As the death of Socrates is one of the most considerable events of antiquity, I think it incumbent on me to treat that subject with all the extent it deserves. With this view I shall go somewhat back, in order to give the reader a just idea of this Prince of Philosophers. Two authors will supply me principally with what I have to say upon the subject: Plato and Xenophon, both disciples of Socrates. It is to them that posterity is indebted for many of his discourses (as that philosopher left nothing in writing21), and for an ample account of all the circumstances of his condemnation and death. Plato was an eye-witness of the whole, and relates, in his A pology, the manner of Socrates accusation and defence; in his Crito, his refusal to make his escape out of prison ;in his Phaedon, his admirable discourse upon the immortality of the soul, which was immediately followed by his death. Xenophon was absent at that time, and upon his return to his native country, after the expedition of the younger Cyrus against his brother A rtaxerxes: so that he wrote his Apology of Socrates only aS ocrates, cujus iiigeniuui variosque sermones immortalitati scriptis suis Plato tradidit, literam iiullain reliquit. Cic. de Orat. I. iii. n. 57. VOL. IV. (Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
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