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Apology (version 2)

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By: (c. 428 BC - c. 347 BC)

The Apology is Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates as he defended himself in 399 BC[2] against the charges of "corrupting the young, and by not believing in the gods in whom the city believes, but in other daimonia that are novel" . "Apology" here has its earlier meaning of speaking in defense of a cause or of one's beliefs or actions. The general term apology, in context to literature, defends a world from attack (opposite of satire-which attacks the world).the text is written in the first person from Socrates' point of view, as though it were Socrates' actual speech at the trial. During the course of the speech, Socrates twice mentions Plato as being present. There is, however, no real way of knowing how closely Socrates' words in the Apology match those of Socrates at the actual trial, even if it was Plato's intention to be accurate in this respect

First Page:

APOLOGY

By Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett

INTRODUCTION.

In what relation the Apology of Plato stands to the real defence of Socrates, there are no means of determining. It certainly agrees in tone and character with the description of Xenophon, who says in the Memorabilia that Socrates might have been acquitted 'if in any moderate degree he would have conciliated the favour of the dicasts;' and who informs us in another passage, on the testimony of Hermogenes, the friend of Socrates, that he had no wish to live; and that the divine sign refused to allow him to prepare a defence, and also that Socrates himself declared this to be unnecessary, on the ground that all his life long he had been preparing against that hour. For the speech breathes throughout a spirit of defiance, (ut non supplex aut reus sed magister aut dominus videretur esse judicum', Cic. de Orat.); and the loose and desultory style is an imitation of the 'accustomed manner' in which Socrates spoke in 'the agora and among the tables of the money changers... Continue reading book >>


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