Memoirs of Socrates for English readers (1872) by Xenophon PDF book

Memoirs of Socrates for English readers


Have often wondered why that arguments the accusers of Socrates could possibly have succeeded in convincing the Athenians that he deserved death at the hands of the state, for the indictment against him ran somewhat thus:— "Socrates violates the laws, inasmuch as he acknowledges not as gods those whom the state acknowledges, but has introduced other and new divinities. He also violates the laΛvs by corrupting the youth." Now as to the first count, that " he did not acknowledge as gods those Λvhom the state acknoAvlediies" what kind of evidence did they adduce?

For he was frequently seen sacrificing without concealment, both at his own house and on the public altars of the city; and he openly used divination, for it was commonly bruited about how that " Socrates affirmed that the divinity forewarned him." And on this assertion, it was that they seem to be chiefly to have founded the charge of his " introducing new divinities."

 But in reality, he introduced nothing more novel than others do who employs divination and have faith in birds, and voices, and signs, and sacrifices; for such do not suppose that the birds or the people who encounter them know Avhat is best for those who seek their counsel, but only that the gods signify thus much by the instrumentality of such things; and this Avas also his opinion.



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