Conversations of Socrates Themes

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When Xenophon was a young man, he was an associate of Socrates and his student. Xenophon later became a soldier and looked up to Socrates not only because Socrates was a veteran but because of Socrates' great virtue, wisdom and thoughtfulness. Thus, when Socrates was accused by the Athenians and then put to death, Xenophon was understandably angry and upset. As a result, he wrote a number of works defending Socrates, including a purportedly eyewitness account in Socrates' Defense and the lengthy work, Memoirs of Socrates.

The two pieces defend Socrates in different ways. Socrates' Defense is Xenophon's account of the trial of Socrates, much like Plato's Apology. In it, Xenophon recounts not only Socrates' attitude about the trial but his defense against the charges against him. Briefly, Socrates was charged with rejecting the gods recognized by Athens, introducing new deities and corrupting the youth...

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