Socrates Timeline

Socrates Timeline

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  • c. 469 BCE - 399 BCE

  • 427 BCE

    Plato is born at Athens, Greece.

  • 407 BCE

    Plato meets Socrates, abandons aspiration to be playwright.

  • c. 403 BCE - 401 BCE

    Xenophon is a disciple of Socrates.

  • 399 BCE

    Trial and death of the philosopher Socrates, who taught in the court of the Agora.

  • 399 BCE

    The Athenian demos pass the death sentence on Socrates.

  • 398 BCE

    Plato flees to Megara with other followers of Socrates.


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Socrates, (born c. 470 bce , Athens [Greece]—died 399 bce , Athens), ancient Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on Western philosophy.

Who was Socrates?

Socrates was an ancient Greek philosopher, one of the three greatest figures of the ancient period of Western philosophy (the others were Plato and Aristotle), who lived in Athens in the 5th century BCE. A legendary figure even in his own time, he was admired by his followers for his integrity, his self-mastery, his profound philosophical insight, and his great argumentative skill. He was the first Greek philosopher to seriously explore questions of ethics. His influence on the subsequent course of ancient philosophy was so great that the cosmologically oriented philosophers who generally preceded him are conventionally referred to as the “pre-Socratics.”

What did Socrates teach?

Socrates professed not to teach anything (and indeed not to know anything important) but only to seek answers to urgent human questions (e.g., “What is virtue?” and “What is justice?”) and to help others do the same. His style of philosophizing was to engage in public conversations about some human excellence and, through skillful questioning, to show that his interlocutors did not know what they were talking about. Despite the negative results of these encounters, Socrates did hold some broad positive views, including that virtue is a form of knowledge and that “care of the soul” (the cultivation of virtue) is the most important human obligation.

How do we know what Socrates thought?

Socrates wrote nothing. All that is known about him has been inferred from accounts by members of his circle—primarily Plato and Xenophon—as well as by Plato’s student Aristotle, who acquired his knowledge of Socrates through his teacher. The most vivid portraits of Socrates exist in Plato’s dialogues, in most of which the principal speaker is “Socrates.” However, the views expressed by the character are not consistent across the dialogues, and in some dialogues the character expresses views that are clearly Plato’s own. Scholars continue to disagree about which of the dialogues convey the views of the historical Socrates and which use the character simply as a mouthpiece for Plato’s philosophy.

Why did Athens condemn Socrates to death?

Socrates was widely hated in Athens, mainly because he regularly embarrassed people by making them appear ignorant and foolish. He was also an outspoken critic of democracy, which Athenians cherished, and he was associated with some members of the Thirty Tyrants, who briefly overthrew Athens’s democratic government in 404–403 BCE. He was arguably guilty of the crimes with which he was charged, impiety and corrupting the youth, because he did reject the city’s gods and he did inspire disrespect for authority among his youthful followers (though that was not his intention). He was accordingly convicted and sentenced to death by poison.

Why didn’t Socrates try to escape his death sentence?

Socrates could have saved himself. He chose to go to trial rather than enter voluntary exile. In his defense speech, he rebutted some but not all elements of the charges and famously declared that "the unexamined life is not worth living." After being convicted, he could have proposed a reasonable penalty short of death but initially refused. He finally rejected an offer of escape as inconsistent with his commitment never to do wrong (escaping would show disrespect for the laws and harm the reputations of his family and friends).

Socrates was a widely recognized and controversial figure in his native Athens, so much so that he was frequently mocked in the plays of comic dramatists. (The Clouds of Aristophanes, produced in 423, is the best-known example.) Although Socrates himself wrote nothing, he is depicted in conversation in compositions by a small circle of his admirers— Plato and Xenophon first among them. He is portrayed in these works as a man of great insight, integrity, self-mastery, and argumentative skill. The impact of his life was all the greater because of the way in which it ended: at age 70, he was brought to trial on a charge of impiety and sentenced to death by poisoning (the poison probably being hemlock) by a jury of his fellow citizens. Plato’s Apology of Socrates purports to be the speech Socrates gave at his trial in response to the accusations made against him (Greek apologia means “defense”). Its powerful advocacy of the examined life and its condemnation of Athenian democracy have made it one of the central documents of Western thought and culture.

1. Socratic Technique

Socrates’ most important contribution to Western philosophy was his technique for arguing a point, known as the Socratic technique, which he applied to many things such as truth and justice. This is described in Plato’s “Socratic dialogues.” An issue would be divided up into a series of questions, the responses to which progressively led to the desired outcome.

The Socratic technique is a negative strategy for gradually disproving unwanted theories, leaving you with the most logical one. It aims to make the individual examine their own beliefs and challenge the legitimacy of such convictions.

The importance of this strategy cannot be understated and has led to Socrates earning the title of the “father of political philosophy, morality, and good logic.” The Socratic technique is frequently regarded as an essential part of the American legal system.

Socrates Timeline - History

Main Events in Biblical History

HISTORICAL TIME CHART (Biblical and Historical)

Note: Biblical dating follows that of several scholars in my Bibliography, esp. Whitcomb and Boyer. Some dates are uncertain. There is also some overlap, especially in the case of the judges and the kings.

