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Historical Context in Apology

Historical Context Examples in Apology:

APOLOGY

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"Prytaneum..."   (APOLOGY)

The Prytaneum was considered the central building of Greek cities. A sacred fire was kept constantly burning there, and the building represented the home of the city's people.

"If I had gained anything, or if my exhortations had been paid, there would have been some sense in my doing so; but now, as you will perceive, not even the impudence of my accusers dares to say that I have ever exacted or sought pay of any one; of that they have no witness. And I have a sufficient witness to the truth of what I say—my poverty..."   (APOLOGY)

Here, Socrates separates himself from the sophists, who charge for their teachings and are condemned by other philosophers due to their association with fallacious argumentation.

"Anaxagoras..."   (APOLOGY)

Anaxagoras was a pre-Socratic philosopher who attempted to describe cosmological phenomena through science rather than religion. He was prosecuted on the charge of impiety and was compelled to leave Athens after the trial.

"God of Delphi..."   (APOLOGY)

Apollo is the god of Delphi. Delphi is a Greek city, home to the Oracle of Delphi, who was the high priestess at the Temple of Apollo and the most important oracle in all of classical Greece.

"Gorgias of Leontium, and Prodicus of Ceos, and Hippias of Elis..."   (APOLOGY)

These are all sophists, paid teachers of philosophy in Ancient Greece. Socrates associates them with false argumentation and moral skepticism. The sophists' practice of charging money for their wisdom caused them to be condemned by many classical philosophers, including Socrates, Plato, Xenophon, and Aristotle.

"the comedy of Aristophanes..."   (APOLOGY)

This refers to The Clouds, a comedy by Aristophanes, presented in Dionysia, which ridiculed Socrates extensively.

"Anytus..."   (APOLOGY)

One of Socrates's main prosecutors, Anytus was an Athenian statesman and a general in the Peloponnesian War. Several theories exist regarding Anytus's motivations to put Socrates on trial.

"agora..."   (APOLOGY)

This literally translates to "meeting place." The agora served as a main square where much of the city's social and political activity took place.

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