================================================== Aristophanes is the only "old accuser" specifically referred to by Socrates. While a young man, and just after the Athenian retreat from Delium during the Peloponnesian War, he authored The Clouds. Many scholars see it as a means of addressing, on the comic stage, the social tensions existing in Athens at the time, particularly the irritants and frustrations of a state not doing well in a war. In it Socrates is portrayed, in a very uncomplimentary way, as both Sophist and nature philosopher. Both Xenophon and Plato are adamant about this portrayal being false, and we have no reason to doubt them. In all probability, many Athenians mistook the artistic expressions in The Clouds for a documentary, all to the disadvantage of Socrates years later.

Socrates (in the basket) being ridiculed in The Clouds
Photo: Steven S. Tigner