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The philosopher Socrates about to take poison hemlock as ordered by the court.

Socrates (Greek: Σωκράτης, Sōkrátēs, Athens, circa 469 B.C. - Athens, 399 B.C.) was an Athenian philosopher of ancient Greece. He was a contemporary of Aristophanes and had two well-known disciples, Plato and Xenophon. Socrates is credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy.


He was born in Athens about 469 BC. According to Plato, Socrates was son of Sophroniscus and Phaenarete, a midwife. For this reason, in its infancy, Socrates was known by the words Σωκράτης γιος Σωφρονίσκου, Sokrates ios Sōfronískos, 'Socrates son of Sophroniscus'. When he was a middle-aged man, Athens was forced to cede leadership in Greece to its rival Sparta after the Peloponnesian War (431 BC – 404 BC).[1] Returning to Athens during the last years of the war, he came to occupy a position in the Assembly of the city in 406 BC.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Kenny, Anthony (2004). A New History of Western Philosophy: Volume 1: Ancient Philosophy. Oxford: Clarendon Press/Oxford University Press. p. 33-35. ISBN 978–0–19–875272–1.