Socrates and Democratic Athens: The Story of the Trial in its Historical And Legal Contexts

31 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2009

See all articles by Josiah Ober

Josiah Ober

Stanford University - Department of Classics

Date Written: November 10, 2008

Abstract

Abstract: Socrates was both a loyal citizen (by his own lights) and a critic of the democratic community's way of doing things. This led to a crisis in 339 B.C. In order to understand Socrates' and the Athenian community's actions (as reported by Plato and Xenophon) it is necessary to understand the historical and legal contexts, the democratic state's commitment to the notion that citizens are resonsible for the effects of their actions, and Socrates' reasons for preferring to live in Athens rather than in states that might (by his lights) have had substantively better legal systems.

Keywords: Socrates, citizenship, Athenian democracy

Suggested Citation

Ober, Josiah, Socrates and Democratic Athens: The Story of the Trial in its Historical And Legal Contexts (November 10, 2008). Cambridge Companion to Socrates, 2006; Princeton/Stanford Working Papers in Classics Paper No. 070602. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1298783

Josiah Ober (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Classics ( email )

Building 110
Stanford, CA 94305-2080
United States
650-724-0868 (Phone)
650-723-1808 (Fax)

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