What Role Did Socrates Play in Ancient Greece?

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What Role Did Socrates Play in Ancient Greece?|
Natalia Gonzalez|
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Mr. Pellegrini, 2A|
3/24/2010|

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What Role Did Socrates Play in Ancient Greece?

In the leading city of Athens 2,500 years ago during the Golden Age, a peculiar philosopher was born into the reign of Pericles. Socrates went against common religion, influenced social roles and people, and was the founder of the Socratic Method.

Religious opinions affected Socrates’ life a great deal. Whereas most Athenians observed polytheism and believed in gods such as Poseidon and Hades, Socrates believed there was only one god responsible. Interestingly enough, when asked, Socrates could not put a name to this god or give an explanation. The most he could say was that the god spoke in his mind and gave him advice, like a conscience. He called this his daemon. Conversely, in a world where many things, such as thunder, were scientifically unexplainable, people were very attracted to religion as justification. Socrates on the other hand, stated that clouds created thunder and lightning rather than Zeus. Such statements more than likely came from Socrates’ younger years when he was a student of Anaxagoras. While studying Anaxagoras’ work, Socrates learned that the Selene, the goddess of the moon, was not real and that the moon had hills and valleys and shone with reflected light. Of the sun, Socrates gathered additionally that Apollo was not real, and that the sun was a very hot rock. This not only shaped Socrates’ religious life but also affected the way he interacted with people and changed their perceptions.

Socrates offended people by daring to mention that he did not believe the god, Apollo. This dilemma was created when Chaerephon, one of Socrates’...
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