Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Homer, and Socrates in Plato’s Cratylus, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo

Crito visited Socrates in prison, alarmed that the sacred ship on its return from Delos was to arrive ‘on the coming day’ (tȇs epiousȇs hȇmeras, Crito 44a5), which meant that Socrates would be put to death the next day. Socrates told him that it would not be the next day, but the day after that: ‘This I infer from a vision which I had last night (tekmairomai de ek tinos enupniou ho heȏraka oligon proteron tautȇs tȇs nuktos) … There appeared to me the likeness of a woman, fair and comely (Edokei tis moi gunȇ proselthousa kalȇ kai eueidȇs), clothed in bright raiment (leuka himatia echousa), who called to me and said (kalesai me kai eipein): “O Socrates (Ȏ Sȏkrates), ‘The third day hence to fertile Phthia shalt thou come’ (ȇmati ken tritatȏi Phthiȇn eribȏlon hikoio)” … There can be no doubt about the meaning, Crito, I think.’ (Crito 44a6-b4, tr. B. Jowett) The verse quoted by the woman in the dream recalls the words spoken by Achilles in Book IX of the Iliad. Insulted by Agamemnon, Achilles tells Odysseus that next morning he will see him and his ships leaving Troy: ‘The third day hence I shall reach the fertile Phthia’ (ȇmati ke tritatȏi Phthiȇn eribȏlon hikoimȇn, Il. IX, 363). Phthia in south Thesally was Achilleus’ home; Socrates viewed his forthcoming death as his coming home.

Socrates’ dream shows how deeply steeped he was in Homer, yet at the same time, how profoundly he differed from Homer in his view of the afterlife. In Book XI of the Odyssey, on his visit to the underworld Odysseus hailed the soul of Achilles: ‘Achilles, the most fortunate man that ever was or will be (seio d’ Achilleu, ou tis anȇr proparoithe makartatos out’ ar’ opissȏ)! For in the old days when you were on earth, we Argives honoured you as if you were a god (prin men gar se zȏon etiomen isa theoisin Argeioi); and now, down here, you are a mighty prince among the dead (nun aute mega krateeis nekuessin enthad’ eȏn). For you, Achilles, Death should have lost its sting (tȏi mȇ ti thanȏn akachizeu, Achilleu).’ The soul of Achilles replied: ‘My lord Odysseus, spare me your praise of death (mȇ dȇ moi thanaton parauda, phaidim’ Odusseu). Put me on earth again, and I would rather be a serf (bouloimȇn k’ eparouros eȏn thȇteuemen allȏi) in the house of some landless man (andri par’ aklȇrȏi), with little enough for himself to live on (hȏi mȇ biotos polus eiȇ), than king of all these dead men that have done with life (ȇ pasin nekuessi kataphthimenoisin anassein).’ (Od. XI, 482-491, tr. E. V. Rieu)

In Book X of the Odyssey Odysseus narrates that Circe told him that before he can sail home he must go ‘to the Halls of Hades and Persephone the Dread (eis Aїdao domous kai epainȇs Persephoneiȇs), to consult the soul of Teiresias (psuchȇi chrȇsomenos Thȇbaiou Teiresiao), the blind Theban prophet (mantȇos alaou), whose understanding even the death has not impaired (tou te phrenes empedoi eisi). For dead though he is (tȏi kai tethnȇȏti), Persephone has left to him, and him alone, a mind to reason with (noon pore Persephoneia oiȏi pepnusthai). The rest are mere shadows flitting to and fro (toi de skiai aїssousi)’. His reaction was as follows: ‘This news broke my heart (autar emoi kateklasthȇ philon ȇtor). I set down on the bed and wept (klaion d’ en lecheessi kathȇmenos) I had no further use for life, no wish to see the sunshine any more (oude nu moi kȇr ȇthel’ eti zȏein kai horan phaos ȇelioio).’ (Od. X, 491-8, tr. E. V. Rieu)

