The Trial And Death Of Socrates

Topics: Socrates, Plato, Apology Pages: 4 (1046 words) Published: December 7, 2014


The Trial and Death Of Socrates

Socrates was charged and had many accusations against him by three men. Meletus whom was the principle accuser, Anytus the power behind the prosectution, and Lycon the third accuser. During the first three hours of trial, Meletus and the other two accusers each mounted a small stage in the law court in the center of Athens to deliver speeches to the jury making the case for the guilt of Socrates.

Meletus, the youngest of the three accusers made two related charges against Socrates: "refusing to acknowledge the gods recognized by the State and of introducing new and different gods" and "corrupting the youth."(Plato 14).Meletus finds himself claiming that the entire population of Athens has a positive influence on the youth, with the sole exception of Socrates. Meletus asserts that Socrates believes in no gods whatsoever. the affidavit Meletus himself drew up against Socrates claims that Socrates believes-and teaches others to believe-in supernatural matters. That must imply, then, that Socrates believes in supernatural beings. When discussing Socrates' belief in the gods, Meletus associates Socrates with Anaxagoras. As mentioned earlier, Anaxagoras was a Presocratic philosopher with whom Socrates studied in his youth and who posited an atheistic worldview. Strangely, Socrates dogmatically asserts that all supernatural beings are either gods or children of the gods, and Meletus agrees to this assertion without objection. Anytus, a powerful middle-class politician from a family of tanners, is generally considered to have been the driving force behind the prosecution of Socrates. Anytus' motivation in prosecuting Socrates is based on his concern that the Socrates's criticism of Athenian institutions endangered the democracy that Athens had so recently regained.

Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth and being an atheist, but it is more likely that he annoyed people (with his ideas and...
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