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Crito   By: (427? BC - 347? BC)

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Crito by Unknown is a philosophical work that sparks thought-provoking discussions on the concepts of justice, morality, and the value of human life. While the identity of the author remains unknown, the depth and intellectual prowess showcased within its pages continue to captivate readers to this day.

The book revolves around the dialogue between Socrates and Crito, one of his devoted friends and followers. As Socrates awaits his impending execution, Crito pleads with him to escape and avoid his fate. What unfolds is a compelling exchange of arguments, as Socrates eloquently defends his decision to accept his punishment rather than flee.

Throughout the dialogue, the author explores the concept of justice from multiple angles. Socrates argues that it is not only our duty to abide by the laws of society but also to question them when necessary. While this notion may seem contradictory, it raises the important question of whether following unjust laws compromises our own personal sense of justice.

Crito raises moral questions regarding the value of human life and the consequences of our actions. Through the character of Socrates, the author ponders the significance of individual integrity and duty to one's principles. Socrates believes that it is better to live an examined life, true to oneself and one's values, than to live with compromise and regret.

One of the book's strengths lies in the author's ability to present philosophical ideas in a digestible and engaging way. The dialogue between Socrates and Crito flows effortlessly, encouraging readers to delve deeper into the complex issues being discussed. The author's clever use of rhetoric and logical reasoning keeps readers thoroughly engaged, ensuring that the weighty concepts are comprehensible even to those unfamiliar with philosophical discourse.

However, one of the book's limitations lies in its brevity. As expected from a dialogue, Crito does not expand upon the ideas as much as it could have. Some readers may find themselves wanting a more extensive exploration of the fascinating concepts touched upon. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that this work was likely not intended to be a comprehensive treatise but rather a succinct conversation.

In conclusion, Crito by Unknown is a captivating philosophical dialogue that confronts readers with challenging questions about justice, morality, and personal integrity. While the author may remain unknown, the wisdom found within the pages of this book continues to resonate with readers across generations. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the arguments presented, Crito undoubtedly succeeds in sparking contemplation and encouraging individuals to examine their own beliefs and values.

First Page:


by Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett


The Crito seems intended to exhibit the character of Socrates in one light only, not as the philosopher, fulfilling a divine mission and trusting in the will of heaven, but simply as the good citizen, who having been unjustly condemned is willing to give up his life in obedience to the laws of the state...

The days of Socrates are drawing to a close; the fatal ship has been seen off Sunium, as he is informed by his aged friend and contemporary Crito, who visits him before the dawn has broken; he himself has been warned in a dream that on the third day he must depart. Time is precious, and Crito has come early in order to gain his consent to a plan of escape. This can be easily accomplished by his friends, who will incur no danger in making the attempt to save him, but will be disgraced for ever if they allow him to perish. He should think of his duty to his children, and not play into the hands of his enemies. Money is already provided by Crito as well as by Simmias and others, and he will have no difficulty in finding friends in Thessaly and other places.

Socrates is afraid that Crito is but pressing upon him the opinions of the many: whereas, all his life long he has followed the dictates of reason only and the opinion of the one wise or skilled man... Continue reading book >>

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