The Life And Death Of Socrates

First, we will discuss the life of Socrates, who was an Athen’s citizen.  He was the son of a very prominent stonemason, by the name of Sophroniscus and his mother was a midwife by the name of Phaenarete.

Socrates served in the Athenian army, as a hoplite, where he fought along with his heavily armed infantry men, who lost their battle to the Spartans, in a popular battle. It was believed that the war would have been won, if the other men who fought along with Socrates, would have been just as determined to win.

Mingling with the people of Athens, both men and women, of every age, whether they were rich or poor, Socrates loved to talk to everyone, especially the people who would join in on his interest, in various questions and answers pertaining to subjects he held as a serious concern.

His life’s work was involved with looking deeply into an individuals life, as well as his own.  The saying, “the unexamined life is not worth living for a human being,” was linked to Socrates by Plato.

Socrates led a special, intellectual way of life that left a solid influence on both ancient and modern day history.

When Athens suffered the reign of the Thirty Tyrants, Socrates was against them, and if it weren’t for his own army being overthrown, it surely would have cost him his life.

Socrates lived through 469-399 B.C.  He was a Greek philosopher who was well known in Athens Greece. He was also known as the smartest and wisest in the entire world.

Socrates did not leave any traces such as scrolls, pictures, paintings or other remnants of his life in Athens, Greece. All of our knowledge about Socrates comes from the ancient scripts of his favorite student, Plato, who lived, 427-347 B.C.  He came from the memoirs of Xenophon.

Known for his keen insight, Socrates was a man who was a master of arguments, and he was also known as a man of integrity.

Socrates was, as well,  known as having to turn down his own relationships, and instead he would spend his own time talking about piety, justice, and virtue where his fellow people congregated. He sought after great wisdom and after the proper conduct of people, so that he might guide the intellectual and moral improvement of his home in Athens.

Socrates used a method called “The Socratic Dialogue”, or dialectic. He would draw forth wisdom from his pupils by pursuing a number of questions and examining the implications of their answers.

He looked upon the body’s spirit as the seat of both waking consciousness and moral character. Socrates had equated the wisdom of one’s true self and in other words, he thought that no one ever behaved as evil, on purpose.

Socrates held the world as to be the purposively, mind ordered. With people always putting him down, the Athenian and Sophists religious and political organizations presented him with many foes and enemies.

His expertise and wise thoughts were aided by a man that goes by the name of, Aristophanes.

Socrates is still thought to be the founder of Western philosophy.  He was known to have listened to the voices in his own head. He was also then led by those same exact voices.

“Before Socrates lost his life to an execution, he said that he could have avoided the trial by giving up on philosophy and he could have just went home to mind his own business,” says Hugh Tredennick. (Tredinnick, p.180.)

In the year of 399 B.C. Socrates was tried for cheating the morals of Athenian youth and for religious heresies says (Stone, 154,) some people now believe that his arrest stemmed in particular, from his great influence on Critias and Alcibiades, who had disobeyed the laws of Athens. Socrates was convicted and he resisted all efforts to save his life, and very willingly he actually drank the cup of poisoned hemlock potion that had been given to him. The death trial was written by Plato, himself,  in the Apology, Crito, and Phaedo.

“Socrates could have avoided the death penalty,” says (Vlastos, 32) “placed upon him, after his conviction, with the aid of his friends, who would, indeed, have helped him escape the execution.” It is often questioned why Socrates didn’t flee from his persecution, and it just gives us that much more reason to try to understand the way he thought about things. However, he did cooperate with the mandate from the state and stayed for the trial and execution.

At the age of 70, he was brought to trial on the charge of impiety, he was sentenced to death by poisoning, which was thought to be hemlock, after being sentenced by a jury made up of his own people from Athens.

Plato offered an apology for Socrates and that apology has never been forgotten by anyone who has ever heard of Socrates. The apology has often been written about and discussed in many classrooms, to better educate ourselves on his interesting and noted, life and death.

Socrates’ death was just as well known as his life.  Many people throughout history have written about the life and death of Socrates, and most are fascinated by the lifestyle that he led.  It is often that you remember an individual for the bizarre way that they thought about things.  It isn’t very often when a person takes out that much time to ask why and how about everything, to better understand why things are the way they are and why people behave in the manner, they do.  Socrates wasn’t lazy in his thinking, but the very opposite, and that’s why we remember him as one of the greatest philosophers of all time!

The life and death of Socrates remains one of the most popular stories pertaining to philosophy.

We do remember Socrates, today, as being an intelligent thinker throughout his days and at the end of his life, we might say that he overanalyzed the thinking process, which most likely cost him his life!