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It was a matter of chance, Echecrates. It happened that the stern of the ship which the Athenians send to Delos was crowned on the day before the trial.

What ship is this?

This is the ship, as the Athenians say, in which Theseus once went to Crete with the fourteen [58b] youths and maidens, and saved them and himself. Now the Athenians made a vow to Apollo, as the story goes, that if they were saved they would send a mission every year to Delos. And from that time even to the present day they send it annually in honor of the god. Now it is their law that after the mission begins the city must be pure and no one may be publicly executed until the ship has gone to Delos and back; and sometimes, when contrary winds [58c] detain it, this takes a long time. The beginning of the mission is when the priest of Apollo crowns the stern of the ship; and this took place, as I say, on the day before the trial. For that reason Socrates passed a long time in prison between his trial and his death.

What took place at his death, Phaedo? What was said and done? And which of his friends were with him? Or did the authorities forbid them to be present, so that he died without his friends? [58d]

Not at all. Some were there, in fact, a good many.

Be so good as to tell us as exactly as you can about all these things, if you are not too busy.

I am not busy and I will try to tell you. It is always my greatest pleasure to be reminded of Socrates whether by speaking of him myself or by listening to someone else.

Well, Phaedo, you will have hearers who feel as you do; so try to tell us everything as accurately as you can. [58e]

For my part, I had strange emotions when I was there. For I was not filled with pity as I might naturally be when present at the death of a friend; since he seemed to me to be happy, both in his bearing and his words, he was meeting death so fearlessly and nobly. And so I thought that even in going to the abode of the dead he was not going without the protection of the gods, and that when he arrived there

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