Justified Before the Princes of the World Below


Earlier, in the Apology, Socrates suggests that death is either complete nothingness (like a night of slumber without any dreams) or that there is an afterlife in which he will be able to dialogue with the greatest individuals from Greek history. Given his love of conversation, it is no surprise that he prefers the second alternative. What could be better than "shooting the bull" with the likes of Homer and Achilles ad infinitum! Because Hades represents judgment by a higher court, so to speak, it is vital to Socrates that he arrive there having accepted the judgment of the "lower" (i.e. earthly) court.