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Those who think that, because Socrates suffered the death penalty, his utterances as to the δαιμόνιον are thereby discredited, are in error. For Socrates did not, like them, regard death as an evil. With tranquillity and even cheerfulness he died a noble and happy death. That he himself was assured of this is shown in his conversation with Hermogenes. He refused to adopt the usual form of defense, regarding his life as his best defense; and moreover his δαιμόνιον warned him against an elaborate speech. He died at the right time, before age had impaired his powers of mind and body; and the reproach of his taking-off lies not on him, but on those who condemned him. All who knew him mourned him sorely; for in Socrates died the noblest and happiest of men.


ὅτι φάσκοντος αὐτοῦ, κατεγνώσθη θάνατος: “because he asserted, and then was condemned to death.”

περὶ τοῦ δαιμονίου ψευδόμενον: inasmuch as, according to his critics, he would have conducted himself differently in regard to appearing at his trial if the δαιμόνιον had predicted his death to him.

ἀχθεινότατον: a poetic word.

τὴν διάνοιαν μειοῦνται: are weakened in intellect. Socrates was over seventy years of age; cf. νῦν ἐγὼ πρῶτον ἐπὶ δικαστήριον ἀναβέβηκα, ἔτη γεγονὼς ἑβδομήκοντα Plato Apol. 17D.

τὴν δίκην εἰπών: by pleading his case. δίκην is cognate accusative. Plato's Apology is regarded as a fairly correct report of the speech of Socrates before his judges.


Δήλια: not to be confused with the εἰς Δῆλον πεμπόμενος χορός of iii. 3. 12, which was sent every four years. The Δήλια here mentioned was a solemn embassy sent annually to Delos with thank offerings to Apollo, in commemoration of the victory of Theseus over the Minotaur, by which Athens was freed from the terrible tribute of seven youths and seven maidens. Cf. Plato Phaedo 58 A.

τὸν νόμον ἐᾶν: also governed by διά.— διαβιούς: for second aors. of the -μι form, see G. 799; H. 489, 14.—For the demeanor of Socrates during the last hours in his cell, see the concluding chapters of Plato's Phaedo.


οὕτως: i.e. εὐθύμως τε καὶ εὐκόλως.

θεοφιλέστερος: the noble and happy death of Socrates showed that he was beloved of the gods; and it does not follow from his death, either that his δαιμόνιον deceived him, or that what he had said of the δαιμόνιον was false. Cf. Plato Apol. 40A—C, 41 D.


Ἑρμογένους: see on ii.10.3.

Μελήτου: see on i.1.1.

γεγραμμένου αὐτὸν τὸν γραφήν: for the accs., see G. 1076; H. 725.

πάντα μᾶλλον: see on ii.4.1.

λέγειν: its subj. is the word with which αὐτός agrees, attracted into the nom. under the usual rule for indirect discourse.

τοῦτο μελετῶν διαβεβιωκέναι: to have passed my whole life in the preparation of this (my defense).

ποιῶν διαγεγένηται: “that all his life he had done,” the participle containing the main idea.

πράττων δίκαια, ἀδίκων ἀπεχόμενος: obs. the ‘chiasmus.’


αὐτός, εἰπεῖν: sc. ἔφη, as in 4.

παραχθέντες: persuaded.ἠναντιώθη τὸ δαιμόνιον: cf. καὶ δὶς ἤδη ἐπιχειρήσαντός μου σκοπεῖν περὶ τῆς ἀπολογίας, ἐναντιοῦταί μοι τὸ δαιμόνιον Apol. 4 Cf. also Plato Apol. 31D, 40 A, B.


ὑφείμην ἄν: I would concede.

βεβιωκέναι (sc. αὐτόν): that he had lived.


: equivalent to καὶ ταῦτα.

πρὸς τοὺς ἄλλους: see on πρὸς ἑαυτόν i. 2. 52.

παραθεωρῶν: like παραβάλλων in 11.

οὕτω διατετέληκα γιγνώσκων: I have constantly been of this mind.

οὕτως ἔχοντες περὶ ἐμοῦ διατελοῦσιν: constantly have this opinion of me.

οὐ διὰ τὸ φιλεῖν ἐμέ: not because they love me.


τὰ τοῦ γήρως ἐπιτελεῖσθαι: to pay the debts of old age, i.e. to suffer the weakening of sight, hearing, and intellect.

ὁρᾶν, ἀκούειν, διανοεῖσθαι: with their advs., in appos. with τὰ τοῦ γήρως.

ἀποβαίνειν: to turn out, “to become.” — μὴ αἰσθανομένῳ κτλ.: the thought is “if I should not notice it, that itself would be a proof of dullness, and such a life would be no life; and if I should notice it, life would naturally lose its joy.”


εἰ γὰρ τὸ ἀδικεῖν αἰσχρόν ἐστι κτλ.: the thought seems to be, that a wrong act cannot successfully hide behind the forms of law; but the sent. is bracketed by some editt. as meaningless. On the section, cf. Apol. 26.


τῶν τε, καὶ τῶν: see on τὲ καί iii. 4. 3.

ἐπιμελείας τεύξομαι ὑπό: I shall enjoy consideration from. See on ὑπό iii. 4. 1.

μαρτυρήσεσθαι: mid. as passive.

βελτίους δὲ ποιεῖν τοὺς ἐμοὶ συνόντας: concludes and confirms the propositions laid down in i. 3. 1 and iv. 1. 1, after which the book comes to an end with a brief recapitulation of the contents of the entire work.


Σωκράτην γιγνωσκόντων οἷος ἦν: for the ‘prolepsis,’ see on i.2.13.

ἐμοὶ μὲν δή: mihi quidem igitur.

ἄνευ γνώμης: cf. “ἄνευ τούτωντῶν νόμωνμηδὲν πράττειν πειρᾶσθεHell. i. 7. 29.

τοὺς χρωμένους αὐτῷ: those who associated with him.

ταῦτα: "this my description of the character of Socrates."

πρός: as in 7.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Commentary references from this page (6):
    • Plato, Apology, 17d
    • Plato, Apology, 31d
    • Plato, Apology, 40a
    • Xenophon, Hellenica, 1.7.29
    • Xenophon, Apology, 26
    • Xenophon, Apology, 4
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