Apology (Plato)

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The Apology (Greek Άπολογία Σωκράτους) is an early dialogue by Plato, which recounts Socrates' defense speech in front of the Athenian assembly. Having been put on trial for impiety and corrupting the young, Socrates refuses to take the charges seriously, instead attempting to convince the court that his style of questioning/teaching is a divine duty. This tactic fails, and Socrates is sentenced to death.


  • "For let me tell you, gentlemen, that to be afraid of death is only another form of thinking one is wise when one is not; it is to think one knows what one does not know." (29a)
  • "You have brought about my death in the belief that through it you will be delivered from submitting the conduct of your lives to criticism; but I say that the result will be just the opposite. You will have more critics, whom up till now I have restrained without your knowing it." (39c)


  • Plato, The Last Days of Socrates: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, translated by Hugh Tredennick and Harold Tarrant (London: Penguin Books, 1954, 1993).