Plato: Euthyphro
Plato: Crito

Plato: Apology

Plato's Apology of Socrates (Greek: Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους, Apologia Sokratous, Latin: Apologia Socratis) is an account of Socrates' defence at his trial at Athens in 399 BC for 'corrupting the young'. Like Xenophon's Apology, an otherwise rather different version of the same events, Plato's account makes clear that Socrates did not go out if his way to avoid the death penalty.

Instead, he sought to challenge his prosecutors as the bearer of what has become known as 'Socratic wisdom', the wisest man in Athens, because he knew how little he knew, while others were ignorant even of their own ignorance. In portraying this role as a divine mission, imposed upon him by a 'daimonion', he perhaps assisted his prosecutors in convicting him of impiety.

The Apology is a key text for understanding the Socratic tradition and therefore the origins of Western philosophy as a whole. It is also relatively short, and is often among the first works tackled by students of Plato. Since ancient times, it has been read as part of the sequence Euthyphro, Apology, Crito and Phaedo, portraying the events leading up to Socrates' death.

The Apology at Amazon.

Free Online Texts

Bacchicstage: Plato's Apology, translated by George Theodoridis, 2015. online text.

Gutenberg: Apology, translated by Benjamin Jowett. Multiple formats.

Gutenberg: Apology, Crito, and Phaedo of Socrates by Plato, translated by Henry Carey, multiple formats.

Internet Archive: The Harvard Classics, Volume 2. Plato, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius. The Apology, Crito and Phaedo, by Plato. The Golden Sayings by Epictetus. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. EPUB, MOBI, TXT & PDF formats.

Loebulus. L036 - Plato -- Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Social Science Research Network: Socrates' Defence, (Woods and Pack 2016). English pdf.

University of Adelaide (Internet Archive): The Apology, translated by Benjamin Jowett. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Dale E. Burrington: Guides to the Socratic Dialogues.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Method Man - Plato's Socrates, podcast by Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Raphael Woolf on Socrates, interview podcast by Peter Adamson.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: In Dialogue - The Life and Works of Plato, podcast by Peter Adamson.

Librivox: Apology - audiobook

PhilPapers: Plato - Apology - open access papers.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato's Shorter Ethical Works.

Wikipedia: Apology (Plato)

YouTube: History of Ancient Philosophy - Plato's Republic II, Apology, & Crito. Lecture by Adam Rosenfeld.

The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes

Ancient Greek resources: Learn to read Greek classics in the original.

Bloom's Western Canon: The Dialogues are listed.


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