Socrates after his death from The Greeks documentary
Socrates after his death from The Greeks documentary

Like the generals he had defended many years before, the manner of his execution was to be the drinking of hemlock. As the hour drew near, everyone in the room broke down and wept except for Socrates himself, who continued to treat the affair as if it were nothing at all, at one point turning to them and saying almost in humor:

'For me the fated hour calls. In other words I think it's about time I took my bath. I prefer to wash before drinking the poison rather than give the women the bother of washing me when I'm dead.'

His final request was to ask a friend to sacrifice a cock to Asclepius, the god of healing, as a way of thanking him for being delivered from the painful disease of life.

Having maintained that 'the unexamined life isn't worth living' and by always insisting upon obeying his own conscience, Socrates had shown the Athenians a new way to live, and to die. Rather than honor he believed in principle, and through his sacrifice he helped create a new sense of what it meant to be human being, leaving a deep impression not only on the Athenians, but all of Western civilization.






Plato and the legacy of Socrates

The Final End of Athenian Democracy