2090 Abraham called by God

1877 Jacob arrives in Egypt

1806 Joseph dies in Egypt

1730 Hyksos invasion of Egypt Hebrews bondage begins.

1728 Hammurabi of Sumer born

1570 Hyksos expelled from Egypt Amose I founds 18th dynasty

1548 Amenhotep I becomes pharaoh of Egypt

1548 Hebrew midwives ordered to destroy all Hebrew male children

1528 Thutmose I becomes pharaoh

1528 All newborn Hebrew males are to be cast into the Nile

1510 Thutmose II becomes pharaoh

1504 Hatshepsut becomes pharaoh

1483 Thutmose III becomes pharaoh

1483 The great oppression of the Hebrews begins

1450 Amenhotep II becomes pharaoh

1446 The Tabernacle constructed

1423 Thutmose IV becomes pharaoh

1410 Amenhotep III becomes pharaoh

1407 Moses dies Joshua conquers Canaan

1400 Conquest of Canaan completed

1377 Akhnaton becomes pharaoh inaugurates monotheistic reforms

1375 Othniel becomes judge

1318 Rameses I founds the 19th dynasty in Egypt

1240 Deborah and Barak judge Israel

1194 Gideon becomes judge

1155 Abimelech usurps power in Israel

1089 Jephthah becomes judge

1071 Elon becomes judge Samson becomes judge

1069 Samuel begins to minister

1011 Saul and Jonathan slain David becomes king of Judah

1004 David becomes king over all Israel

971 Solomon ascends the throne

966 Solomon begins to build the Temple in Jerusalem

945 Sheshhonk ( Shishak) becomes pharaoh of Egypt

931 Rehoboam becomes king of Israel and Judah

931 Jeroboam rebels sets Up a rival kingdom in the north

913 Abijam becomes king of Judah

911 Asa becomes king of Judah

910 Nadab becomes king of Israel

909 Bausha becomes king of Israel

890 Benhadad becomes king of Syria

886 Elah becomes king of Israel Zimri becomes king of Israel

885 Tibni becomes king of Israel

883 Ashurbanipal II becomes king of Assyria

880 Omri becomes king of Israel

874 Ahab becomes king of Israel

873 Jehoshaphat becomes king of Judah

859 Shalmaneser III becomes king of Assyria

858 Elijah begins to prophesy

853 Ahaziah becomes king of Israel

853 Jehoram becomes king of Judah

852 Joram becomes king of Israel

852 Elisha begins to prophesy

841 Jehu becomes king of Israel

841 Ahaziah becomes king of Judah

841 Athaliah seizes the throne of Judah

841 Hazael becomes king of Syria

835 Joash becomes king of Judah

814 Jehoahaz becomes king of Israel

801 Benhadad II becomes king of Syria

798 Jehoash becomes king of Israel

796 Amaziah becomes king of Judah

790 Uzziah becomes co-regent of Judah

783 Shalmaneser IV becomes king of Assyria

783 Jonah begins his ministry

782 Jeroboam II becomes king of Israel

776 Olympic games begin in Greece

767 Uzziah becomes full king of Judah

764 Amos begins to prophesy

755 Hosea begins to prophesy

753 Rome founded Zechariah becomes king of Israel

752 Shallum becomes king of Israel

752 Menahem becomes king of Israel

745 Tiglath-pileser III becomes king of Assyria

742 Pekahiah becomes king of Israel

740 Pekah becomes king of Israel

739 Uzziah dies Isaiah begins to prophesy

739 Jotham becomes king of Judah

736 Micah begins to prophesy

735 Ahaz becomes king of Judah

732 Hoshea becomes king of Israel

727 Shalmaneser IV becomes king of Assyria

722 Sargon II becomes king of Assyria Samaria falls

722 The ten tribes of Israel go into captivity

715 Hezekiah becomes king of Judah

705 Sennacherib becomes king of Assyria

701 Judah invaded by the Assyrians

686 Manasseh becomes king of Judah

681 Esarhaddon becomes king of Assyria

669 Ashurbanipal becomes king of Assyria

648 Nahum predicts the fall of Nineveh

642 Amon becomes king of Judah

640 Josiah becomes king of Judah

634 Zephaniah begins to prophesy

627 Jeremiah begins to prophesy

626 Nabopolasser becomes king of Babylon

619 Habakkuk begins to prophesy

609 Neco II becomes pharaoh of Egypt

609 Jehoahaz becomes king of Judah

609 Jehoiakim becomes king of Judah

605 Nebuchadnezzar becomes king of Babylon

605 The Babylonians invade Judah Daniel begins to prophesy

597 Jehoachin becomes king of Judah

597 Zedekiah becomes king of Judah

593 Ezekiel begins to prophesy

586 The Babylonians destroy Jerusalem and the Temple

586 The Jews deported to Babylon

586 Gedaliah becomes governor of Jerusalem

586 The rabbis preempt the priests as the holders of divine truth

563 Buddhism founded by Siddhartha

553 Belshazzar becomes regent in Babylon

550 Cyrus becomes king of Persia

550 The temple of Artemis erected at Ephesus

550 Confucius begins to teach

539 Babylon falls to the Medes and Persians

539 Darius the Mede rules in Babylon

538 Zerubbabel and Joshua lead a small party back to Palestine

536 The Temple started in Jerusalem

530 Cambyses becomes king of Persia

521 Smerdis becomes king of Persia

521 Darius I Hystapses becomes king of Persia

520 Zechariah begins to prophesy

520 Haggai begins to prophesy

520 Construction of the Jerusalem Temple resumed

509 The Roman Republic founded

486 Xerxes becomes king of Persia

484 Herodotus the historian born

480 The Greeks defeat Xerxes at Salamis

479 The Greeks defeat Xerxes at Thermopalye

478 Esther becomes queen of Persia

478 Esther saves the Jews of the empire from extermination

473 The Feast of Purim started

464 Artaxerxes Longimanus becomes king of Persia

458 Ezra takes a small contingent of Jews back to Palestine

447 The building of the Parthenon commenced

445 Nehemiah takes a small contingent of Jews back to Palestine

