Apology by Plato
The Defense of Socrates (in 399 BC)
- "Please consider only one thing and attend carefully to that—whether my plea is just or not."
- Fiat voluntas tua: "All the same, in this let God's will be done."
- "Those who had the highest reputation seemed to me nearly the most wanting."
- "So I asked myself on behalf of the oracle, whether I should prefer to be as I am, not wise with their wisdom nor ignorant with their ignorance; or to have what they have, both."
- "What I think, gentlemen, is that this man seems to be an impudent bully."
- "For to fear death, gentlemen, is only to think you are wise when you are not...Surely this is the objectionable kind of ignorance, to think one knows what one does not know?"
- "I will never cease being a philosopher."
- "I tell you that virtue comes not from money, but from virtue comes both money and all other good things for mankind."
- "If you put me to death you will not have hurt me so much as yourselves...For I think the eternal law forbids a better man to be hurt by a worse."
- "So far from pleading for my own sake, as one might expect, I plead for your sakes, that you may not offend about God's gift by condemning me."
- "Do not be annoyed at my telling the truth; the fact is that no man in the world will come off safe who honestly opposes either you or any other multitude, and tries to hinder the many unjust and illegal doings in a state. It is necessary that one who really and truly fights for the right, if he is to survive even for a short time, shall act as a private man, not as a public man."
- "I will not give sentence against myself, and say that I am worthy of something bad."
- "It was a lack which defeated me, although not of words; it was a lack of effrontery and shamelessness, and of a willingness to make you the sort of addresses you would liked best to hear...I much prefer to die after such a defense than to live by the other sort. Neither in court nor in war ought I or anyone else to do anything and everything to contrive an escape from death...No, gentlemen, the difficult thing is not to escape death, I think, but to escape wickedness—that is much more difficult, for that runs faster than death."
- "Really this that has happened to me is good, and it is impossible that any of us conceives it aright who thinks it is an evil thing to die...How great is the hope that death is good."
- "No evil can happen to a good man either living or dead."
- "Punish my sons, gentlemen, when they grow up, if you think they care for money or anything else before virtue."