Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 185 pages of information about Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates.

Thus much, however, I beg of them.  Punish my sons when they grow up, O judges! paining them as I have pained you, if they appear to you to care for riches or anything else before virtue; and if they think themselves to be something when they are nothing, reproach them as I have done you, for not attending to what they ought, and for conceiving themselves to be something when they are worth nothing.  If ye do this, both I and my sons shall have met with just treatment at your hands.

But it is now time to depart—­for me to die, for you to live.  But which of us is going to a better state is unknown to every one but God.


  [1] Aristophanes.

  [2] “Iliad,” lib. xviii. ver. 94, etc.

  [3] See the “Crito,” sec. 5.

  [4] ouden legei, literally, “he says nothing:”  on se trompe, ou
    l’on vous impose, Cousin.

  [5] But for the authority of Stallbaum, I should have translated
    dikanika “forensic;” that is, such arguments as an advocate would use
    in a court of justice.


It has been remarked by Stallbaum that Plato had a twofold design in this dialogue—­one, and that the primary one, to free Socrates from the imputation of having attempted to corrupt the Athenian youth; the other, to establish the principle that under all circumstances it is the duty of a good citizen to obey the laws of his country.  These two points, however, are so closely interwoven with each other, that the general principle appears only to be illustrated by the example of Socrates.

Crito was one of those friends of Socrates who had been present at his trial, and had offered to assist in paying a fine, had a fine been imposed instead of the sentence of death.  He appears to have frequently visited his friend in prison after his condemnation; and now, having obtained access to his cell very early in the morning, finds him composed in a quiet sleep.  He brings intelligence that the ship, the arrival of which would be the signal for his death on the following day, is expected to arrive forthwith, and takes occasion to entreat Socrates to make his escape, the means of which were already prepared.  Socrates thereupon, having promised to follow the advice of Crito if, after the matter had been fully discussed, it should appear to be right to do so, proposes to consider the duty of a citizen toward his country; and having established the divine principle that it is wrong to return evil for evil, goes on to show that the obligations of a citizen to his country are even more binding than those of a child to its parent, or a slave to his master, and that therefore it is his duty to obey the established laws, at whatever cost to himself.

At length Crito admits that he has no answer to make, and Socrates resolves to submit himself to the will of Providence.

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Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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