Plato: Phaedrus
Plato: Gorgias

Plato: Charmides

The Charmides (Greek: Χαρμίδης) is a dialogue by Plato on the subject of sophrosyne (σωφροσύνη), a concept often translated as self-control or temperance. 

The discussion is set early in the Peloponnesian War, Socrates having just returned to Athens from the Battle of Potidea. The opening section, set in a wrestling school has elements of almost slapstick comedy, as the handsome young Charmides is surrounded by the school's patrons on his arrival. Perhaps there is a comment on the need for sophrosyne here.

The dialogue has important historical resonances. Two of Socrates' interlocutors, Charmides and his guardian Critias, both relatives of Plato, would become leaders of the Thirty Tyrants who overthrew the Athenian democracy at the end of the Peloponnesian War, some three decades after the dramatic date of the dialogue. Socrates' association with them may have contributed to his execution by the restored democracy. The third interlocutor, Chaerophon, was exiled with the leading democrats during the Thirty Tyrants' rule.

Charmides at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany

Free online texts

Gutenberg: Charmides by Plato, translated by Benjamin Jowett. Multiple formats.

Internet Classics Archive: Charmides, translated by Benjamin Jowett. HTML and TXT formats.

Loebulus. L201 - Plato -- Charmides. Alcibiades 1 & 2. Hipparchus. The Lovers. Theages. Minos. Epinomis. PDF of public domain Loeb edition in Greek and English.

Perseus: Charmides. English online text, (Lamb 1955). Greek online text (Burnet ed. 1903). HTML and XML formats.

University of Adelaide: Charmides, translated by Benjamin Jowett. EPUB, HTML and MOBI formats.

Wikisource: Charmides (Plato), translated by Benjamin Jowett. Multiple formats.

Other Resources

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues

Archelogos: Plato - Charmides, a commentary by Hugh Benson.

Dale E. Burrington: Guides to the Socratic Dialogues.

History of Philosophy without any gaps: Know Thyself: Two Unloved Platonic Dialogues - podcast with philosophers Peter Adamson and M.M. McCabe.

Librivox: Charmides - audiobook

PhilPapers: Plato - Charmides - open access papers.

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Plato's Shorter Ethical Works, by Paul Woodruff.

Wikipedia: Charmides.

Charmides at Amazon: United States | Canada | United Kingdom | France | Germany

 The Great Conversation: Related reading at Tom's Learning Notes.

Aristotle: The Nicomachean Ethics - gives an account of sophrosyne in Book III.

Aristotle: De Anima - examines the issue of self-knowledge.

Augustine - On Free Choice.

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

Bloom's Western Canon: Plato's Dialogues are listed.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)