Symposium and The Death of Socrates
With an Introduction by Jane O’Grady. Translated by Tom Griffith.
In Symposium, a group of Athenian aristocrats attend a party and talk about love, until the drunken Alcibiades bursts in and decides to discuss Socrates instead. Symposium gives an unsurpassed picture of the sparkling society that was Athens at the height of her empire.
The setting of the other dialogues is more sombre. Socrates is put on trial for impiety, and sentenced to death. Euthyphro discusses the nature of piety, Apology is Socrates’ speech in his own defence, Crito explains his refusal to escape punishment, and Phaedo gives an account of Socrates’ last day. These dialogues have never been offered in one volume before. Tom Griffith’s Symposium has been described as ‘possibly the finest translation of any Platonic dialogue’. All the other translations are new.