Show Summary Details

p. 42.locked


  • C. C. W. Taylor


Socrates was seen by contemporaries as an arguer and questioner, challenging people's pretensions to expertise and revealing inconsistencies in their beliefs. Many considered him a religious deviant and subverter of traditional religion and morality. In 400 or 399 he was accused of not recognising the gods of the city, introducing new gods and corrupting the young — a charge which probably had a political dimension. He was sentenced to death. Plato and Xenophon both give accounts of the trial but it is impossible to reconstruct Socrates' actual defence speeches since each writer presents the defence in a form determined by his own particular agenda.

Access to the complete content on Very Short Introductions online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.