On entering the realm of the dead, Odysseus was filled with dread: ‘Panic drained the blood from my cheeks’ (eme de chlȏron deos hȇirei, XI, 43, tr. Rieu). He saw the soul of his mother, she did not seem to recognize him. Teiresias told him that he must let her drink the blood of the sacrificial victims: ‘Any ghost to whom you give access to the blood (hon tina men ken eais nekuȏn katatethnȇȏtȏn haimatos asson imen) will hold rational speech with you (ho de toi nȇmertes enipsei, 147-8, tr. Rieu).’ After having her drink of blood, his mother spoke to him: ‘As my mother spoke (Hȏs ephat’), there came to me out of the confusion in my heart the one desire (autar egȏ g’ ethelon phresi mermȇrixas), to embrace her spirit (mȇtros emȇs psuchȇn heleein), dead though she was (katatethnȇuȇs). Thrice, in my eagerness to clasp her to me, I started forward with my hands outstretched (tris men ephormȇthȇn, heleein te me thumos anȏgei). Thrice, like a shadow or a dream, she slipped through my arms (tris de moi ek cheirȏn skiȇi ikelon ȇ kai oneirȏi eptat’) and left me harrowed by an even sharper pain (emoi d’ achos oxu genesketo kȇrothi mallon). “Mother,” I cried in my despair (kai min phȏnesas epea pteroenta prosȇudȏn. “Mȇter emȇ), “why do you avoid me when I try to reach you (ti nu m’ ou mimneis heleein memaȏta), so that even in Hell (ophra kai ein Aїdao) we may throw our loving arms around each other’s neck (philas peri cheire balonte) and draw cold comfort from our tears (amphoterȏ krueroio tetarpȏmestha gooio)? Or is this a mere phantom that grim Persephone has sent me (ȇ ti moi eidȏlon tod’ agauȇ Persephoneia otrun’) to accentuate my grief (ophr’ eti mallon oduromenos stenachizȏ)?” – “My child, my child!” came the reply (Hȏs ephamȇn, hȇ d’ autik’ ameibeto potnia mȇtȇr: “ȏ moi, teknon emon). “What man on earth has more to bear than you (peri pantȏn kammore phȏtȏn)? This is no trick played on you by Persephone, Daughter of Zeus (ou ti se Persephoneia Dios thugatȇr apaphiskei). You are only witnessing here the law of our mortal nature (all’ hautȇ dikȇ esti brotȏn), when we come to die (hote tis ke thanȇisi). We no longer have sinews keeping the bones and flesh together (ou gar eti sarkas te kai ostea ines echousin), but once the life-force has departed from our white bones, all is consumed by the fierce heat of the blazing fire (alla ta men te puros krateron menos aithomenoio damnat’, epei ke prȏta lipȇi leuk’ ostea thumos), and the soul slips away like a dream and flutters on the air (psuchȇ d’ ȇüt’ oneiros apoptamenȇ pepotȇtai). But you must hasten back now to the light of day (alla phoȏsde tachista lilaieo). And bear in mind all you have learnt here (tauta de panta isth’), so that one day you can tell your wife (hina kai metopisthe teȇi eipȇistha gunaiki).” Such was the talk that we two had together (Nȏї men hȏs epeesin ameibometh’).’ (204-225, tre. Rieu)

Plato’s Cratylus, Apology, Crito, and Phaedo are all dramatically dated after Meletus had formally indicted Socrates. The views of afterlife, which Socrates expresses in these dialogues, profoundly differ from Homer’s views on this subject.

In the Cratylus Socrates begins his etymological analysis of Hades by considering the two very different names given to him, as he explains to Hermogenes: ‘Pluto gives wealth, which comes out of the earth beneath (to de Ploutȏnos, touto men kata tȇn tou ploutou dosin, hoti ek tȇs gȇs katȏthen anietai ho ploutos, epȏnomasthȇ). People in general appear to imagine that the term Hades is connected with the invisible (ho de ‘Haidȇs’, hoi polloi men moi dokousin hupolambanein to aїdes proseirȇsthai tȏi onomati toutȏi); and since they fear this name (kai phoboumenoi to onoma), they call the god Pluto instead (‘Ploutȏna’ kalousi auton).’ (Pl. Crat. 403a3-8, tr. B. Jowett)

The view adopted by ‘people in general’ (hoi polloi) concerning Hades is Homer’s view, for whom Hades is Aїdȇs (Invisible): ‘find your way to the Halls of Hades’ (hikesthai eis Aїdao domous, Hom. Od. X. 490-491). With the view derived from the name of Haidȇs Socrates challenged the Homeric view: ‘And the name, the Hades (Kai to ge onoma ho “Haidȇs”), is not derived from ‘invisible’, far from it (pollou dei apo tou aїdous epȏnomasthai), but much rather from ‘knowing’ all noble things’ (alla polu mallon apo tou panta ta kala eidenai [i.e. Haeidȇs > Haidȇs], 404b1-3).

