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'Consider just this, and give your minds to this alone: whether or not what I say is just' Plato's account of Socrates' trial and death (399 BC) is a significant moment in Classical literature and the life of Classical Athens. In these four dialogues, Plato develops the Socratic belief in responsibility for one's self and shows Socrates living and dying under his philosophy. In Euthyphro, Socrates debates goodness outside the courthouse; Apology sees him in court, rebutting all charges of impiety; in Crito, he refuses an entreaty to escape from prison; and in Phaedo, Socrates faces his impending death with calmness and skilful discussion of immortality. Christopher Rowe's introduction to his powerful new translation examines the book's themes of identity and confrontation, and explores how its content is less historical fact than a promotion of Plato's Socratic philosophy.
The trial and death of Socrates (469-399 BCE) have almost as central a place in Western consciousness as the trial and death of Jesus. In four superb dialogues, Plato provides the classic account.
This is a book about the answers that historians, philosophers, theologians, practising politicians and would-be revolutionaries have given to one question:how should human beings best govern themselves? That question raises innumerable others: can we manage our own affairs at all? Should we even try? Many people in the past have thought that only some individuals were either able or entitled to practise self-government: Greeks, but not Persians; men, but not women; the better-off minority, but not the poor majority. Others have thought that few of us have any desire to govern ourselves, and that government is inevitably a matter of a competent elite managing an acquiescent mass. Then, what do we mean by 'freedom' today, and is it the same freedom that people enjoyed, or strove for, in the past? Almost every modern government claims to be democratic; but is democracy really the best way of organising our political life? For almost two thousand years, educated opinion said not. Today, educated opinion says yes. In the modern west, do we actually live in democracies? They certainly do not resemble what the Athenians fought and died to preserve. It seems that there may be less agreement than we might think about how human beings can best govern themselves. In this extraordinary book, more that thirty years in the making, Alan Ryan engages with the great thinkers of the past to explain their ideas with a lucidity which makes the book compelling reading. While acknowledging how much separates us from our intellectual forebears, he reminds us how often the ideas of long-dead or distant thinkers are more alive, and speak to us more vividly and immediately, than those of our contemporaries. At a time when we sometimes feel that the problems of the globe will simply overwhelm our ability to control them, he provides a peerless guide to the ways in which the problems of politics have been thought about by the greatest minds of our civilization.
'I'll stop doing it as soon as I understand what I'm doing.' Somewhere between a historical account and work of philosophy, Socrates' Defence details the final plea of Plato's beloved mentor. Introducing Little Black Classics: 80 books for Penguin's 80th birthday. Little Black Classics celebrate the huge range and diversity of Penguin Classics, with books from around the world and across many centuries. They take us from a balloon ride over Victorian London to a garden of blossom in Japan, from Tierra del Fuego to 16th-century California and the Russian steppe. Here are stories lyrical and savage; poems epic and intimate; essays satirical and inspirational; and ideas that have shaped the lives of millions. Plato (474 BC-347 BC). Plato's works available in Penguin Classics are Republic, The Last Days of Socrates, The Laws, Phaedrus, Protagoras and Meno, Timaeus and Critias, Theaetetus, Early Socratic Dialogues, The Symposium and Gorgias.
'From books, all I seek is to give myself pleasure by an honourable pastime' Michel de Montaigne In 1946, E. V. Rieu's groundbreaking translation of The Odyssey established a cultural legacy that would bring the world's most compelling and influential literature to millions of readers around the globe. For over sixty-five years, Penguin Classics have been making works that were once the sole preserve of academics accessible to everyone; this catalogue offers a complete list of all titles in print across the list - more than 1,200 books, from Aristotle and Austen, to Zola and Zamyatin. It also features Michel de Montaigne's enchanting essay 'On Books'. 'The Penguin Classics, though I designed them to give pleasure even more than instruction, have been hailed as the greatest educative force of the twentieth century. And far be it for me to quarrel with that encomium, for there is no one whom they have educated more than myself' E. V. Rieu

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