443 Nehemiah and Ezra read the Scriptures to the Jews

443 The beginnings of the Midrash the Sopherim (Scribes) flourish

436 Malachi begins to prophesy

423 Darius II becomes king of Persia

404 Artaxerxes II becomes king of Persia

400 The Midrash begins to develop

399 Socrates condemned to death

359 Artaxerxes III becomes king of Persia

359 Philip becomes king of Macedonia

342 Epicurius teaches his philosophy

336 Darius III Codomannus becomes king of Persia

336 Alexander the Great becomes king of Greece

335 Aristotle teaches at Athens

333 The Battle of Issus fought Alexander defeats the Persians

333 Alexander takes Egypt

332 Alexander destroys Tyre

331 Alexander seizes Babylon

330 Darius III of Persia slain

329 Alexander marries Roxana in a symbolic gesture of uniting East and West

327 Alexander invades India

323 Alexander claims to be the son of Zeus

323 Alexander's empire divided between his four chief generals

323 Ptolemy I Soter takes Egypt

320 Ptolemy I seizes Palestine

311 Seleucus I Nicator takes Babylon

300 Rome becomes a major world power in the western Mediterranean

300 Seleucus I adds Syria to his realm

285 Ptolemy II Philadelphius becomes king of Egypt

285 Between 285 and 130 the Septuagint translated

280 Antiochus I Soter becomes king of Syria

276 The first Syro-Egyptian war begins

275 Ptolemy of Egypt invades Syria

274 Hinduism codified in India

264 Rome's first Punic war against Carthage begins

261 Antiochus II Theos (the God) becomes king of Syria

260 The second Syro-Egyptian war begins

252 Antiochus II marries Bernice, daughter of Ptolemy II

250 The Parthian kingdom founded

246 Seleucus II Callinicus becomes king of Syria

246 Ptolemy III Euergetes becomes king of Egypt

246 The third Syro-Egyptian war begins

245 Ptolemy invades Syria

240 Seleucus invades Egypt

223 Antiochus III (the Great) becomes king of Syria

221 Ptolemy IV Philopater becomes king of Egypt

221 The fourth Syro-Egyptian war begins

219 Antiochus the Great invades Egypt

218 Rome's second Punic war against Carthage begins

217 Hannibal invades Italy Ptolemy IV invades Syria Battle of Raphia

215 Rome's first Macedonian war begins

206 Rome drives Carthage out of Spain

203 Ptolemy V ( Epiphanes ) becomes king of Egypt

201 The fifth Syro-Egyptian war begins Carthage surrenders to Rome

200 Rome's second Macedonian war begins

200 The Mishna begins to appear among the Jews

193 Ptolemy V marries Cleopatra, daughter of Antiochus III

190 Antiochus III defeated by Romans at Magnesia

187 Seleucus IV Philopator becomes king of Syria

181 Ptolemy VI Philomater becomes king of Egypt

175 Antiochus IV Epiphanes becomes king of Syria

171 Ptolemy VII becomes co-regent of Egypt with Ptolemy VI

171 Rome's third Macedonian war begins

171 Mithridates I begins the conquest of Babylonia and Media,

171 He adds those countries to Elam, Persia, and Bactra to form the Parthian Empire

169 Antiochus Epiphanes captures Jerusalem

168 The Romans interfere in Antiochus's war with Egypt and prevent his capturing Alexandria

168 Antiochus pollutes the Temple in Jerusalem and suspends the sacrifices of the Jews

166 Matthias leads the Jews in revolt against Antiochus Epiphanes

165 The Jerusalem Temple repaired and cleansed

164 Antiochus Epiphanes dies

154 The Jews in Egypt build a temple at Leontopolis

149 Rome's third Punic war against Carthage begins Rome's fourth Macedonian war begins

146 The Romans destroy Carthage

135 John Hyrcanus becomes high priest in Jerusalem

133 Rome begins to expand her empire eastward

130 The Pharisees begin to emerge as a sect

124 Mithridates II (the Great) conquers Scythia, adds it to the Parthian Empire,

124 Mithridates II makes a treaty with Rome

120 Hyrcanus repudiates the Pharisees and declares himself a Sadducee

88 Rome's first Mithridatic war begins

83 Rome's second Mithridatic war begins

74 Rome's third Mithridatic war begins

64 Pompey captures Jerusalem

64 Pompey leaves the Maccabean high priest Hyrcanus in power

64 Pompey puts Antipater as civil adviser

60 The first Triumvirate at Rome (Caesar, Crassus, and Pompey )

59 Julius Caesar becomes proconsul Pompey marries Julia, daughter of Caesar

54 Caesar invades Britain

49 Caesar crosses the Rubicon

48 Caesar makes Cleopatra queen of Egypt

44 Caesar becomes dictator of Rome for life

44 Caesar assassinated (Ides of March)

43 The second Triumvirate at Rome (Anthony, Lepidus, and Octavian )

37 Herod captures Jerusalem

31 Battle of Actium, Anthony slain,

31 Octavian becomes master of Rome, the final triumph of Empire

30 Philo of Alexandria fourished

21 Octavian assumed the title of Augustus

20 Herod begins to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple

14 Tiberius becomes Roman emperor

26 Jesus begins to teach He characterizes rabbinic teaching (the Mishna) as "vain tradition'

30 Jesus crucified and raised from the dead

30 Full Pentecost the Christian church is born

37 Caligula becomes Roman emperor

40 Gentiles are added to the church with the conversion of Cornelius

41 Claudius becomes Roman emperor

42 Antioch becomes the new center of church activity

43 Theudas claims to be Messiah and is executed

54 Nero becomes Roman emperor

59 The apostle Paul is imprisoned at Caesarea

60 Paul appears before Agrippa

61 Paul a prisoner at Rome