Socrates in the Cratylus: ‘But my belief is that all is quite consistent, and that the office and the name of the god really correspond (ta d’ emoi dokei panta es t’auton ti sunteinein, kai hȇ archȇ tou theou kai to onoma).’ – Hermogenes: ‘Why, why is that (Pȏs dȇ)?’ – Socrates: ‘I will tell you (egȏ soi erȏ) my own opinion (ha ge moi phainetai); but first, I should like to ask you which chain does any animal feel to be the stronger? and which confines him more to the same spot, desire or necessity (eipe gar moi, desmos zȏiȏi hotȏioun hȏste menein hopououn, poteros ischuroteros estin, anankȇ ȇ epithumia)? – Hermogenes: ‘Desire, Socrates, is stronger far (Polu diapherei, ȏ Sȏkrates, hȇ epithumia).’ – Socrates: ‘And do you not think that many a one would escape from Hades (Oiei oun ton Haidȇn ouk an pollous ekpheugein), if he did not bind those who depart to him by the strongest of chains (ei mȇ tȏi ischurotatȏi desmȏi edei tous ekeise iontas) … And if by the strongest of chains, then by some desire (Epithumiai ara tini autous, hȏs eoike, dei, eiper tȏi megistȏi desmȏi dei) … And therefore by the greatest desire (Tȇi megistȇi ara epithumiai tȏn epithumiȏn dei autous), if the chain is to be the greatest (eiper mellei tȏi megistȏi desmȏi katechein) … And is there any desire stronger (Estin oun tis meizȏn epithumia) than the thought that you will be made better by associating with another (ȇ hotan tis tȏi sunȏn oiȇtai di’ ekeinon esesthai ameinȏn anȇr)?’ – Hermogenes: ‘Certainly not (Ma di’ oud’ hopȏstioun, ȏ Sȏkrates).’ – Socrates: ‘And is not that the reason, Hermogenes, why no one, who has been to him, is willing to come back to us (Dia tauta ara phȏmen, ȏ Hermogenes, oudena deuro ethelȇsai apelthein tȏn ekeithen)? Even the Sirens, like the rest of the world, have been laid under his spells (oude autas tas Seirȇnas, alla katakekȇlȇsthai ekeinas te kai tous allous pantas). Such a charm, as I imagine, is the God able to infuse into his words (houtȏ kalous tinas, hȏs eoiken, epistatai logous legein ho Haidȇs). And, according to this view, he is the perfect and accomplished sophist (kai estin, hȏs ek tou logou toutou, ho theos teleos sophistȇs te), and the great benefactor (kai megas euergetȇs) of the inhabitants of the other world (tȏn par autȏi); and even to us who are upon earth he sends from below exceeding blessings (hos ge kai tois enthade tosauta agatha aniȇsin). For he has much more than he wants down there (houtȏ polla autȏi ta perionta ekei estin); wherefore he is called Pluto (kai ton “Ploutȏna” apo toutou esche to onoma). Note also (kai to au), that he will have nothing to do with men while they are in the body (mȇ ethelein suneinai tois anthrȏpois echousi ta sȏmata), but only when the soul is liberated from the desires and evils of the body (alla tote sungignesthai, epeidan hȇ psuchȇ kathara ȇi pantȏn tȏn peri to sȏma kakȏn kai epithumiȏn). Do you not think that this marks him as a philosopher, who is well aware that in their liberated state he can bind them with the desire of virtue (ou philosophou dokei soi einai kai eu entethumȇmenou hoti houtȏ men an katechoi autous dȇsas tȇi peri aretȇn epithumiai), but while they are flustered and maddened by the body (echontas de tȇn tou sȏmatos ptoiȇsin kai manian), not even his father Cronos himself would suffice (oud’ an ho Kronos dunaito ho patȇr) to keep them with him (sunkatechein hautȏi) in his far-famed chains (en tois desmois dȇsas tois autou legomenois).’ (Pl.Crat. 403b7-404a6, tr. Jowett)

