Socrates Apology

  • Socrates Apology

  • Socrates' Defense

  • Socrates

    How you have felt, O men of Athens, at hearing the speeches of my accusers, I cannot tell;

    Profile Picture of Socrates in Socrates Apology
  • but I know that their persuasive words almost made me forget who I was - such was the effect of them;

  • and yet they have hardly spoken a word of truth.

  • Socrates

    But many as their falsehoods were, there was one of them which quite amazed me;

    Profile Picture of Socrates in Socrates Apology
  • - I mean when they told you to be upon your guard, and not to let yourselves be deceived by the force of my eloquence.

  • They ought to have been ashamed of saying this, because they were sure to be detected as soon as I opened my lips and displayed my deficiency;

  • they certainly did appear to be most shameless in saying this, unless by the force of eloquence they mean the force of truth;

  • for then I do indeed admit that I am eloquent.

  • But in how different a way from theirs!

  • Socrates

    Well, as I was saying, they have hardly uttered a word, or not more than a word, of truth;

    Profile Picture of Socrates in Socrates Apology
  • but you shall hear from me the whole truth:

  • not, however, delivered after their manner, in a set oration duly ornamented with words and phrases.

  • No indeed!

  • but I shall use the words and arguments which occur to me at the moment;

  • for I am certain that this is right, and that at my time of life I ought not to be appearing before you, O men of Athens, in the character of a juvenile orator - let no one expect this of me.

  • Socrates

    And I must beg of you to grant me one favor, which is this - If you hear me using the same words in my defence which I have been in the habit of using, and which most of you may have heard in the agora,

    Profile Picture of Socrates in Socrates Apology
  • and at the tables of the money-changers, or anywhere else, I would ask you not to be surprised at this, and not to interrupt me.

  • For I am more than seventy years of age, and this is the first time that I have ever appeared in a court of law, and I am quite a stranger to the ways of the place;