Socrates (470-399 BC), the most famous ancient Greek philosopher, was sentenced to death by the Athenian assembly in 399 BC for impiety and corrupting the young men of the city. Why a thinker who has been revered for millennia afterwards should have met such fate is but one of the ‘Socrates problems’ addressed in this enlightening study. Here, Socrates’ philosophy is placed firmly in the context of the world, and the city, Athens, in which he lived. It is this background that sheds light upon his fate, despite the absence of any writings by Socrates himself. His influence on future thinkers such as Montaigne, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard is also examined, in an indispensable study of a man whose influence on Western philosophy has been unparalleled.
SEÁN SHEEHAN has written a number of accessible introductions to philosophy such as Wittgenstein: A Beginner’s Guide, and on the classics, such as Ancient Greece – Cultural Atlas for Young People.