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Speech II: Sentencing

(11) What Socrates Really Deserves

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There are many reasons why I am not grieved, O men of

Jowett's Notes


Athens, at the vote of condemnation. I expected it, and am  
only surprised that the votes are so nearly equal; for I had  
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Juror Ballots: Top (guilty) and Bottom (acquittal)
Artist: Ru Dien-Jen

thought that the majority  
against me would have  
been far larger; but now,  
had thirty votes gone over  
to the other side, I should  
have been acquitted. And  
I may say, I think, that I  
have escaped Meletus.  
I may say more; for  
without the assistance  
of Anytus and Lycon, any one may see that he would  
not have had a fifth part of the votes, as the law  
36b requires, in which case he would have incurred a fine of a  
thousand drachmae.  

And so he proposes death as the penalty. And what shall I  
propose on my part, O men of Athens? Clearly that which is  
my due. And what is my due? What return shall be made to  
the man who has never had the wit to be idle during his whole  
life; but has been careless of what the many care for - wealth,  
36c and family interests, and military offices, and speaking in the  
assembly, and magistrates, and plots, and parties. Reflecting Socrates all his life long has been seeking to do the greatest good to the Athenians.
that I was really too honest a man to be a politician and live, I
did not go where I would do no good to you or to myself; but
where I would do the greatest good privately to every one of  
you, thither I went, and sought to persuade every man among  
you that he must look to himself, and seek virtue and wisdom  
before he looks to his private interests, and look to the state  
before he looks to the interests of the state; and that this  
should be the order which he observes in all his actions. What  
shall be done to such an one? Doubtless some good thing, O Should he not be rewarded with maintenance in the Prytaneum?
36d men of Athens, if he has his reward; and the good should be of
a kind suitable to him. What would be a reward suitable to a  
poor man who is your benefactor, and who desires leisure that  
he may instruct you? There can be no reward so fitting as  
maintenance in the Prytaneum, O men of Athens, a reward  
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Olympic Archway
Source: Corel Photo Stock (Used with Permission)

which he deserves far more  
than the citizen who has won  
the prize at Olympia in the  
horse or chariot race, whether   
the chariots were drawn by   
36e two horses or by many. For  
I am in want, and he has  
enough; and he only gives  
you the appearance of happiness, and I give you the reality.  
And if I am to estimate the penalty fairly, I should say that  
37a maintenance in the Prytaneum is the just return.