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tribe, had the presidency at the trial of the generals who had not taken up the bodies of the slain after the battle of Arginusæ ; and you proposed to try them all together, which was illegal, as you all thought afterwards; but at the time I was the only one of the prytanes who was opposed to the illegality, and I gave my vote against you; and when the orators threatened to impeach and arrest me, and have me taken away, and you called and shouted, I made up my mind that I would run the risk, having law and justice with me, rather than take part in your injustice because I feared imprisonment and death. This happened in the days of the democracy. But when the oligarchy of the Thirty 31 was in power, they sent for me and four others into the rotunda, and bade us bring Leon the Salaminian from Salamis, as they wanted to execute him. This was a specimen of the sort of commands which they were always giving with the view of implicating as many as possible in their crimes; and then I showed, not in word only but in deed, that, if I may be allowed to use such an expression, I cared not a straw for death, and that my only fear was the fear of doing an unrighteous or unholy thing. For the strong arm of that oppressive power did not frighten me into doing wrong;



each, was recognized. Each body of ten presided in the senate for one period of seven days, drawing lots every day among their number for a new chairman."-Grote's History of Greece, chap. xxxi.

Part of the business of the senate was to prepare resolutions to be laid before the general assembly of all the citizens, which, in cases like the one referred to by Socrates, had, with the senate, the power of final decision.

30 Arginusæ (är'ji-nu'sē): a naval battle of the Poloponnesian War, occurring in 406 B.C. Although victorious, the Athenian generals left their dead unburied and abandoned the living on the wrecked vessels. This neglect and cruelty aroused great indignation at Athens. The generals were illegally tried, condemned and executed.

"So intimidated were the Prytanes by the incensed manifestations of the assembly that all of them, except one, relinquished their opposition and agreed to put the question" [as to the guilt and condemnation of the generals in a body]. The single obstinate Prytanis, whose refusal no menace could subdue, was a man whose name we read with peculiar interest, and in whom an impregnable adherence to law and duty was only one among many other titles to reverence. It was the philosopher Socrates; on this trying occasion, once throughout a life of seventy years, discharging a political office, among the fifty senators taken by lot from the tribe Antiochus. Socrates could not be induced to withdraw his protest, so that the question was ultimately put by the remaining Prytanes without his concurrence."-Grote's History of Greece III., chap. Ixiv.

21 See Apology, note 14.

32 The office of the Prytanes at the Prytaneum (pryt'a-ne'um) where they also dined at public cost. See Apology, note 43.

33 Salamis (săl'a-mis): an island of the Ægean, near Athens.

and when we came out of the rotunda the other four went to Salamis and fetched Leon, but I went quietly home. For which I might have lost my life, had not the power of the Thirty shortly afterwards come to an end. And to this many

will witness.



Now do you really imagine that I could have survived all these years, if I had led a public life, supposing that like a good man I had always supported the right and had made justice, as I ought, the first thing? No indeed, men of Athens, neither I nor any other. But I have been always the same in all my actions, public as well as private, and never have I yielded any base compliance to those who are slanderously termed my disciples, or to any other. For the truth is that I have no regular disciples: but if any one likes to come and hear me while I am pursuing my mission, whether he be young or old, he may freely come. Nor do I converse with those who pay only, and not with those who do not pay; but any one, whether he be rich or poor, may ask and answer me and listen to my words; and whether he turns out to be a bad man or a good one, that cannot be justly laid to my charge, as I never taught him anything. And if any one says that he has ever learned or heard anything from me in private which all the world has not heard, I should like you to know that he is speaking an untruth.

But I shall be asked, Why do people delight in continually conversing with you? I have told you already, Athenians, the whole truth about this: they like to hear the cross-examination of the pretenders to wisdom; there is amusement in this. And this is a duty which the God has imposed upon me, as I am assured by oracles, visions, and in every sort of way in which the will of divine power was ever signified to any one. This is true, O Athenians; or, if not true, would be soon refuted. For if I am really corrupting the youth, and have corrupted some of them already, those of them who have grown up and have become sensible that I gave them bad advice in the days of their youth should come forward as accusers and take their revenge; and if they do not like to come themselves, some of

34 Probably an allusion to Critias, the most unscrupulous and most hated of the Thirty Tyrants, and Alcibiades, a corrupt general and politician, both of whom had in youth associated with Socrates, and for whose evil doing he was sometimes held responsible. See Protagoras, note 1; Symposium, 212 and following.

their relatives, fathers, brothers, or other kinsmen, should say what evil their families suffered at my hands. Now is their time. Many of them I see in the court. There is Crito, who is of the same age and of the same deme 36 with myself; and there is Critobulus his son, whom I also see. Then again there is Lysanias of Sphettus, who is the father of Æschines,— he is present; and also there is Antiphon of Cephisus, who is the father of Epigenes; and there are the brothers of several who have associated with me. There is Nicostratus the son of Theosdotides, and the brother of Theodotus (now Theodotus himself is dead, and therefore he, at any rate, will not seek to stop him); and there is Paralus the son of Demodocus, who had a brother Theages, and Adeimantus the son of Aris34 ton, whose brother Plato is present; and Æantodorus, who is the brother of Apollodorus, whom I also see. I might mention a great many others, any of whom Meletus should have produced as witnesses in the course of his speech; and let him still produce them, if he has forgotten; I will make way for him. And let him say, if he has any testimony of the sort which he can produce. Nay, Athenians, the very opposite is the truth. For all these are ready to witness on behalf of the corrupter, of the destroyer of their kindred, as Meletus and Anytus call me; not the corrupted youth only, there might have been a motive for that, but their uncorrupted elder relatives. Why should they too support me with their testimony? Why, indeed, except for the sake of truth and justice, and because they know that I am speaking the truth, and that Meletus is lying.