66 The Jews of Judea revolt against Rome

69 Jerusalem beseiged by the Romans

69 Jochanan ben Zakkai seeks an audience with Vespasian

69 Vespasian becomes Roman emperor

70 Jerusalem falls the Temple burned the Jews deported

73 The last stand of the Jewish rebels at Masada

79 Titus becomes Roman emperor

81 Domitian becomes Roman emperor

96 Nerva becomes Roman emperor

98 Trajan becomes Roman emperor

113 Rome goes to war with Parthia

116 A further Jewish revolt against Rome is suppressed with great severity



The cultural father of the Jewish people (and ultimately Christian and Muslim). His writings stand as the basis for Jewish culture, history and spirituality - comprised as the Torah.

Thales of Miletus

Studied the earth and it's processes. He asked: "What is the basic substance of the cosmos?" He reasoned: "It must be a few things: essential to life, capable of motion, and capable of change." He thus concluded water was the basic element.

Siddhārtha Gautama

Also known as the Buddha, Siddhārtha offered enlightenment by freeing oneself from the desire which will ultimately leads to suffering. The Buddha also uniquely challenged authority in demanding the fallibility of scriptures. Truth was determined by experience and praise from the wise - which was a step away from mythology.


Heraclitus trusted his senses and used reason to explain why things change when they come from a common root. He determined that "everything flows" or is in a constant state of change.


Parmenides realized that his reason can come in conflict with his senses. He was the earliest to choose his reason over the senses. Thus he determines that they world is not in change - our sense are deceiving.


Empedocles solves the dilemma created by Heraclitus and Parmenides: The world is made of something, yet the world changes. How can something randomly change? Empedocles determines that there must be more than one (four) root elements.


Socrates takes speculative reasoning to new levels. He determines that he is the wisest man because he knows what everyone else does not, that we (he) know(s) nothing. At the core of his contribution is his belief that all people have common ability to apply reason to discover truth. Thus, he spent his life asking questions and allowing this common reasoning to discover truths through conversation. Socrates ultimately dies for his ideas which were deemed dangerous by the politicians of Athens. His legacy lived on through his students, including Plato and the early Cynics and Stoics.


Democritus takes Empedocles one step further. He determines that the universe is made up of small, indivisible building blocks - like legos. These building blocks come together to create material things. This is the early birth of the "atom" (Greek for "uncuttable").


Plato was the greatest philosopher-student of Socrates. His impact was vast and was one of the main authors of Socrates' ideas. He started the greatest school of philosophy in Athens, the Academy. In addition to his scholastic contributions, he answered the question of what is temporal and what is eternal. To Plato, all material is finite and thus "flows" or changes (i.e. dies, decomposes, etc). What we sense then "flows". He determined that material things must come from "something" that reminds material to compose in one way and not another (e.g. a horse and not a crocodile). This "something" must be eternal and Plato called it the form. Thus, a pine cone is finite/temporary while the concept of the circle that it mimics is eternal. We sense such concepts with our reason, making reason eternal. The eternal was more important to Plato than the things that "flow" or change. Reason is how we access the eternal. Thus, reason is more important sense perception - this belief is the core of "rationalism". Plato's legacy was continued by the advancements of his student, Aristotle.

Diogenes of Sinope

Diogenes is probably the most apparent example of Cynic philosophy. Stories recall that Diogenes lived in a ceramic bin on the side of the road with very few material possessions. Cynics held that happiness is not found in power, materials or wealth. This stance caused cynics to become calloused to the pains and pleasures of life. It was Diogenes who was offered anything he desired from Alexander the Great, he replied with the request the Alexander steps to the right so the sun would shine on him.


Alexander the Great

The Macedonian king and student of Aristotle known for expanding the Greek kingdom to it's greatest reach. His death signals the beginning of Hellenism.


Father of the Epicureans (or hedonists) and focused on how to achieve true happiness. Epicurus agreed with Democritus that we are made of atoms that will be returned to the earth when we die. Thus, he decide that living for pleasure was the meaning of life. This is concisely summed in the statement, "The gods aren’t to be feared. Death is nothing to worry about. Good is easy to attain. The fearful is easy to endure."

Zeno of Citium

Jesus of Nazareth

Jewish teacher who claimed deity. Transformed the Jewish belief in a king that would restore the Jewish state into a distinctly spiritual message. Political restoration or salvation was exchanged for a spiritual restoration. The teaching of Jesus would be combined with a set of Greek philosophers to develop Christian theology in the Medieval years and beyond.


