normal colloquial conversation or use short one or two-line statements.

Students can use any characters they wish e.

The Suicide of Socrates, BC

Dialogues should be roughly three to four pages in length. Standard margins and 12 point Times Roman font. The essay should address each of the following: Athenian politics, religious tradition, recent history e. Students also might want to draw from biographical information contained in the Apology and other sources. Please note that, unlike a closing statement, the essay or dialogue should show the complexity of the issue and represent competing points of view.

The essay should be double-spaced with standard margins and a 12 point Times Roman font. The essay shouldinclude a clear thesis in the introduction and a clear topic sentence for each paragraph that reinforces or develops the argument. Your essay should be roughly three to five pages in length. The combination of the trial format and use of primary sources as evidence challenges students to exercise and stretch their intellectual skills. Students synthesize complex ideas from historical Thucydides , dramatic Aristophanes , and philosophical Plato texts.

Working both independently and collaboratively, they analyze and craft arguments and counter-arguments grounded in both historical evidence and philosophical reasoning. A second and perhaps even more important reason for the trial is that it both brings to life for students the historical crisis of Athens over two thousand years ago and motivates timeless fundamental philosophical questions that were brilliantly examined then and that continue to vex us today. A word of advice to fellow teachers. The trial roles call for specialization and run the risk of giving students only a piecemeal understanding of both history and philosophy.

This risk can be mitigated by a introducing the relevant texts to the entire class, b instructing students to research collaboratively as a team before assigning trial roles typically only once they have picked their witnesses , and c assigning a culminating essay or dialogue that requires students to move beyond their trial role and show command of the larger questions and themes surrounding the trial.

The Trial of Socrates Posted by: S. How did the Peloponnesian War set the stage for the accusations against Socrates? See Nardo What exactly was Socrates accused of?