Words of Wisdom:

"What you do in life echoes in eternity" - Gon_b

Sokrates

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THE DEATH OF SOCRATES

THE DEATH OF SOCRATES
An
of the Platonic Dialogues: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo
Interpretation

by

ROMANO GUARDINI
Translated from the

German

by

BASIL

WRIGHTON

LONDON SHEED & WARD
1948

FIRST PUBLISHED 194S BY SHEED AND WARD, LTD,

110/111 FLEET STREET

LONDON,

E.C.4

book is copyright. No portion of it be reproduced without written permission. Inquiries should be addressed to the publishers.
This

may

PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY PURNELL AND SONS, LTD.

PAULTON (SOMERSET) AND LONDON

INTRODUCTORY NOTE
THE FATE of
Socrates is one of the principal themes in the history of the western mind. Whatever might be the paths of philosophical reflection from the year 399 B.C., they must lead back sooner or later to that enigmatic figure which so deeply touches all who come in contact with it. Socrates is not a systematic philosopher, yet he tells us more about the meaning of philosophy than many systematic writings. He is inimitable, yet he has had a deeper influence on men's minds than most others who have taught a way of life. There is in his fate, which is so completely the result of a given situation and so intimately bound up with his personal idiosyncrasy, a typical
significance

which scarcely any other historical figure possesses. personality admits of what is called contact in such a degree. This requires a character which is not simply equivalent with greatness of mind or human lovableness. A man may have admirable qualities, but of such a kind that they raise a barrier between him and those who would approach him. Another has the greatest influence, but only through his achievements, while he himself, personally, remains in the background. Again there are characters which captivate people, but are of no significance beyond that. "Contact" means the meeting with an historical figure which is unmistakably

Not every

itself

but yet represents something universally...

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