Xenophon of Athens, Apology

LCL 168: 668-669

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1. Σωκράτους δὲ ἄξιόν μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι μεμνῆσθαι καὶ ὡς ἐπειδὴ ἐκλήθη εἰς τὴν δίκην ἐβουλεύσατο περί τε τῆς ἀπολογίας καὶ τῆς τελευτῆς τοῦ βίου. γεγράφασι μὲν οὖν περὶ τούτου καὶ ἄλλοι καὶ πάντες ἔτυχον τῆς μεγαληγορίας αὐτοῦ· ᾧ καὶ δῆλον ὅτι τῷ ὄντι οὕτως ἐρρήθη ὑπὸ Σωκράτους. ἀλλ᾿ ὅτι ἤδη ἑαυτῷ ἡγεῖτο αἱρετώτερον εἶναι τοῦ βίου θάνατον, τοῦτο οὐ διεσαφήνισαν· ὥστε ἀφρονεστέρα αὐτοῦ φαίνεται εἶναι ἡ μεγαληγορία. 2Ἑρμογένης μέντοι ὁ Ἱππονίκου ἑταῖρός τε ἦν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐξήγγειλε περὶ αὐτοῦ τοιαῦτα ὥστε πρέπουσαν φαίνεσθαι τὴν μεγαληγορίαν αὐτοῦ τῇ διανοίᾳ. ἐκεῖνος γὰρ ἔφη ὁρῶν αὐτὸν περὶ πάντων μᾶλλον διαλεγόμενον ἢ περὶ τῆς δίκης εἰπεῖν, Οὐκ ἐχρῆν μέντοι σκοπεῖν, ὦ Σώκρατες, καὶ ὅ τι ἀπολογήσῃ; 3τὸν δὲ τὸ μὲν πρῶτον ἀποκρίνασθαι, Οὐ γὰρ δοκῶ σοι ἀπολογεῖσθαι μελετῶν διαβεβιωκέναι; ἐπεὶ δ᾿ αὐτὸν2 ἐρέσθαι, Πῶς; Ὅτι οὐδὲν ἄδικον διαγεγένημαι




1. I think it worth memorializing also how Socrates, on being summoned to trial, deliberated about his defense and about the end of his life. It is true that others have written about this, and all of them have captured his cockiness—obviously that was the sort of speech Socrates actually made—but what they have not made clear is that he already thought that for him death was preferable to life, so that his cockiness appears rather ill-considered. 2Hermogenes, the son of Hipponicus,1 however, was a companion of his and has divulged such reports as show that the cockiness of his speech suited the decision he had made. For he stated that on seeing Socrates discussing everything but the trial, he asked, “But Socrates, shouldn’t you be giving some thought to what defense you’re going to make?” 3He said that Socrates at first replied, “Why, don’t I seem to you to have spent my whole life practicing my defense?” Then when he asked, “How so?” Socrates said, “Because I’ve lived a life without wrongdoing, and

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.xenophon_athens-apology_2013.2013