|Publisher||W. W. Norton & Company|
|Publication Date||June 8, 2009|
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A revisionist account of the most famous trial and execution in Western civilization―one with great resonance for American society today.Socrates’ trial and death together form an iconic moment in Western civilization. In 399 BCE, the great philosopher stood before an Athenian jury on serious charges: impiety and “subverting the young men of the city.” The picture we have of it―created by his immediate followers, Plato and Xenophon, and perpetuated in countless works of literature and art ever since―is of a noble man putting his lips to the poisonous cup of hemlock, sentenced to death in a fit of folly by an ancient Athenian democracy already fighting for its own life. But an icon, an image, is not reality, and time has transmuted so many of the facts into historical fable.