Why Socrates Died by Robin Waterfield Book Cover

Why Socrates Died-Athens on Trial by Robin Waterfield

by Abinayah Mannar Mannan on April, 2009

in Books

It is said that the Death of Socrates is “the only death of comparable importance in our history is that of Jesus”.

It is almost impossible to underestimate the historical importance of the trial and execution of Socrates.

Socrates was a philosopher by nature, who never asked money for his teachings, who went around preaching, who never took part in politics.

The charges against this man were that he didn’t acknowledge the city’s gods and corrupting the young minds of Athens. Socrates talked of the little voice that he heard in his mind which guided him and this was resented by the others who found it difficult to agree to this fact.

This story is cleverly told by creating the picture of Athens in the fifth century.
The execution of Socrates in Athens in 399BC has generated almost as much post-mortem fury as the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth.

During the Socrates’ trial the court was packed, and after being found guilty by his peers, Socrates died by drinking a cup of the poison hemlock, a defining moment in ancient civilization. Yet time has transmuted the facts into a fable. This is about the  of aristocracy over democracy.

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Why Socrates DiedRobin Waterfield has examined the actual Greek sources and presents a new Socrates, not an atheist or the guru of a weird sect, but a deeply moral thinker whose convictions stood in stark relief to those of his former disciple, Alcibiadesa, the hawkish and self-serving military leader.

It is not only a powerful revisionist book but also a work whose insights translate clearly from ancient Athens to modern America. Overall it is a very informative book and it keeps the reader thought provoked.

Rating: 3 / 5

Why Socrates Died : Athens on Trial


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