On This Day

Socrates

Philosopher Socrates

Profession: Philosopher

Nationality:
Greece
Greek

Why Famous: Socrates was an influential philosopher active in ancient Athens in the 5th Century B.C. He is famous for his 'Socratic method' a dialectic method of inquiry whereby a series of questions is asked to establish a person's beliefs or knowledge.

Socrates is also remembered for the manner of his death. In 399 B.C. he was convicted in Athens of corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and of impiety. His pupils and associates Plato and Xenophon recorded his end in a series of written dialogues. Sentenced to death by hemlock poisoning, Socrates refused to accept the offer to escape and choosing to respect the wishes of the state willingly drank the hemlock.

Controversial in his own time, Socrates had a profound effect on philosophy in the ancient world and beyond and is regarded to today as the Father of Western Philosophy.

Birthplace: Alopeke, Athens, Greece

Cause of Death: Execution by poison

Historical Events

  • 0399-02-15 BC Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth of the city and for impiety

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