Found guilty, Socrates was to propose a punishment he would consider appropriate. He declared: ‘As I am convinced that I never wronged another (pepeismenos dȇ egȏ mȇdena adikein), I will assuredly not wrong myself (pollou deȏ emauton ge adikȇsein). I will not say of myself (kai kat’ emautou erein autos) that I deserve any evil (hȏs axios eimi tou kakou) or propose any penalty (kai timȇsesthai toioutou tinos emautȏi) … Why should I (ti deisas – ‘afraid of what’)? Because I am afraid of the penalty of death which Meletus proposes (ȇ mȇ pathȏ touto hou Melȇtos moi timatai)? When I do not know whether death is a good or an evil (ho phȇmi ouk eidenai out’ ei agathon out’ ei kakon estin), why should I propose a penalty which would certainly be an evil (anti toutou dȇ helȏmai hȏn eu oida ti kakȏn ontȏn toutou timȇsamenos).’ (Pl. Ap. 37b2-8, tr. B. Jowett)

Socrates does not know whether death is a good or an evil, but this does not stand in the way of his firm conviction that death is a good for him. Sentenced to death, Socrates had time to say a few words to those who found him not guilty: ‘There is great reason to hope that death is a good (pollȇ elpis estin agathon auto einai); for one of two things (duoin gar thateron estin to tethnanai) – either death is a state of nothingness and utter unconsciousness (ȇ gar hoion mȇden einai mȇde aisthȇsin mȇdemian mȇdenos echein ton tethneȏta), or, as men say (ȇ kata ta legomena), there is a change and migration of the soul from this world to another (metabolȇ tis tunchanei ousa kai metoikȇsis tȇi psuchȇi tou topou tou enthende eis allon topon). Now if you suppose that there is no consciousness (kai eite dȇ mȇdemia aisthȇsis estin), but a sleep like the sleep of him who is undisturbed even by dreams (all’ hoion hupnos epeidan tis katheudȏn mȇd’ onar mȇden horai), death will be an unspeakable gain (thaumasion kerdos an eiȇ ho thanatos) (40c4-d2) … But if death is the journey to another place (ei d’ au hoion apodȇmȇsai estin ho Thanatos enthende eis allon topon), and there, as men say, all the dead abide (kai alȇthȇ estin ta legomena, hȏs ara ekei eisi pantes hoi tethneȏtes), what good, O my friends and judges, can be greater than this (ti meizon agathon toutou eiȇ an, ȏ andres dikastai)? If indeed when the pilgrim arrives in the world below (ei gar tis aphikomenos eis Haidou), he is delivered from our earthly professors of justice (apallageis toutȏni tȏn phaskontȏn dikastȏn einai – ‘delivered from these so called judges’), and finds the true judges (heurȇsei tous hȏs alȇthȏs dikastas) who are said to give judgement there (hoiper kai legontai ekei dikazein), Minos (Minȏs te) and Rhadamantus (kai Radamanthus) and Aeacus (kai Aiakos) and Triptolemus (kai Triptolemos), and other sons of gods who were righteous in their own life (kai alloi hosoi tȏn hȇmitheȏn dikaioi egenonto en tȏi heautȏn biȏi), that pilgrimage will be worth making (ara phaulȇ an eiȇ hȇ apodȇmia;). What would not a man give if he might converse with Orpheus and Musaeus and Hesiod and Homer (ȇ au Orphei sungenesthai kai Mousaiȏi kai Hȇsiodȏi kai Homȇrȏi epi posȏi an tis dexait’ an humȏn)? Nay, if this be true, let me die again and again (egȏ men gar pollakis ethelȏ tethnanai ei taut’ estin alȇthȇ). I myself, too (epei emoige kai autȏi), shall find a wonderful interest (thaumastȇ an eiȇ hȇ diatribȇ autothi) in there meeting and conversing with Palamedes, and Ajax the son of Telamon, and any other ancient hero who has suffered death through an unjust judgement (hopote entuchoimi Palamȇdei kai Aianti tȏi Telamȏnos kai ei tis allos tȏn palaiȏn dia krisin adikon tethnȇken); and there will be no small pleasure, as I think, in comparing my own experience with theirs (antiparaballonti ta emautou pathȇ pros ta ekeinȏn – hȏs  egȏ oimai, ouk an aȇdes eiȇ). Above all (kai dȇ to megiston), I shall then be able to continue my search into the true and false knowledge, as in this world, so also in the next; and I shall find out who is wise, and who pretends to be wise, and is not (tous ekei exetazonta kai ereunȏnta hȏsper tous entautha diagen, tis autȏn sophos estin kai tis oietai men, estin d’ ou). What would not a man give, O judges (epi posȏi d’ an tis, ȏ andres dikastai, dexaito), to be able to examine the leader of the Trojan expedition (exetasai ton epi Troian agagonta tȇn pollȇn stratian); or Odysseus (ȇ Odussea) or Sisyphus (ȇ Sisuphon), or numberless others (ȇ allous murious an tis eipoi), men and women too (kai andras kai gunaikas)! What infinite delight would there be in conversing with them and asking them questions (hois ekei dialegesthai kai suneinai kai exetazein amȇchanon an eiȇ eudaimonias)! In another world they do not put a man to death for asking questions: assuredly not (pantȏs ou dȇpou toutou ge heneka hoi ekei apokteinuousi). For besides being happier than we are (ta te gar alla eudaimonesteroi eisin hoi ekei tȏn enthade), they will be immortal (kai ȇdȇ ton loipon chronon athanatoi eisin), if what is said is true (eiper ge ta legomena alȇthȇ).’ (40e4-41c7, tr. Jowett)

