The Death of Socrates

04:34
08/03/2015
Michael Levy

Story

Track 7, "The Ancient Greek Tortoise Shell Lyre" - an improvisation in the intensely mournful ancient Greek Hypodorian Mode...

“The trial and execution of Socrates took place in 399 BC. Socrates was tried on two charges: corrupting the youth and impiety (in Greek, asebeia). More specifically, Socrates' accusers cited two "impious" acts: "failing to acknowledge the gods that the city acknowledges" and "introducing new deities". Socrates' death was the result of his asking philosophical questions. A majority of the dikasts (Athenian citizens chosen by lot to serve as jurors) voted to convict him. Consistent with common practice, the dikasts determined Socrates’ punishment with another vote. Socrates was ultimately sentenced to death by drinking a hemlock-based liquid” ( “Trial of Socrates” - Wikipedia)

The death of Socrates was a horrific event in which Socrates was charged of impiety and corrupting the youth. His friend asked the Oracle who was the wisest man in the world. The Oracle replied, "Socrates". When news of this returned to Socrates, he rejected it, asserting that he indeed knew nothing and because of this, there was no way he could have been the wisest man in the world. He began to indiscriminately search for individuals who knew something and as he questioned them about their knowledge, he found that their beliefs to be unfounded and rooted in the way they individually see the world, focused on the results and missing the foundational details.

This irritated some officials in which he publicly discredited and they charged him. At the trial he publicly stated his case and by majority vote was found guilty. His punishment was deemed death but Socrates also had friends in high places who arranged an escape plan in exile. But Socrates refuses, declaring that if the city he chose to spend most of his time in desires to punish him even with death, he must comply considering it was the city he invested his life into and has grown to love so much. His love for democracy ended up being his executioner. Thus, Socrates passes as his goblet of hemlock fulfils its intended purpose.

This track attempts to show respect to the world's greatest philosopher who was murdered by the very people he was trying to help. Does this history echo in different situations throughout society?



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