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under no misapprehension as to the danger which threatened him.' To get up a defence, however, went contrary to his nature.2 Partly considering it wrong and undignified to attempt anything except by simple truth; partly finding it impossible to move out of his accustomed groove, and to wear a form of artificial oratory strange to his nature, he thought trustfully to leave the issue in the hands of God, convinced that all would turn out for the best; and in this conviction confidently familiarising himself with the thought that death would probably bring him more good than harm, and that an unjust condemnation would only save him the pressure of the weakness of age, leaving his fair name unsullied.3

withstanding Ueberweg's (Unters. d. Platon. Schrift, 250) and Grote's (Plato i. 316) objections, appears most probable. The treatment of the question is too light and satirical for the dialogue to belong to a time when the full seriousness of his position was felt.

'Comp. Xen. Mem. iv. 8, 6; Plato, Apol. 19, A.; 24, A.; 28, A.; 36, A.

2 In Xen. Mem. iv. 8, 5, Socrates says that when he wished to think about his defence, the daiμóviov opposed him; and according to Diog. ii. 40; Cic. de Orat. i. 54; Quintil. Inst. ii. 15, 30; xi. 1, 11; Val. Max. vi. 4, 2; Stob. Floril. 7, 56, he declined a speech, which Lysias offered him. It is asserted by Plato, Apol. 17, B., that he spoke without preparation. The story in Xenophon's Apology, 22, to the effect that

some of his friends spoke for
him has as little claim to truth
in face of Plato's description
as that in Diog. ii. 41.

3 As to the motives of So-
crates, the above seems to fol-
low with certainty from pas-
sages in Plato, Apol. 17, B.;
19, A.; 29, A.; 30, C.; 34, C.,
and Xen. Mem. iv. 8, 4-10.
Cousin and Grote, however,
give him credit for a great deal
more calculation than can be
reconciled with the testimony
of history, or with the rest of
his character. Cousin (Euvres
de Platon, i. 58), seems to
think that Socrates was aware
that he must perish in the con-
flict with his age, but he forgets
that the explanation given in
Plato's Apology, 29, B., is only
a conditional one, and that the
passage in that treatise 37, C.,
was written after the judicial
sentence. Similarly Volquard-




(2) Socrates' defence of himself.

Such was the tone of mind which dictated his
The language is not that of a criminal,


sen (Dämon. d. Sokr. 15), in attempting to prove from Mem. iv. 4, 4; Apol. 19, A., that Socrates had predicted his condemnation, forgets that in these passages the question is only as to probable guesses. Even Grote goes too far in asserting, in his excellent description of the trial (Hist. of Greece, viii. 654), that Socrates was hardly anxious to be acquitted, and that his speech was addressed far more to posterity than to his judges. History only warrants the belief, that with magnanimous devotion to his cause Socrates was indifferent to the result of his words, and endeavoured from the first to reconcile himself to a probably unfavourable result. It does not, however, follow that he was anxious to be condemned; nor have we reason to suppose so, since he could have wished for nothing which he considered to be wrong, and his modesty kept him uncertain as to what was the best for himself. See Plato, Apol. 19, A.; 29, A.; 30, D.; 35, D. We cannot, therefore, believe with Grote, p. 668, that Socrates had well considered his line of defence, and chosen it with a full consciousness of the result; that in his conduct before the court he was actuated only by a wish to display his personal greatness and the greatness of his mission in the most emphatic manner; and that by departing this life when at the summit of his greatness he desired to

give a lesson to youth the most impressive which it was in the power of man to give. To presuppose such calculation on the part of Socrates is not only contradictory to the statement that he uttered his defence without preparation, but it appears to be opposed to the picture which we are accustomed to see of his character. As far as we can judge, his conduct does not appear to be a work of calculation, but a thing of immediate conviction, a consequence of that uprightness of character which would not allow him to go one step beyond his principles. His principles, however, did not allow him to consider results, since he could not know what result would be beneficial to him. It was his concern to speak only the truth, and to despise anything like corrupting the judges by eloquence. This may appear a minded view, but no other course of conduct would so well have corresponded with the bearing and character of Socrates; and herein consists his greatness, that he chose what was in harmony with himself in the face of extreme danger, with classic composure and unruffled brow.


We possess two accounts of the speech of Socrates before his judges, a shorter one in Xenophon and a longer one in Plato's Apology. Xenophon's Apology is certainly spurious, and with it any value attach

wishing to save his life, but that of an impartial arbiter, who would dispel erroneous notions by a simple

ing to the testimony of Hermogenes, to whom the compiler, imitating the Mem. iv. 8, 4, professes to be indebted for his information, is lost. Touching Plato's, the current view seems well established, that this Apology is not a mere creation of his own, but that in all substantial points it faithfully records what Socrates said; and the attempt of Georgii, in the introduction to his translation of the Apology (conf. Steinhart, Platon.Werke, ii. 235) to prove the contrary will not stand. Georgii complains that in the Socrates of Plato that μeyaλnyopía is wanting, which Xenophon commends in him-a judgment with which few will agree, not even the writer of the Apology attributed to Xenophon. He also considers the sophism with which the charge of atheism was met, improbable in the mouth of Socrates, though it may just as likely have come from him as from one of his disciples. He doubts whether Socrates could have maintained a composure so perfect; although all that we know of Socrates shows unruffled calm as a main trait in his character. He sees in the prominent features of that character a diplomatic calculation, which others will look for in vain. He considers it incredible that Socrates should have begun with a studied quotation from the Clouds of Aristophanes, aiming at nothing else than the refu

