Phaedo HTML version

During the voyage of the sacred ship to and from Delos,
which has occupied thirty days, the execution of Socrates
has been deferred. (Compare Xen. Mem.) The time has been
passed by him in conversation with a select company of dis-
ciples. But now the holy season is over, and the disciples
meet earlier than usual in order that they may converse with
Socrates for the last time. Those who were present, and those
who might have been expected to be present, are mentioned
by name. There are Simmias and Cebes (Crito), two dis-
ciples of Philolaus whom Socrates ‘by his enchantments has
attracted from Thebes’ (Mem.), Crito the aged friend, the
attendant of the prison, who is as good as a friend—these
take part in the conversation. There are present also,
Hermogenes, from whom Xenophon derived his informa-
tion about the trial of Socrates (Mem.), the ‘madman’
Apollodorus (Symp.), Euclid and Terpsion from Megara
(compare Theaet.), Ctesippus, Antisthenes, Menexenus, and
some other less-known members of the Socratic circle, all of
whom are silent auditors. Aristippus, Cleombrotus, and Plato
are noted as absent. Almost as soon as the friends of Socrates
enter the prison Xanthippe and her children are sent home
Translated by Benjamin Jowett
AFTER AN INTERVAL of some months or years, and at Phlius, a
town of Peloponnesus, the tale of the last hours of Socrates is
narrated to Echecrates and other Phliasians by Phaedo the ‘be-
loved disciple.’ The Dialogue necessarily takes the form of a
narrative, because Socrates has to be described acting as well as
speaking. The minutest particulars of the event are interesting
to distant friends, and the narrator has an equal interest in them.