When Crito learnt that the sacred ship on its return from Delos was to arrive ‘on the coming day’, which meant that Socrates would be put to death the next day, he went to prison to persuade Socrates to make up his mind and escape from prison. His arguments were telling: ‘Nor can I think that you are at all justified, Socrates (Eti de, ȏ Sȏkrates, oude dikaion moi dokeis epicheirein pragma), in betraying your own life (sauton prodounai) when you might be saved (exon sȏthȇnai) … you are deserting your own children (kai tous huieis tous sautou emoige dokeis prodidonai); for you might bring them up and educate them (hous soi exon kai ekthrepsai kai ekpaideusai) … No man should bring children into the world who is unwilling to persevere to the end in their nurture and education (ȇ gar ou chrȇ poieisthai paidas ȇ sundiatalaipȏrein kai trephonta kai paideuonta). But you appear to be choosing the easier part (su de moi dokeis ta raithumotata haireisthai), not the better and manlier, which would have been more becoming in one who professes to care for virtue in all his life, like yourself (chrȇ de, haper an anȇr agathos kai andreios heloito, tauta haireisthai, phaskonta ge dȇ aretȇs dia pantos tou biou epimeleisthai).’ (Pl. Cr. 45c5-d8, tr. Jowett)

Socrates replies: ‘Dear Crito (Ȏ phile Kritȏn), your zeal is invaluable (hȇ prothumia sou pollou axia), if a right one (ei meta tinos orthotȇtos eiȇ); but if wrong (ei de mȇ), the greater the zeal (hosȏi meizȏn) the greater the danger (tosoutȏi chalepȏtera); and therefore we ought to consider (skopeisthai oun chrȇ hȇmas) whether I shall or shall not do as you say (eite tauta prakteon eite mȇ). For I am and always have been one of those natures (hȏs egȏ ou nun prȏton alla kai aei  toioutos) who must be guided by reason (hoios tȏn emȏn mȇdeni  allȏi peithesthai ȇ tȏi logȏi), whatever the reason may be which upon reflection appears to me to be the best (hos an moi logizomenȏi beltistos phainȇtai).’ (46b1-6, tr. Jowett)

