chapter  1
9 Pages

from The Trial of Socrates

The Athenians had proved that they alone had the necessary power to resist the Persians and to conclude great wars successfully. In the Peripatetic city, power belongs to the warriors who defend the country, govern it and offer sacrifices to the gods. The ancient uniformity of culture completely disappeared. The innovators could only ridicule those who were indoctrinated in the old ideas, who mainly admired the old poetic fables and were not up to date on the "correct" ideas. This aristocracy of intelligence and oratory is often attacked by Aristophanes. Xenophon tells us that Critias and Alcibiades attached themselves to Socrates in order to become skillful politicians. Xenophon tells us that Critias had long been at odds with Socrates. That proves that the philosopher did not directly participate in the revolution. It is even probable that no prominent disciples of Socrates were among the leaders. Antisthenes has hardly done more than exaggerate Socrates' ideas.