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has been reached of asserting with Cato,' that of all CHAP. sentences ever passed, this was the most strictly legal.

Among these views the one lying nearest to hand, (2) It did is that of some older writers, who attribute the exe- ceed from cution of Socrates to personal animosity; always personal

,

animosity. giving up the unfounded idea that the Sophists were

(a) Anytus in any way connected therewith. A great deal may may have

borne him be said in favour of this aspect of the case. In

a grudge. Plato, Socrates expressly declares that he is not the victim of Anytus or Meletus, but of the ill-will which he incurred by his criticism of men.

Even Anytus, it is however said, owed him a personal grudge. Plato hints 4 at his being aggrieved with the judgments passed by Socrates on Athenian statesmen, and, according to Xenophon's Apology,' took it amiss

| Plut. Cato, c. 23.

only place where it would have 2 This is found in Fries, been possible to carry it on so Gesch. d. Phil. i. 249, who long, and that it is by no speaks of the ‘hatred and envy means a matter for wonder, of a great portion of the that Socrates was accused and people, as the motives which condemned, but only that this brought on the trial. Signart, did not happen sooner. If he Gesch. d. Phil. i. 89, gives pro- had been tolerated so long, minence to this motive, and there must have been special Brandis, Gr. Röm. Phil. ii. a. reasons, however, for the accu26, who distinguishes two sation; and these he is inkinds of opponents to So- clined to find partly in his recrates, those who considered lations to. Critias and Alcibiahis philosophy incompatible des, and partly in the hatred of with ancient discipline and Anytus. morality, and those who could Apol. 28, A. ; 22, E. ; 23, C. not endure his moral earnest- 4 Meno, 94; in reference to ness, attributing the accusation which Diog. ii. 38, says of to the latter. Grote, viii. Anytus : ogros qàp pépwv TOV 637, inclines to the same view. υπό Σωκράτους χλευασμόν. He proves how unpopular So- 5 Compare with this Hegel, crates must have made himself Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 92; Grote. by his sifting of men, He Hist. of Greece, viii. 641. remarks that Athens was the

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CHAP. that Socrates urged him to give his competent son
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a higher training than that of a dealer in leather,
thereby encouraging in the young man discon-
tent with his trade. Anytus is said to have first
moved Aristophanes to his comedy, and afterwards in
common with Meletus to have brought against him
the formal accusation.2 That such motives came
into play in the attack on Socrates, and contributed
in no small degree to the success of this attack is
antecedently probable. To convince men of their
ignorance is the most thankless task you can choose.
Anyone who can persevere in it for a life-time so re-
gardless of consequences as Socrates did, must make
many enemies; dangerous enemies too, if he takes for

his mark men of distinguished position or talents. (6) But Still personal animosity cannot have been the there must have been

sole cause of his condemnation. Nor are Plato's other statements binding upon us.

Indeed the more work to

Socrates and his pupils became convinced of the lead to his justice of his cause, the less were they able to distion. cover any grounds in fact for the accusation. The

one wish of Socrates being to will and to do what was best, what reason could anyone possibly have had for

causes at

e

1 Later writers give more an improbable story ought not details. According to Plut. to have deceived Luizac (De Alc. c. 4; Amator. 17, 27, p. Socr. Cive, 133); especially 762; and Satyrus in Athenæus, since Xenophon and Plato xii. 534, e, Anytus was a lover would never have omitted in of Alcibiades, but was rejected silence such a reason for the by him, whilst Alcibiades accusation. showed every attention to So- 2 Ælian, V. H. ii. 13. Diog. crates, and hence the enmity 1. c. of Anytus to Socrates. Such s Compare Grote, 1. c. 638.

CHAP.

