Book Details

Author  Mrs. Eliza Winchell Smith
Publisher  Digital Text Publishing Company
Publication Date   April 26, 2010
Pages  100


Published in Philadelphia in 1872, it is a English translation of the original written by Alphonse de Lamartine. The book contains a section on Homer, followed by a section on Socrates. Also included is a Philosophical poem entitled "The Death of Socrates" A very interesting and informative book that serves as an introduction to Homer and Socrates,their thoughts, philosophies, and ideas. 113 pages

.....The Poem on Socrates, so full of the beautiful imagery of that age of fable, will be precious to the classical scholar, while the clearer light in the mind of Socrates about the gods, and his firm conviction, at that early date, of "a One True and Living God," is deeply interesting to the Theologian.

.....If you ask me why song is a condition of Poetry, I will reply to you, because words sung are more beautiful and more expressive than words merely spoken; but, if you go further, and ask why words sung are more impressive than words spoken, I shall reply that I do not know, and that it will be necessary to inquire of Him who made the senses, and the ear of man more voluptuously impressed by cadence, by rhythm, by measure, by melody of sounds and words, than by inharmonious sounds and words thrown together by hazard. I will reply to you, that rhythm and harmony are two mysterious laws of nature, which constitute the sovereign beauty or order in speech. ------Homer

.....It was not the philosophy of Socrates alone that was his real crime; it was his political creed. They accused him of impiety towards the divinities of the country, only to mask under a sacred pretext the hatred they had for him for another cause. The republic of Athens was divided perpetually into two parties. The friends of a wise liberty, having for limit and guarantee just laws, and the most pure and virtuous citizens of the republic for magistrates, composed the first of these parties; anarchists, radicals, demagogues, sycophants, composed the second. This was the party which stirred Athens up continually. Socrates abhorred it. He disguised neither his contempt for an ignorant and turbulent demagogue, nor his indignation against the corruption of the republic. He said loudly, that the head ought to govern the members of the state, as in the human body; that intelligence, morality, virtue, were indispensable conditions for the admission of citizens into public assemblies, and into the government of the republic; that to draw the magistrates by lot was to deliver the republic to chance; it was necessary to decide upon them with great discernment, and after proofs and pledges of their probity and their capacity. ---- Socrates

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