In the end Socrates gives word to the Laws of Athens, who open their arguments with the words: ‘Tell us (Eipe moi), Socrates (ȏ Sȏkrates), what are you about (ti en nȏi echeis poiein)? are you not going by an act of yours to bring us to ruin – the laws (allo ti ȇ toutȏi tȏi ergȏi hȏi epicheireis dianoȇi tous te nomous hȇmas apolesai), and the whole state, as far as in you lies (kai sumpasan tȇn polin to son meros)? Do you imagine that a state can subsist and not be overthrown (ȇ dokei soi hoion te eti ekeinȇn tȇn polin einai kai mȇ anatetraphthai), in which the decisions of law have no power (en hȇi an hai genomenai dikai mȇden ischuȏsin), but are set aside and trampled upon by individuals (alla hupo idiȏtȏn akuroi te gignȏntai kai diaphtheirȏntai)? (50a8-b5) … Listen, then, Socrates, to us who have brought you up (All’, ȏ Sȏkrates, peithomenos hȇmin tois sois tropheusi). Think not of life and children first (mȇte paidas peri pleionos poiou mȇte to zȇn mȇte allo mȇden), and of justice afterwards, but of justice first (pro tou dikaiou), that you may so vindicate yourself before the princes of the world below (hina eis Haidou elthȏn echȇis panta tauta apologȇsasthai tois ekei archousin). For neither will you nor any that belong to you be happier or holier or juster in this life, or happier in another, if you do as Crito bids (oute gar enthade soi phainetai tauta prattonti ameinon einai oude dikaioteron oude hosiȏteron, oude allȏi tȏn sȏn oudeni, oute ekeise aphikomenȏi ameinon estai). Now you depart, if it must be so, in innocence, a sufferer and not a doer of evil (alla nun men ȇdikȇmenos apei, ean apiȇis); a victim, not of the laws but of men (ouch huph’ hȇmȏn tȏn nomȏn alla hup’ anthrȏpȏn). But if you leave the city, basely returning evil for evil and injury for injury (ean de exelthȇis houtȏs aischrȏs antadikȇsas te kai antikakourgȇsas), breaking the covenants and agreements which you have made with us (tas sautou homologias te kai sunthȇkas tas pros hȇmas parabas), and wrongdoing those whom you ought least of all to wrong (kai kaka ergasamenos toutous hous hȇkista edei), that is to say, yourself, your friends, your country, and us (sauton te kai philous kai patrida kai hȇmas), we shall be angry with you while you live (hȇmeis te soi chalepanoumen zȏnti), and our brethren, the laws in the world below, will give you no friendly welcome (kai ekei hoi hȇmeteroi adelphoi hoi en Haidou nomoi ouk eumenȏs se hupodexontai); for they will know (eidotes) that you have done your best to destroy us (hoti kai hȇmas epecheirȇsas apolesai to son meros). Listen, then, to us and not to Crito (alla mȇ se peisȇi Kritȏn poiein ha legei mallon ȇ hȇmeis).’

I have a problem with Jowett’s ‘the world below’ for Socrates’s Haidou (Ap. 41a1, Cr. 54b4 and c6), for Socrates’ view of the ‘realm of Hades’ was very different from Homer’s view, and there is every reason to believe that when he thought of himself as coming into the Hades’ realm, he didn’t think of himself as coming into the underworld.

