Written 360 B.C.E
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
Persons of the Dialogue
PHAEDO, who is the narrator of the dialogue to ECHECRATES of Phlius
ATTENDANT OF THE PRISON
The Prison of Socrates.
Then reflect, Cebes: is not the conclusion of the whole matter this?-that the soul is in the
very likeness of the divine, and immortal, and intelligible, and uniform, and indissoluble,
and unchangeable; and the body is in the very likeness of the human, and mortal, and
unintelligible, and multiform, and dissoluble, and changeable. Can this, my dear Cebes,
But if this is true, then is not the body liable to speedy dissolution?
and is not the soul almost or altogether indissoluble?
And do you further observe, that after a man is dead, the body, which is the visible part of
man, and has a visible framework, which is called a corpse, and which would naturally be
dissolved and decomposed and dissipated, is not dissolved or decomposed at once, but
may remain for a good while, if the constitution be sound at the time of death, and the
season of the year favorable? For the body when shrunk and embalmed, as is the custom
in Egypt, may remain almost entire through infinite ages; and even in decay, still there
are some portions, such as the bones and ligaments, which are practically indestructible.
You allow that?
And are we to suppose that the soul, which is invisible, in passing to the true Hades,
which like her is invisible, and pure, and noble, and on her way to the good and wise
God, whither, if God will, my soul is also soon to go-that the soul, I repeat, if this be her
nature and origin, is blown away and perishes immediately on quitting the body as the
many say? That can never be, dear Simmias and Cebes. The truth rather is that the soul