  • Occupation: Philosopher
  • Born: 469 BC in Athens, Greece
  • Died: 399 BC in Athens, Greece
  • Best known for: Greek philosopher who helped form the foundation of Western philosophy.

How do we know about Socrates?

Unlike some other famous Greek philosophers, Socrates didn't write down his thoughts and ideas. He preferred to just speak to his followers. Fortunately, two of Socrates' students, Plato and Xenophon, wrote about Socrates in their works. We learn about Socrates' philosophies in many of Plato's dialogues where Socrates is a major character taking part in philosophical discussions. Xenophon was a historian who wrote about the events in Socrates' life. We also learn about Socrates from the plays of the Greek playwright Aristophanes.

Not much is known about Socrates' early life. His father was a stonemason named Sophroniscus and his mother was a midwife. His family was not wealthy, so he likely didn't have much of a formal education. Early on in his career, Socrates took up his father's profession and worked as a stonemason.

Socrates lived during the time of the Peloponnesian War between the city-states of Athens and Sparta. As a male citizen of Athens, Socrates was required to fight. He served as a foot soldier called a "hoplite." He would have fought using a large shield and spear. Socrates fought in several battles and was noted for his courage and valor.

Philosopher and Teacher

As Socrates grew older, he began to explore philosophy. Unlike many philosophers of his time, Socrates focused on ethics and how people should behave rather than on the physical world. He said that happiness came from leading a moral life rather than material possessions. He encouraged people to pursue justice and goodness rather than wealth and power. His ideas were quite radical for the time.

Young men and scholars in Athens began to gather around Socrates to have philosophical discussions. They would discuss ethics and current political issues in Athens. Socrates chose not to give answers to questions, but instead posed questions and discussed possible answers. Rather than claim he had all the answers, Socrates would say "I know that I know nothing."

Socrates had a unique way of teaching and exploring subjects. He would ask questions and then discuss possible answers. The answers would lead to more questions and eventually lead to more understanding of a subject. This logical process of using questions and answers to explore a subject is known today as the Socratic Method.

After Athens lost to Sparta in the Peloponnesian War, a group of men called the Thirty Tyrants were put into power. One of the leading members of the Thirty Tyrants was a student of Socrates named Critias. The men of Athens soon rose up and replaced the Thirty Tyrants with a democracy.

Because Socrates had spoken out against democracy and one of his students was a leader in the Thirty Tyrants, he was branded a traitor. He went on trial for "corrupting the youth" and "failing to acknowledge the gods of the city." He was convicted by a jury and was sentenced to death by drinking poison.

Socrates is considered one of the founders of modern Western philosophy. His teachings influenced future Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. His philosophies are still studied today and the Socratic Method is used in modern-day universities and law schools.

Interesting Socrates Facts: 21-25

21. Socrates belonged to a time when Athens was moving through a phase of transition with uncertainty about future after a very humiliating defeat in the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans.

This is precisely when the Athenians started thinking about their future and their role and identity in the world. This forced the people of Athens to hold on their past glory, physical beauty and wealth.

22. This is where Socrates came in and challenged the conventional wisdom of Greek and adopted a humorous path for the same. While some people did like his way of thinking, he also managed to earn enemies or rather a group of people who hated his philosophy because they simply thought that his ideas and philosophy was a threat to their existing way of living.

23. Because of his radical thinking he was put on trial where he was convicted and lost his case. 280 votes when against him and 221 votes were in his favor. During his defense, Socrates maintained a defiant tone which acted as a catalyst for the decision by the jury.

24. According to Athenian law, any convicted person could ask for an alternative punishment. Socrates made things worse by asking for honor, rewards and payments for the services he rendered for to the people in an attempt to enlighten them instead of asking for exile.

25. Socrates’ demand forced the jury to sentence him to death by hemlock poisoning.

His death

Meletus, Lycon, and Anytus charged Socrates with impiety (being unreligious) and with corrupting the youth of the city. Since defense speeches were made by the principals in Athenian legal practice, Socrates spoke in his own behalf and his defense speech was a sure sign that he was not going to give in. After taking up the charges and showing how they were false, he proposed that the city should honor him as it did Olympic victors. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Plato's Crito tells of Crito's attempts to persuade Socrates to flee the prison (Crito had bribed [exchanged money for favors] the jailer, as was customary), but Socrates, in a dialogue between himself and the Laws of Athens, reveals his devotion to the city and his obligation to obey its laws even if they lead to his death. In the Phaedo, Plato recounts Socrates's discussion of the immortality of the soul and at the end of that dialogue, one of the most moving and dramatic scenes in ancient literature, Socrates takes the hemlock (poison) prepared for him while his friends sit helplessly by. He died reminding Crito that he owes a rooster to Aesculapius.

Socrates was the most colorful figure in the history of ancient philosophy. His fame was widespread in his own time, and his name soon became a household word although he professed no extraordinary wisdom, constructed no philosophical system, established no school, and founded no sect (following). His influence on the course of ancient philosophy, through Plato, the Cynics, and less directly, Aristotle, is immeasurable.

Esoteric Timeline of the History of Humanity

700.000 B.C. – Destruction of Maldek (current asteroid belt), related with usage of weapons of war, and disregard for the stability of the planet and life itself. Souls of the planet are trapped in a state of fear due to the traumatic experience.

