Conversations of Socrates
SOCRATES' DEFENCE; MEMOIRS OF SOCRATES; THE DINNER-PARTY; THE ESTATE MANAGER
‘He seemed to me to be the perfect example of goodness and happiness’
After the execution of Socrates in 399 BC, a number of his followers wrote dialogues featuring him as the protagonist and, in so doing, transformed the great philosopher into a legendary figure. Xenophon’s portrait is the only one other than Plato’s to survive, and while it offers a very personal interpretation of Socratic thought, it also reveals much about the man and his philosophical views. In ‘Socrates’ Defence’ Xenophon defends his mentor against charges of arrogance made at his trial, while the ‘Memoirs of Socrates’ also starts with an impassioned plea for the rehabilitation of a wronged reputation. Along with ‘The Estate-Manager’, a practical economic treatise, and ‘The Dinner-Party’, a sparkling exploration of love, Xenophon’s dialogues offer fascinating insights into the Socratic world and into the intellectual atmosphere and daily life of ancient Greece.
Xenophon’s complete Socratic works are translated in this volume. In his introduction, Robin Waterfield illuminates the significance of these four books, showing how perfectly they embody the founding principles of Socratic thought.