*Discusses the mysteries and controversies surrounding Socrates' life and death. *Examines Socrates' philosophy as portrayed by Plato and Xenophon. *Analyzes the debate over whether Plato portrayed Socrates accurately. *Includes busts and other art depicting Socrates and other important people in his life. *Includes a Bibliography for further reading. "As for me, all I know is that I know nothing, for when I don't know what justice is, I'll hardly know whether it is a kind of virtue or not, or whether a person who has it is happy or unhappy." - attributed to Socrates in Plato's The Republic In 427 B.C., the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens was flourishing. Approximately 80 years earlier, the Athenians had formed the first self-representative democracy in history, the Peloponnesian War against Sparta had only just started, and Socrates was only beginning to lay the foundation of what would become Western philosophy. None of Socrates' works survived antiquity, so most of what is known about him came from the writings of his followers, most notably Plato. What is known about Socrates is that he seemed to make a career out of philosophy, and Plato was intent on following in his footsteps. Yet for all of the influence of Socrates' life on his followers, it was Socrates' death around 399 B.C. that truly shaped them. Plato was so embittered by Socrates' trial in Athens that he completely soured on Athenian democracy, and Aristotle would later criticize politicians who relied on rhetoric; when Aristotle's own life was threatened, he fled Greece and allegedly remarked, "I will not allow the Athenians to sin twice against philosophy." Since Socrates wrote nothing down, or at least nothing that survived antiquity, there has been a wealth of scholarship ever since attempting to determine the person to whom the philosophical positions of the various (and genuine) Socratic dialogues of Plato's should be attributed. Even though Aristotle insisted that Socrates only cared about ethics and held no metaphysical theory of the kind that Plato propounded, the attempt to read the ugly but wise Socrates via the Platonic dialogues continued up to the 20th century. The change of tone, style and philosophical topics seemed to be a big argument that Socratic views are to be found in the early Platonic works, whereas later works bear the stamp of Plato's personal views. The Platonic scholar Gregory Vlastos introduced a developmentalist position which has almost become an orthodoxy in Platonic studies, by moving the discussion from the historical Socrates to Plato as a philosopher. According to developmentalism, if the views in the dialogue are not spelled out only to be refuted afterward, then the person they should be attributed to is Plato and not Socrates. These philosophical views developed over a period of time, which also justifies the various inconsistencies and outright rejection of Plato's own metaphysical statements in subsequent dialogues. Legendary Philosophers: The Life and Philosophy of Socrates chronicles the life, death, and mysteries surrounding Ancient Greece's first great philosopher. Along with pictures of historic art depicting important people, you will learn about Socrates like you never have before, in no time at all.