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Speech I: Socrates' Defense

(9) Socrates' Followers

  But I shall be asked, Why do people delight in continually

Jowett's Notes


conversing with you? I have told you already, Athenians, the  
  whole truth about this matter: they like to hear the  
  cross-examination of the pretenders to wisdom; there is  
  amusement in it. Now this duty of cross-examining other men has  

Plato was one of Socrates' followers
The Vatican Exhibit

been imposed upon me by God;  
  and has been signified to me by  
  oracles, visions, and in every way in  
  which the will of divine power was  
  ever intimated to any one. This is  
  true, O Athenians; or, if not true,  
  would be soon refuted. If I am or  
  have been corrupting the youth,  Bar212.GIF (75 bytes)  


those of them who are now grown up and become sensible that  
  I gave them bad advice in the days of their youth should come  
  forward as accusers, and take their revenge; or if they do not  
  like to come themselves, some of their relatives, fathers, brothers,  
  or other kinsmen, should say what evil their families have suffered  
  at my hands. Now is their time. Many of them I see in the court.  The parents and kinsmen of those whom he is supposed to have corrupted do not come forward and testify against him.


There is Crito, who is of the same age and of the same deme with
  myself, and there is Critobulus his son, whom I also see. Then
  again there is Lysanias of Sphettus, who is the father of
  Aeschines - he is present; and also there is Antiphon of  
  Cephisus, who is the father of Epigenes; and there are the  
  brothers of several who have associated with me. There is  
  Nicostratus the son of Theosdotides,and the brother of  
  Theodotus (now Theodotus himself is dead, and therefore he, at  
  any rate, will not seek to stop him); and there is Paralus the son  
  of Demodocus, who had a brother Theages; and Adeimantus the  


son of Ariston, whose brother Plato is present: and  
  pla_2_stx.JPG (16070 bytes)

Ruins of Plato's Academy
Photo: Steven S. Tigner

Aeantodorus, who is the brother  
  of Apollodorus, whom I also  
  see. I might mention a great many  
  others, some of whom Meletus  
  should have produced as witnesses  
  in the course of his speech; and let  
  him still produce them, if he has  
  forgotten - I will make way for him.  Bar212.GIF (75 bytes)  
  And let him say, if he has any testimony of the sort which he can  
  produce. Nay, Athenians, the very opposite is the truth. For all  
  these are ready to witness on behalf of the corrupter, of the  
  injurer of their kindred, as Meletus and Anytus call me; not the  


corrupted youth only - there might have been a motive for that  
  - but their uncorrupted elder relatives. Why should they too  
  support me with their testimony? Why, indeed, except for the  
  sake of truth and justice, and because they know that I am  
  speaking the truth, and that Meletus is a liar.  
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