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Ancient History Assessment 2

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Student Number: 31970016
Ancient History Assessment 2
The Execution of Socrates: The City’s Political and Personal Scapegoat
The objectives behind the execution of Socrates, in 399 B.C.E., has been a reoccurring debate
between historians for decades. However, disputing the ancient philosopher as just a ‘silver-tongued
scapegoat for Athens’ own fears’ would be to neglect the telling of many ancient sources. While
many elements within that debate could be considered true when analyzing the ancient sources, the
complete debate is misguiding to both Socrates and the political conspiracies which consumed
Athens during and after the events of the Thirty Tyrants of Athens. Firstly, to label the Athenian
court’s decision as one provoked by fear is to reject the hypocrisy and contradicting components
within Socrates’ indictments of corrupting the Athenian youth and impiety. Without standing
evidence and the ambiguity of both charges, the case against Socrates’ should have been one unable
to produce a proper conviction, yet it was one which ended his life. Moreover, those who accused
Socrates should not be overlooked, as Anytus, one of the three accurse, had a personal vendetta
against Socrates. Consequently, with such evidence debunking the legitimacy of the current
argument, it would only be judicious to adjust the debate of Socrates from Silver-tongued scapegoat
for a city’s own fears, to The City’s political and personal scapegoat.
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