600.000 B.C. – Elements from the Federation of Planets manage to reach the trapped entities’s consciousness and start the process of releasing them from the trauma.

500.000 B.C. – Souls from Maldek are brought to Earth.

100.000 B.C. – Begginning of the process of Souled beings incarnating in human bodies. At this time, there are on Earth around 18-20 types of human-humanoid beings, with biological (physical, emotional, mental) components only. Two extra layers were added to the etheric DNA of one of the humanoid groups, which allowed complete manifestation of Celestial consciousness, thus enabling the incarnating of Souls in those bodies. Over time this specific group of humans gained advantage over the others, which slowly diminished in numbers and disappeared. During this time the Earth is seeded and developed under the guidance of different Soul groups at different points of the planet, giving birth to a cosmopolitan cauldron of Soul backgrounds and history.

75.000 B.C. – Beginning of the first of 3 cycles of 3D on Earth, which last approximately 26.000 years each. Entities on Mars damage the planet’s atmosphere beyond repair, for reasons related to war, and are integrated on Earth’s incarnational registry to continue their 3D cycle. Souls from Mars and Maldek share the same karmic background of destroying their planets, which manifests today as fear of apocalyptic events on a planetary scale. The first beings occupy the area of Atlantis (middle of today’s Atlantic Ocean), mostly in a purely ethereal state.


Map of Lemuria in relation to today’s continents. Taken from zivug

As a civilization LEMURIA represents a feminine energy, purity of heart and emotions, innocence, naivety, and simple deep connection with Divinity. The people of Lemuria would seem “primitive” to today’s standards, yet they sustained an extremely high level of Spiritual connection. They were the archetypical newly-incarnated angelic being into the physical world. Initially they would have no verbal language. All thoughts would be freely perceived by others, thus deceit was not originally possible or conceivable.Lemuria was the first civilization on Earth. From it comes the basic training and programming of survival, without which Spirit wouldn’t know how to keep itself in a physical body, long enough to have its desired experiences in the physical plane. Lemuria is the origin of some of the words that relate to the basic principles about living collectively, such as MUnicipal, comMUnity, and comMUnion. 350 million Souls incarnated as a Lemurian at some point in time, most of them only once. This was done for the purposes of setting up the registry of Souls on Earth.

Lemurians would eventually experience difficulty interacting with other peoples, namely the contemporary Atlanteans, who might not have the same pure and integrated connection with Spirit. When interacting with these individuals, a Lemurian would feel frustrated and dismissed, as he simply wouldn’t be able to convey or “prove” its vision of reality. The Lemurian gradual drop of consciousness, loss of connection, and the experiences of having to deal with less spiritually-inclined peoples, left ancestral memories that may endure today.

Lemuria eventually sank as the planet’s water level rose, sometimes with traumatic experience for individuals, which is an analogy for the drop in consciousness of humanity, and the loss of human innocence. The feelings of being dismissed and discredited, being naive and uncomfortable with practical matters, feeling lack of course in life, loss of fundamental trust in Spirit and questioning “what did I do wrong to Spirit?”, and also fear of cataclysmic events, all are emotions related to Lemuria.

50.000 B.C. – End of the first 25.000 year 3D cycle. No entities are eligible to graduate to 4D. Human beings are biologically similar to today’s humans. Planet is 8 degrees cooler than today’s average, and the water level is 133 meters lower. Beginnings of what would become the civilization od Lemuria, in dry areas around today’s Hawaii. This is a people with a somewhat primitive nature, but very tuned spiritually. They had been in the area for about 5.000 years before, but in an ethereal state. Souls from the star Deneb are integrated into Earth’s incarnational cycle, because the star had lost the ability to provide for the planet’s 3D cycles due to age.

38.000 B.C. – Inhabitants of the area of Lemuria formally acknowledge their union as a people.

33.000 B.C. – Lemuria formally becomes a territory organized under a single ruling body. From this point is considered the main cycle and peak of the civilization, until around 13.000 B.C., when the Earth’s water levels began to rise and slowly occupy the land mass. In the end only the highest mountain peaks remained above the surface.

29.000 B.C. – Rural/agrarian beginnings of what would become the civilization of Atlantis, located in a land mass in the middle of the Atlantic ocean. From this point is considered the main cycle and “Golden Age” of Atlantis, which would reach its technological and benevolent peak up until around 17.500 B.C..


Physical location of Atlantis, from Wikimedia Commons, by Maximilian Dörrbecker

In the times of Ancient Atlantis the Earth was a melting pot not only of humans and human Souls, but also many other sentient beings with many diverse backgrounds and origins. Humanity was in its infancy, and Earth was being seeded by many different not-from-Earth groups at several points in time. In the Atlantean society, much like the customs of a giant futuristic spaceport, many different types of beings coexisted, such as humanoid beings with extra-terrestrial biology, part human and part animal beings, and several kinds of human races. There were crystal-based advanced technologies for healing, rejuvenation, biological regeneration, energy supply, climate management, and so forth. There was also a great potential for Spiritual connection, much like in Lemuria. Yet, Atlantis wasn’t a perfect society, because along with these more fantastic elements, there also was, at some points in time, slavery, social segregation, unethical genetic manipulation, racism, greed, etc. The collective consciousness of humanity was still at its infancy, spiritually speaking.