tation of prejudices, which lasted undeniably (according to the testimony of Xenophon, Mem. i. 1, 11; Ec. 12, 3; Symp. 6, 6) till after his own death, and perhaps contributed much to his condemnation. He misses, with Steinhart in Plato, many things which Socrates might have said in his defence, and did actually say according to the Apology of Xenophon. But to this statement no importance can be attached, and it is probable that in an unprepared speech Socrates omitted much which might have told in his favour. He can hardly be convinced that Socrates cross-questioned Miletus so searchingly as Plato describes ; but this passage agrees with the usual character of the discourse of Socrates, and the sophism by which Socrates proved that he did not corrupt youth is quite his own. See p. 141. That Socrates should have met the charge of atheism by quibbles, instead of appealing to the fact of his reverence for the Gods of the state, he can only understand, by supposing that we have here an expression of Plato's religious views although Plato would have had no reason for suppressing the fact, supposing Socrates had really made such an appeal: he even describes the devotion of his master to the Gods of his country, and is himself anxious to continue that service. Touching the sophisms, even Aristotle, Rhet.



(3) His condemnation.

setting forth of the truth, or of a patriot warning against wrong-doing and overhaste. He seeks to convince the accuser of his ignorance, to refute the accusation by criticism. At the same time dignity and principle are never so far forgotten as to address the judges in terms of entreaty. Their sentence is not feared, whatever it may be. He stands in the service of God, and is determined to keep his post in the face of every danger. No commands shall make him faithless to his higher calling, or prevent him from obeying God rather than the Athenians.

The result of his speech was what might have have been expected. The majority of the judges would most unmistakeably have been disposed to pronounce him innocent,' had not the proud bearing of the accused brought him into collision with the members of a popular tribunal, accustomed to a very different deportment from the most eminent statesmen.2 Many who would otherwise have been on his

ii. 23; iii. 18; 1398, a, 15;
1419, a, 8, has no fault to find.
The same may be said in reply
to most of the reasoning of
Georgii. On the contrary, the
difference in style between the
Apology and Plato's usual writ-
ings, seems to prove that this
Apology was not drawn up with
his usual artistic freedom, and
the notion of Georgii referring
it to the same time as the
Phædo appears altogether in-
conceivable considering the
great difference between the
two in regard to their philoso-
phical contents and their artis-
tic form. It certainly was not

Plato's intention to record
literally the words of Socrates,
and we may be satisfied with
comparing his Apology with the
speeches in Thucydides, as
Steinhart does, bearing in
mind what Thucydides, i. 22,
says of himself, that he had
kept as close as possible to the
sense and substance of what
was said
- and applying it
equally to Plato. Conf. Ueber-
weg, Unters. d. Plat. Schr. 237.
i Xen. Mem. iv. 4. 4.

2 Let the attitude of Pericles be remembered on the occasion of the accusation of Aspasia, and that depicted by Plato in

side were set against him, and by a small majority the sentence of Guilty was pronounced.2 According

the Apology, 34, C. Indeed it is a well-known fact that judging was a special hobby of the Athenian people (conf. Aristophanes in the Wasps, Clouds, 207), and that it watched with peculiar jealousy this attribute of its sovereignty. How Volquardsen, Dämon. d. Sokr. 15, can conclude from the above words that Hegel's judgment respect ing Socrates' rebellion against the people's power is shared here, is inconceivable.

1 According to Plato, Apol. 36, A., he would have been acquitted if 3, or as another reading has it, if 30 of his judges had been of a different mind. But how can this be reconciled with the statement of Diog. ii. 41: KaтEDIKάσon διακοσίαις ὀγδοήκοντα μιᾷ πλείοσι ψήφοις τῶν ἀπολυουσῶν? Either the text here must be corrupt, or a true statement of Diogenes must have been strangely perverted. Which is really the case it is difficult to say. It is generally believed that the whole number of judges who condemned him was 281. But since the Heliæa always consisted of so many hundreds, most probably with the addition of one deciding voice (400, 500, 600, or 401, 501, 601), on this hypothesis no proportion of votes can be made out which is compatible with Plato's assertion, whichever reading is adopted. We should have then to suppose with Böck, in Süvern on Aristoph.


Clouds, 87, that a number of the judges had abstained from voting, a course which may be possible. Out of 600 Heliasts, 281 may have voted against and 275 or 276 for him. It is, however, possible, as Böckh suggests, that in Diogenes, 251 may have originally stood instead of 281. In this case there might have been 251 against and 245 or 246 for the accused, making together nearly 500; and some few, supposing the board to have been complete at first, may have absented themselves during the proceedings, or have refrained from voting. Or, if the reading тρiάкovтα, which has many of the best MSS. in its favour, is established in Plato, we may suppose that the original text in Diogenes was as follows: κατεδικάσθη διακοσίαις ὀγδοήκοντα ψήφοις, ξ' πλείοσι τῶν ἀπολυουσῶν. We should then have 280 against 220, together 500, and if 30 more had declared for the accused, he would have been acquitted, the votes being equal.

2 This course of events is not only in itself probable, taking into account the character of the speech of Socrates and the nature of the circumstances, but Xenophon (Mem. iv. 4, 4) distinctly asserts that he would certainly have been acquitted if he had in any way condescended to the usual attitude of deference to his judges. See also Plato, Apol. 38, D.


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