chapter  9
Socrates
Pages 9

We have no information about the life of Socrates outside of what can be inferred from his history, and thus any account of his life must be both brief and speculative. The historian’s name is often given as Socrates “Scholasticus,” a surname which suggests its bearer might be a lawyer. However, Urbainczyk, in her full study of the historian, points out that the title seems to have been a late addition to the manuscripts. The scribes may have confused the historian with another church historian, Evagrius Scholasticus, who was a lawyer, or the title may have been added to distinguish the historian from the philosopher. Socrates shows no particular knowledge of the law and, as Urbainczyk points out, his reference to “the worthless and unjust lives of those in the courts” (6.3.2) would reflect a rather unusual attitude toward his own profession (Urbainczyk 1997b: 13-14; Errington 1997: 403-6).