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occupation so confined him to his native city that he rarely passed its boundaries or even its gates.1
To take part in the affairs of the state 2 he did not, however, feel a call; not only holding it to be impossible to act as a statesman 3 in the Athens of that day without violating his principles, and loathing submission to the demands of a pampered mob ;* but far more because he recognised his own peculiar task to lie in something very different. Any one sharing his conviction that care for one's own culture must be preferred to all care for public affairs, and that a thorough knowledge of self, together with a deep and many-sided experience, is a necessary qualification for public life,5 must regard the influencing of individuals as a far more important business than the influencing of the community, which without the other would be profitless; 6 must consider it a better service to his country to educate able statesmen than actually to discharge a statesman's duties.7 Any one so thoroughly fitted by nature, taste, tone of thought and character, to elevate the morality and develop the intellect in others by means of personal intercourse, could hardly feel at home in
In the Crito, 52, B.; 53, A., he says, that except on military duty he has only once left Athens, going as a deputy to the Isthmian games. From the Phædrus, 230, C., we gather that he rarely went outside the gates.
2 Plato, Apol. 31, C.
Plato, Apol. 31, D.; Rep. vi. 496, C.; Gorg. 521. C.
Plato, Apol. 33, A., or as the Gorgias (473, E.) ironically expresses it because he was too plain for a statesman. Conf. Gorg. 521, D.
5 Plato, Apol. 36, Symp. 216, A.; Xen. Mem. iv. 2, 6; iii. 6.
• Plato, Apol. 29, C.; 30, D.; 33, C. Gorg. 513, E.
Xen. Mem. i. 6, 15.
any other line of life. Accordingly, Socrates never attempted to move from his position as a private citizen. By serving in several campaigns with the greatest bravery and endurance,2 he discharged his duties to his country. As a citizen he met un
1 Socrates asserts this in Plato quite explicitly. In Apol. 31, D., he remarks that his δαιμόνιον sent him back from a public life, and wisely too; for in a career spent in opposing the passionate impulses of the masses he would long since have been ruined. The δαιμόVLOV which deters him is the sense of what is suited to his individuality. That this sense conducted him rightly, is proved by the consideration that a public career, had he taken to it, would not only have been unsuccessful in his case, but would also have been most injurious for himself; and Socrates usually estimates the moral value of conduct by success. If this consideration, as it no doubt did, confirmed his dislike to a public career, still the primary cause of this dislike, the source of that insuperable feeling, which as a daiμóviov preceded every estimate of consequences, was without doubt something immediate. Had a public position suited his character as well as the life he chose, he would as little have been deterred by its dangers, as he was by the dangers of that which he adopted (Apol. 29, B.). He states, however, that his occupation afforded him great satisfaction with which he could not dis
pense, Apol. 38, A. ὅτι καὶ τυγχάνει μέγιστον ἀγαθὸν ἀνθρώπῳ τοῦτο, ἑκάστης ἡμέρας περὶ ἀρετῆς τοὺς λόγους ποιεῖσθαι καὶ τῶν ἄλλων, περὶ ὧν ὑμεῖς ἐμοῦ ἀκούετε διαλεγομένου καὶ ἐμαυτὸν καὶ ἄλλους ἐξετάξοντος, ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ.
2 See the stories in Plato, Symp. 219, E.; Apol. 28, E.; Charm. i.; Lach. 181, A. Of the three expeditions mentioned in the Apology, that to Potidæa, 432 B.C., that to Delium, 424 B.C., and that to Amphipolis, 422 B.C., the two first are fully described. At Potidea Socrates rescued Alcibiades, but gave up in his favour his claim to the prize for valour. His fearless retreat from the battle of Delium is mentioned with praise. Antisthenes (in Athen. v. 216, b) refers the affair of the prize to the time after the battle of Delium. Probably Plato is right, being generally well-informed on these matters. The doubts which Athenæus raises respecting Plato's account are trivial. Naturally, however, other accounts derived from his account cannot be quoted in support of it. The story that Socrates rescued Xenophon at Delium (Strabo, ix. 2, 7; Diog.) seems to confound Xenophon with Alcibiades.
righteous demands alike of an infuriated populace and of tyrannical oligarchs, in every case of danger,' firmly and fearlessly; but in the conduct of affairs he declined to take part.