Atlantean priests were able to keep a very high and pure connection to Spirit. But the overall consciousness level of the civilization itself didn’t stay on a high note for very long. They focused on verbal language, and as they did, they learned how to speak things with a certain purpose, for others to hear, without necessarily feeling or meaning the words that were spoken. During the period of Atlantis the human mind was molded to become susceptible to outside influence. And with the decreased influence of Spiritual input, the human was now focused on a vulnerable and volatile mental state of beingness. This is why today we start to believe in something, if we hear it repeated enough times.

Over time, Atlanteans as a whole became focused on matter, forms, materialism, and less and less attuned with their Divinity. Their achievements over their environment made them more focused on science, technology, energy manipulation, matter, physical beauty and pleasure, but without necessarily a Spiritual or ethical context. Their progress, their privileged territory, and other things, made them feel important, especially in relation to Lemuria and other peoples. Although the Spiritual connection was always possible and accessible, they gradually lost contact with it and began dwelling in duality, the negative and positive poles of matter, without Spiritual inner guidance to navigate it. They began to believe themselves as Gods. Many simply lost sight of the fact there was such thing as Spirit, seduced by all the wonders of their society. As its consciousness level was slowly but surely descending, until it eventually collapsed, and with it, the civilization itself.

There are many channeled accounts on the specific events that lead to the fall of Atlantis. These on an archetypal level are related with the reasons above. One such account of these events you can read is this channeled message. What happened in the end was that catastrophic explosions throughout the islands weakened and fractured the integrity of the Earth’s crust, locally, much like when you break a small portion of ice in a frozen river, and the loose ice pieces float on the water that runs below the ice. Those fragmented pieces of the Earth’s crust “sank” below the water level. However, there still are some remnants and clues of Atlantean contemporary elements, being the Bimini Road one of them.

Memories and patterns related to Atlantis are the following: the belief of being alone in the world and cruising along in life on “automatic mode” use of metaphysical energy, tools, artifacts, rituals, systems, ideas or concepts, without true realization and guidance of the God within distrust of spiritual guidance and overvaluing the rational mind, science, and provable concepts using higher consciousness, military power, technological advancement or scientific progress, as excuses for dominance, power, or supremacy over others, with no true regard for their innate sovereignty. And also, much like Lemuria, simply the fear of trusting Spirit, questioning the existence of God, and fear of cataclysmic events. “How could God allow this suffering [catastrophic fall]?”

24.000 B.C. – End of the second 26.000 year cycle, start of the third and last one. Only a handful of entities are eligible to graduate from 3D. Yet they all choose to stay behind and assist the others in the third 3D cycle. These graduated ones didn’t belong to technologically evolved societies, but to simple, nature-related, relatively isolated populational pockets. Most of the 4D, 5D, and 6D Souls that arrive to help Earth in its 3D cycles, do so at this time and for this last cycle. [Today there are approximately 6 million “wanderer” Souls on the planet.]

17.500 B.C. – Second fall of Atlantis (the first was around 58.000 B.C., I’m not aware of details about this). Deluges divide the original main continent into 5 islands. End of the Atlantean “Golden Age”. In time, the 5 islands become a confederacy of states, each with its individual management. Up until then, they had been unified under a benevolent ruling.

13.000 B.C. – Technological height of Atlantis. Use of technology and ethereal and life force energies with unethical and materialistic purposes. Creation of human hybrid slave-drones for purposes of labor and terrorism. Eventual use of technology for war. Beginning of the end of the Earth’s Ice Age, beginning of defrosting of frozen water masses. Water levels begin to rise, and slowly start occupying Lemurian land. Lemurian inhabitants transition to a seafaring people. From this point on Lemuria starts to fade as a civilization, as its lands are being occupied by water, and as its inhabitants move to higher ground or to surrounding lands. Closest descendants are the Polynesians and Hawaiians – who are still intuitively skilled at navigating the ocean currents of the area – and also north and south American indigenous peoples.

11.000 B.C. – Meteor strike on Earth. This event is part of the context of Earth changes (increase in temperature and water level rise).

11.000 B.C. – 9.000 B.C. – Major Atlantean wars with high number of casualties.

9.000 B.C. – Third and final fall of Atlantis. Sinking of the land masses with earthquakes and deluges, after catastrophic events leading to the critical weakening of the Atlantean tectonic plate. Many casualties. Surviving peoples escape to surrounding landmasses (America, Europe, Egypt).

8.000 B.C. – Final filling of Lemurian land space with water, also in a final deluge event, where many Lemurians died. End of the Lemurian civilization. Water levels are about as they are today.

5.000 B.C. – Beginning of the settlements which would become the civilization of Sumeria

4.000 B.C. – First construction of the Great Pyramid in Egypt. Building and rebuilding of the pyramids continues up until about 2500 B.C.

3.000 B.C. – Meteor strike on Earth, stronger than the one in 11.000 B.C., causing floods and deluges. Origin of the Noah’s Ark myth, although water doesn’t completely fill the totality of the Earth’s land surface. This was an adjustment (reduction) of the Earth’s ethereal veil between physical and Spirit.

1.700 B.C. – Ancient Babylon, in the original area of Sumeria, is the greatest city in the world.

1.350 B.C. – Pharaoh Akhenaton, or Amenhotep IV, is known for trying to instill a monotheistic worship to the one god, “Aten”. After his death Egypt returns to its traditional polytheism.