Well, Athenians, this and the like of this is nearly all the defense which I have to offer. Yet a word more. Perhaps

35 Crito (kri'to): a wealthy Athenian, the devoted friend and disciple of Socrates. He is said to have relieved Socrates from the necessity of manual labor. He offered Socrates means of escape from prison. He appears in the Phædo. A dialogue of Plato bears his name.

36 Each of the ten tribes of Attica comprised a certain number of demes (dēmz) or administrative districts, something like our townships. They were named after persons or places.

37 Critobulus (krit' o-bu'lus); Lysanias (ly-să'ni-as); Sphettus (sfět'tŭs); Æschines (es'ki-nēz); Antiphon (ǎn'ti-fon); Cephisus (se-fi'sus); Epigenes (e-pij'e-nez); Nicostratus (ni-cos'tra-tus); Theosdotides (the-os'dō-ti'dez) ; Theodotus (the-ŏd'o-tus); Paralus (păr'a-lus); Demodocus (de-mod'o-cus); Theages (the-a'jēz); Adeimantus (ǎd'i-măn'tus); Ariston (a-ris'ton); Æantodorus (e-ǎn'tō-do'rus); Apollodorus (ä-põllō-dō'rus). Of these men Æschines and Epigenes were present at the death of Socrates; See Phædo, 59. Adeimantus appears in the Republic.


there may be some one who is offended at me, when he calls to mind how he himself on a similar, or even a less serious occasion, had recourse to prayers and supplications with many tears, and how he produced his children in court, which was a moving spectacle, together with a posse of his relations and friends; whereas I, who am probably in danger of my life, will do none of these things. Perhaps this may come into his mind, and he may be set against me, and vote in anger because he is displeased at this. Now if there be such a person among you, which I am far from affirming, I may fairly reply to him: My friend, I am a man, and like other men, a creature of flesh and blood, and not of wood or stone, as Homer says; and I have a family, yes, and sons, O Athenians, three in number, one of whom is growing up, and the two others are still young; and yet I will not bring any of them hither in order to petition you for an acquittal. And why not? Not from any self-will or disregard of you. Whether I am or am not afraid of death is another question, of which I will not now speak. But my reason simply is, that I feel such conduct to be discreditable to myself, and you, and the whole State. One who has reached my years, and who has a name for wisdom, whether deserved or not, ought not to demean himself. At any rate, the world has decided that Socrates is in some way superior to other men.

And if those among you who are said to be superior in 35 wisdom and courage, and any other virtue, demean themselves in this way, how shameful is their conduct! I have seen men of reputation, when they have been condemned, behaving in the strangest manner: they seemed to fancy that they were going to suffer something dreadful if they died, and that they could be immortal if you only allowed them to live; and I think that they were a dishonor to the State, and that any stranger coming in would say of them that the most eminent men of Athens, to whom the Athenians themselves give honor and command, are no better than women. And I say that these things ought not to be done by those of us who are of 38 Now, I pray, declare

Thy lineage, for thou surely art not sprung
From the old fabulous oak, nor from a rock.

-Bryant's Odyssey, xix. 201.

99 The earliest poet whose works were known to the Greeks of this period. To him was attributed the authorship of many poems, among them the Iliad and the Odyssey. We have no authentic information about him. His date was probably between 1000 and 850 B. C.

reputation; and if they are done, you ought not to permit them; you ought rather to show that you are more inclined to condemn, not the man who is quiet, but the man who gets up a doleful scene, and makes the city ridiculous.

But, setting aside the question of dishonor, there seems to be something wrong in petitioning a judge, and thus procuring an acquittal instead of informing and convincing him. For his duty is, not to make a present of justice, but to give judgment; and he has sworn that he will judge according to . the laws, and not according to his own good pleasure; and neither he nor we should get into the habit of perjuring ourselves there can be no piety in that. Do not then require me to do what I consider dishonorable and impious and wrong, especially now, when I am being tried for impiety on the indictment of Meletus. For if, O men of Athens, by force of persuasion and entreaty, I could overpower your oaths, then I should be teaching you to believe that there are no gods, and convict myself, in my own defense, of not believing in them. But that is not the case; for I do believe that there are gods, and in a far higher sense than that in which any of my accusers believe in them. And to you and to God I commit my cause, to be determined by you as is best for you and me.


There are many reasons why I am not grieved, O men of Athens, at the vote of condemnation. I expected this, and am only surprised that the votes are so nearly equal; for I had thought that the majority against me would have been far larger; but now, had thirty votes 40 gone over to the other side, I should have been acquitted. And I may say that I have escaped Meletus. And I may say more; for without the assistance of Anytus and Lycon, he would not have had a fifth part of the votes, as the law requires, in which case he would have incurred a fine of a thousand drachmæ, as is evident. And so he proposes death as the penalty. And what shall I propose on my part, O men of Athens? Clearly that 40 Socrates was probably not speaking exactly, but in round numbers. 41 Drachma (drak'ma); pl. Drachmæ (drăk'me) or Drachmas (drák'måz): one drachma was the hundredth part of a mina. See Apology, note 10. 42" In Athenian procedure, the penalty inflicted was determined by a separate vote of the Dikasts" (officers somewhat like our jurymen) taken after the verdict of guilty. The accuser having named the penalty which he

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