The scene of the Phaedo is ‘the Pythagorean sunedrion [‘session’, ‘meeting’, literally ‘sitting together’] at Phlius’, as Burnet points out (Plato’s Phaedo, Oxford University Press, Twelfth impression 1977, ‘Notes’ p. 1). It opens with Echecrates (named as a Pythagorean philosopher in Diog. Laert. VIII. 46) addressing Phaedo: ‘Were you there with Socrates yourself, Phaedo (Autos, ȏ Phaidȏn, paregenou Sȏkratei), on the day (ekeinȇi tȇi hȇmerai) he drank the poison in the prison (hȇi to pharmakon epien en tȏi desmȏtȇriȏi), or did you hear of it from someone else (ȇ allou tou ȇkousas)?’ – Phaedo: ‘I was there myself (Autos), Echecrates (ȏ Echekrates).’ – Echecrates: ‘Then what was it (Ti oun dȇ estin) that he said before his death (hatta eipen ho anȇr pro tou thanatou)? And how did he meet his end (kai pȏs eteleuta)? (57a1-6) … Please do try, then, to give us as definite a report as you can of the whole thing (Tauta dȇ panta prothumȇthȇti hȏs saphestata hȇmin apangeilai), unless you happen to be otherwise engaged (ei mȇ tis soi ascholia tunchanei ousa).’ – Phaedo: ‘No, I am free (Alla scholazȏ ge), and I’ll try to describe it for you (kai peirasomai humin diȇgȇsasthai); indeed it’s always the greatest of pleasures for me to recall Socrates, whether speaking myself or listening to someone else (kai gar to memnȇsthai Sȏkratous kai auton legonta kai allou akouonta emoige aei pantȏn hȇdiston).’ – Echecrates: ‘Well (Alla mȇn), Phaedo (ȏ Phaidȏn), you certainly have an audience of the same mind (kai tous akousomenous ge toioutous heterous echeis): so try (alla peirȏ) to recount everything as minutely as you can (hȏs an dunȇi akribestata diexelthein panta).’ – Phaedo: ‘Very well then. I myself was curiously affected while I was there (Kai mȇn egȏge thaumasia epathon paragenomenos): it wasn’t pity that visited me, as might have been expected for someone present at the death of an intimate friend (oute gar hȏs thanatȏi paronta me andros epitȇdeiou eleos eisȇiei); because the man seemed to me happy (eudaimȏn gar moi hanȇr ephaineto), Echecrates (ȏ Echekrates), both in his manner (kai tou tropou) and his words (kai tȏn logȏn), so fearlessly (hȏs adeȏs) and nobly (kai gennaiȏs) was he meeting his end (eteleuta).’ (58d2-e4, tr. D. Gallop)

Socrates’ friends, Cebes and Simmias, were unhappy: ‘because you take so lightly (hoti houtȏ raidiȏs phereis) your leaving both us (kai hȇmas apoleipȏn) and the gods, who are good rulers by your own admission (kai archontas agathous, hȏs autos homologies, theous).’ – Socrates: ‘What you both say is fair (Dikaia legete); as I take you to mean that (oimai gar humas legein) I should defend myself against these charges as if in a court of law (hoti chrȇ me pros tauta apologȇsasthai hȏsper en dikastȇriȏi).’ – Simmias: ‘Yes, exactly (Panu men oun).’ – Socrates: ‘Very well then (Phere dȇ), let me try to defend myself more convincingly before you (peirathȏ pithanȏteron pros humas apologȇsasthai) than I did before the jury (ȇ pros tous dikastas). Because if I didn’t believe, Simmias and Cebes, that I shall enter the presence, first, of other gods both wise and good (egȏ gar, ȏ Simmia te kai Kebȇs, ei men mȇ ȏimȇn hȇxein prȏton men para theous allous sophous te kai agathous), and next of dead men better than those in this world (epeita kai par’ anthrȏpous teteleutȇkotas ameinous tȏn enthade), then I should be wrong not to be resentful at death (ȇdikoun an ouk aganaktȏn tȏi thanatȏi); but as it is (nun de), be assured (eu iste) that I expect to join the company of good men (hoti par’ andras elpizȏ aphixesthai agathous) – although that point I shouldn’t affirm with absolute conviction (kai touto men ouk an panu diischurisaimȇn); but that I shall enter the presence of gods who are very good masters (hoti mentoi para theous despotas panu agathous hȇxein), be assured (eu iste) that if there’s anything I should affirm on such matters (hoti eiper ti allo tȏn toioutȏn diischurisaimȇn an), it is that (kai touto). So that’s why I am not resentful (hȏste dia tauta ouch homoiȏs aganaktȏ), but rather am hopeful (all’ euelpis eimi) that there is something in store for those who’ve died (einai ti tois teteleutȇkosi) – in fact (kai), as we’ve long been told (hȏsper ge kai palai legetai), something far better for the good than for the wicked (polu ameinon tois agathois ȇ tois kakois).’ (63a8-c7, tr. D. Gallop)

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