Plato - Phaedo - 360 BC PHAEDO by Plato translated by...

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360 BC PHAEDO by Plato translated by Benjamin Jowett PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE PHAEDO, who is the narrator of the dialogue to ECHECRATES of Phlius SOCRATES APOLLODORUS SIMMIAS CEBES CRITO ATTENDANT OF THE PRISON PHAEDO SCENE: The Prison of Socrates PLACE OF THE NARRATION: Phlius Echecrates. Were you yourself, Phaedo, in the prison with Socrates on the day when he drank the poison? Phaedo. Yes, Echecrates, I was. Ech. I wish that you would tell me about his death. What did he say in his last hours? We were informed that he died by taking poison, but no one knew anything more; for no Phliasian ever goes to Athens now, and a long time has elapsed since any Athenian found his way to Phlius, and therefore we had no clear account. Phaed. Did you not hear of the proceedings at the trial? Ech. Yes; someone told us about the trial, and we could not understand why, having been condemned, he was put to death, as appeared, not at the time, but long afterwards. What was the reason of this? Phaed. An accident, Echecrates. The reason was that the stern of the ship which the Athenians send to Delos happened to have been crowned on the day before he was tried. Ech. What is this ship? Phaed. This is the ship in which, as the Athenians say, Theseus went to Crete when he took with him the fourteen youths, and was the saviour of them and of himself. And they were said to have vowed to Apollo at the time, that if they were saved they would make an annual pilgrimage to Delos. Now this custom still continues, and the whole period of the voyage to and from Delos, beginning when the priest of Apollo crowns the stern of the ship, is a holy season, during which the city is not allowed to be polluted by public executions; and often, when the vessel is detained by adverse winds, there may be a very considerable delay. As I was saying, the ship was crowned on the day before the trial, and this was the reason why Socrates lay in prison and was not put to death until long after he was condemned. Ech. What was the manner of his death, Phaedo? What was said or done? And which of his friends had he with him? Or were they not allowed by the authorities to be present? And did he die alone? Phaed. No; there were several of his friends with him. Ech. If you have nothing to do, I wish that you would tell me what passed, as exactly as you can. Phaed. I have nothing to do, and will try to gratify your wish. For to me, too, there is no greater pleasure than to have Socrates brought to my recollection, whether I speak myself or hear another speak of him. Ech. You will have listeners who are of the same mind with you, and I hope that you will be as exact as you can. Phaed. I remember the strange feeling which came over me at being with him. For I could hardly believe that I was present at the death of a friend, and therefore I did not pity him, Echecrates; his mien and his language were so noble and fearless in the hour of death that to me he appeared blessed. I thought that in going to the other
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Plato - Phaedo - 360 BC PHAEDO by Plato translated by...

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