Nor would he appear as a public teacher after the manner of the Sophists. He not only took no pay, but he gave no methodical course,2 not professing to teach, but only to learn in common with others; not to force his convictions upon them, but to examine theirs; not to pass the truth that came to hand like a coin fresh from the mint, but to awaken a taste for truth and virtue, to show the way thereto, to overthrow spurious, and to discover real knowledge. Never weary of converse, he eagerly seized every opportunity of giving an instructive and moral turn to conversation. Day by day he was about in the market and public promenades, in schools and workshops, ever ready to have a word with friend or stranger, with citizen or foreigner, but always prepared to give an intellectual or moral turn to the conversation. Whilst thus serving God
1 Xen. Mem. i. 1, 18, and 2, 31; iv. 4, 2; Hellen. i. 7, 15; Plato, Apol. 32, A.; Gorg. 473, E.; epist. Plat. vii. 324, D.; see also Luzac, De Socrate cive, 92-123; Grote's Hist. of Greece, viii. 238-285.
and of Favorinus in Diog. ii.
3 Proofs in all the dialogues. See particularly Plato, Apol. 21, B.; 23 B.; 29, D.; 30, E.; Rep. i. 336, B. The Socratic method will be discussed hereafter.
2 Plato, Apol. 33, A. : èyà dè διδάσκαλος μὲν οὐδενὸς πώποτ' ἐγενόμην· εἰ δέ τίς μου λέγοντος καὶ τὰ ἐμαυτοῦ πράττοντος ἐπιθυμεῖ ἀκούειν . . ovdevi πúπот' p06vnoa, Ibid. 19 D. Xen. Mem. i. 2, 3 and 31. The assertion
+ Xen. Mem. i. 1, 10; iii. 10; Plato, Symp., Lysis., Charmides, Phædrus, Apol. 23, B.; 30, A. The μαστροπεία which
of the Epicurean Idomeneus, Socrates boasts of, Xen. Symp.
in his higher calling, he was persuaded that he was also serving his country in a way that no one else could do.1 For deeply as he deplored the decline of discipline and education in his native city,2 on the moral teachers of his time, the Sophists,3 he could place no reliance. The attractiveness of his discourse won for him a circle of admirers, for the most part consisting of young men of family, drawn to him by the most varied motives, standing to him in various relations, and coming to him, some for a longer, others for a shorter time. For his part, he was anxious not only to educate these friends, but to advise them in everything pertaining to their good, even in worldly matters. Out of this changing, and in part only loosely connected society, a nulceus was gradually formed of decided admirers,-a Socratic school, united, however, far less by a common set of doctrines, than by a common love for the person of its founder. With more intimate friends he frequently had common meals, which, however, can scarcely have been a fixed institution. Such as appeared to him to require other branches of in
3, 10; 4; 56, 8, 5, 42, is no-
1 Plato, Apol. 30, A.; Conf.
2 Xen. Mem. iii. 5, 13.
Mem. iv. 4, 5, which is not at variance with Plato, Apol. 19, D, nor yet with the passages quoted p. 69, 1.
Plato, Apol. 23, C., oi véol
μοι ἐπακολουθοῦντες οἷς μάλιστα σχολή ἐστιν, οἱ τῶν πλουσιωτάTv. Still we find among his ardent admirers, not only Antisthenes, but also Apollodorus and Aristodemus, who appear according to Plato, Symp. 173, 8, to have been equally poor.
5 Conf. Xen. Mem. i. 2, 14; iv. 2, 40; Plato, Theæt. 150, D.
6 Conf. examples, Mem. ii. 3, 7, 8, 9; iii. 6, 7.
7 Xen. Mem. iii. 14.
struction, or whom he believed unsuited for intercourse with himself, he urged to apply to other teachers, either in addition to or in place of himself.1 Until his seventieth year he followed this course of action with his powers of mind unimpaired. The blow which then put an end to his life and his activity will be mentioned hereafter.
Plato, Theætet. 151, B.; Xen. Mem. iii. 1; Symp. 4, 61.
2 Xenophon and Plato mostly represent Socrates as an old man (such as he was when they
knew him), without showing