July 20, 2009

SUFFER NOT:

Why Socrates Died: An original and thought-provoking examination of the trial and execution of Socrates. (Kevin Hartnett, July 20, 2009, CS Monitor)

The Peloponnesian War, like failed wars of any era, placed significant stress on Athenian society and it was over these fault lines, Waterfield argues, that Socrates stumbled. The city lost more than a quarter of its population to disease in just four years, and massacres and other wartime brutalities tested Athens’ sense of its own virtue. Dissent generally divided by age, with a cadre of grasping young aristocrats arguing that Athens’ loss to Sparta proved the inefficacy of majority rule. Many of them were known to have studied under Socrates.

Socrates himself was equally critical of both the willy-nilly democrat and the vain aristocrat. He believed that it was the job of the state to guide citizens towards knowledge and that power should be vested in the wise in order to accomplish this.


Where there are witch trials there are witches.


Posted by Orrin Judd at July 20, 2009 9:40 AM
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