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opposing him, except wounded pride? The narrative of Xenophon's Apology would at most only explain the hatred of Anytus; it would not account for the widely spread prejudice against Socrates. It is a question whether it is true at all; and whether, granting its truth, this personal injury was the only cause which arrayed Anytus as accuser against him. Lastly, allowing, as was undoubtedly the case, that Socrates made enemies of many influential people, is it not strange that their personal animosity should only have attained its object after the re-establishment of order in Athens ? In the most unsettled and corrupt times no serious persecution had been set on foot against him. Neither at the time of the mutilation of the Hermæ, had his relations with Alcibiades; nor after the battle of Arginusæ,2 had the incensed state of popular feeling been turned against him. Plato, too, says : that what told against Socrates at the trial, was the general conviction that his teaching was of a dangerous character ; and he states that as matters then stood, it was impossible for any one to speak the truth in political matters without being persecuted as a vain babbler and corrupter

| This is just possible. That Thrasybulus faithful to the the character of Anytus was treaties, and not abusing his not unimpeachable we gather political power to make amends from the story (Aristot. in Har for his losses during the olipocration derátwv; Diodor. xiii. garchical government. 64; Plut. Coriol. 14), that 2 The astonishment expreswhen he was first charged sed by Tenneman at this is with treason he corrupted the natural from his point of view. judges. On the other hand Only his solution of the diffiIsocr. (in Callim. 23) praises culty is hardly satisfactory. him for being together with • Apol. 18, B.; 19, B.; 23, D.

СНАР.
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of youth. On this point the testimony of writers so opposite as Xenophon and Aristophanes proves that the prejudice against Socrates was not merely a passing prejudice, at least not in Athens, but that it lasted a whole life-time, not confined only to the masses, but shared also by men of high importance and influence in the state. Very deeply, indeed, must the feeling against Socrates have been rooted in Athens, if Xenophon found it necessary six years after his death to defend him against the charges on which the indictment was framed.

With regard to Aristophanes, it was an obvious blot in his plays to allow here and there such a prominence to political motives as to forget the claims of art, and for a comedian, who in his mad way holds up to ridicule all authorities divine and human, to clothe himself with the tragic seriousness of a political prophet. Yet it is no less an error to lose sight of the grave vein which underlies the comic license of his plays, and to mistake his occasional pathos for thoughtless play. Were it only this, the hollowness of the sentiment would soon show itself in artistic defects. Instead of this, a sincerity of patriotic sentiment may be observed in Aristophanes,

560;

· Polit. 299, B.; Rep. vi. 488, both of them justly recognise 496, C.; Apol. 32, E.; Gorg. (Hegel, Phänomeno l. 473, E. ; 521, D.

Æsthetik, 537, 562 ; Rötscher, 2 Rötscher's spirited descrip- p. 365), that there is an eletion suffers from this onesided- ment subversive of Greek life, ness, and even Hegel, in his quite as much in the comedies passage on the fate of Socrates, of Aristophanes, as in the Gesch. d. Phil. ii. 82, is not state of things of which he quite free from it, although complains.

CHAP.

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not only in the unsullied beauty of many individual utterances ;' but the same patriotic interest sounds through all his plays, in some of the earlier ones even disturbing the purity of the poetic tone, but proving all the more conclusively, how near the love of his country lay to his heart.

This interest only could have brought him to give to his comedies that political turn, by means of which, as he justly takes credit to himself,3 comedy gained a far higher ground than had been allowed to it by his predecessors. At the same time it must be granted that Aristophanes is as much deficient as others in the morality and the faith of an earlier age, and that it was preposterous to demand the olden time back, men and circumstances having so thoroughly changed. Only it does not follow herefrom that he was not sincere in this demand. His was rather one of those cases so frequently met with in history, in which a man attacks a principle in others to which he has himself fallen a victim, without owning it to himself. Aristophanes combats innovations in morals, politics, religion, and art. Being, however, in his inmost soul the offspring of his age,

he can only combat them with the weapons and in the spirit of this age. With the thorough dislike of the narrow practical man unable to give a

1 See p. 29.

3 Peace, 732; Wasps, 1022 ; ? Compare Schnitzer, trans- Clouds, 537. lation of the Clouds, p. 24, and 4 Compare Droysen, Aristoph. the passages quoted by him Werke, 2 Aufl. i. 174, which from Welcker, Süvern and seems to go too far. Rötscher.

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