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The Bettmann Archive

Socrates

Socrates was a Greek philosopher who lived between 470-399 B.C. He turned Greek attention toward questions of ethics and virtue. Although Socrates was not a scientist, his way of questioning to find out answers laid a foundation for the way that science works today.

Socrates spent much time in the Athens marketplace (the Agora) where he held conversations with townspeople. He was known for exposing ignorance and conceit. Despite having many followers, Socrates was disliked by people in Athens, Greece.

At the age of 70, he was convicted of atheism, treason and corruption of the young. He was sentenced to death by a jury. He had the opportunity to escape from prison, but he chose not to. He valued the law so much, that he chose to fulfill his sentence of death by drinking hemlock instead of escaping and living in banishment for the rest of his life. An account of his death was recorded by Plato, one of Socrates' students.


Last modified July 19, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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