The Trial of Socrates Author:I.F. Stone Amazon link: — http://www.amazon.com/Trial-Socrates-I-F-Stone/dp/B000NX3KR4/ref=sr_1_6/102-7920716-0162521?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181773748&sr=8-6 — Same as: — http://www.amazon.com/Trial-Socrates-I-F-Stone/dp/0385260326/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-7920716-0162521?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1181773748&sr=8-1 — In a feat of investigative journalism and classical scho... more »larship, a veteran Washington correspondent has gone back almost twenty-five hundred years to throw fresh light on the most famous free speech case of all time-- the trial of Socrates.
In more than a decade of study, during which I.F. Stone taught himself ancient Greek in order to grapple with the basic sources in the original, Stone has brought to light much that the apologies of Plato and Xenophon do not tell us, or leave in the shadows.
The book shows how profound were the differences between democratic Athens and the philosopher whose martyrdom has made him--thanks to Plato's genius-- a secular saint of Western civilization.
Stone brings new insights to bear on certain agonizing questions, the most important being: How could Athens, the first citadel of free speech in human history, come to violate its own basic principles by condemning a philosopher to death because of his nonconformist teachings?
This book tries to unravel some of the mysteries behind the trial. It helps us to understand why Athens waited until Socrates was seventy before bringing him to trial, why he did his best to antagonize his judges, how narrow was the vote for his conviction, and how easily he might have won acquittal.
In filling out the whole story, Stone ranges far and wide over Roman as well as Greek civilization, and his account becomes an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity. The book has the fascination of a detective story and the emotional impact of a tragedy. It is written not as a debunking operation but with reverence for the past, love of Athens, and grief over the indelible blot on history's first democratic society.« less