750 B.C. – Beginnings of Greece’s Classical period. Beginnings of early ancient Rome and what would become the origin of the Roman empire.

500 B.C. – Life and Ascension of Buddha

0 – Life and Ascension of Jesus the Christ. Beginning of turning from an authoritarian, masculine-based form of religious and spiritual worship (biblical old testament) to love-based feminine-energy teachings (new testament). Testing of the consciousness capability of humans and the Earth’s environment to assimilate the concept of ascension.

1100 – Crusades

1492 – Christopher Columbus arrives at the Americas. The American continent, with a few exceptions, had been largely separated from the rest of the world since the fall of Atlantis.

1900 – Early beginning of the current process of the re-raising of consciousness and re-awakening. Technology starts to evolve rapidly.

1987 – Spiritual event of consciousness measurement known as the Harmonic Convergence. It’s decided on a Spiritual level that Earth would ascend without termination events, i.e. with humans still incarnated, which is something never before attempted on other planets.

2012 – End of the Earth’s third 3D cycle. Beginning of the Aquarian Age.

Socrates on the Invention of Writing and the Relationship of Writing to Memory

Marble head of Socrates in the Louvre. As with virtually all portrayals of figures from Greece, except possibly the renderinigs of leaders on coins, we have no way to judge whether or not this sculpture bears any true resemblance to Socrates's actual appearance.

In the Phaedrus, written circa 370 BCE, Plato recorded Socrates's discussion of the Egyptian myth of the creation of writing. In the process Socrates faulted writing for weakening the necessity and power of memory, and for allowing the pretense of understanding, rather than true understanding.

From Plato's dialogue Phaedrus 14, 274c-275b:

Socrates: [274c] I heard, then, that at Naucratis, in Egypt, was one of the ancient gods of that country, the one whose sacred bird is called the ibis, and the name of the god himself was Theuth. He it was who [274d] invented numbers and arithmetic and geometry and astronomy, also draughts and dice, and, most important of all, letters.

Now the king of all Egypt at that time was the god Thamus, who lived in the great city of the upper region, which the Greeks call the Egyptian Thebes, and they call the god himself Ammon. To him came Theuth to show his inventions, saying that they ought to be imparted to the other Egyptians. But Thamus asked what use there was in each, and as Theuth enumerated their uses, expressed praise or blame, according as he approved [274e] or disapproved.

"The story goes that Thamus said many things to Theuth in praise or blame of the various arts, which it would take too long to repeat but when they came to the letters, [274e] &ldquoThis invention, O king,&rdquo said Theuth, &ldquowill make the Egyptians wiser and will improve their memories for it is an elixir of memory and wisdom that I have discovered.&rdquo But Thamus replied, &ldquoMost ingenious Theuth, one man has the ability to beget arts, but the ability to judge of their usefulness or harmfulness to their users belongs to another [275a] and now you, who are the father of letters, have been led by your affection to ascribe to them a power the opposite of that which they really possess.

"For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it, because they will not practice their memory. Their trust in writing, produced by external characters which are no part of themselves, will discourage the use of their own memory within them. You have invented an elixir not of memory, but of reminding and you offer your pupils the appearance of wisdom, not true wisdom, for they will read many things without instruction and will therefore seem [275b] to know many things, when they are for the most part ignorant and hard to get along with, since they are not wise, but only appear wise."

Socrates Timeline - History

Our current knowledge and practice of public speaking draws upon the Western thought from Greece and Rome.

Learning Objectives

Identify key figures of public speaking through the ages

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • The formal study of public speaking began approximately 2,500 years ago in Greece and Rome to train citizens to participate in society.
  • Aristotle (384-322 BCE), the most famous Greek Scholar, defined rhetoric as the “faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever.” He divided the “means of persuasion” into three parts–logical reason (logos), human character ( ethos ), and emotional.
  • Cicero (106-43 BCE), one of the most significant rhetoricians of all time, developed the five canons of rhetoric, a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that we still use to teach public speaking today.
  • Quintilian (c. 35-95 CE) argued that public speaking was inherently moral. He stated that the ideal orator is “a good man speaking well”.
  • American Revolution–The rhetorical studies of ancient Greece and Rome were resurrected as speakers and teachers looked to Cicero and others to inspire defense of the new republic. John Quincy Adams of Harvard advocated for the democratic advancement of the art of rhetoric.
  • Throughout the 20th century, rhetoric developed as a concentrated field of study with the establishment of public speaking courses in high schools and universities. The courses in speaking apply fundamental Greek theories (such as the modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos, and logos).

Key Terms

  • sophist: One of a class of teachers of rhetoric, philosophy, and politics in ancient Greece, especially one who used fallacious but plausible reasoning.
  • orator: A skilled and eloquent public speaker.
  • rhetoric: The art of using language, especially public speaking, as a means to persuade.

History of Public Speaking

Our current knowledge and practice of public speaking draws upon ancient Greek, Roman, and Western thought.

The Classical Period (500 BCE – 400 BCE)

The ancient Greeks highly valued public political participation, where public speaking was a crucial tool. We will begin an overview of four Ancient Greek philosophers, also known as the “fantastic four”Aspasia of Miletus, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

Aspasia of Miletus (469 BCE), the “mother of rhetoric,” is believed to have taught rhetoric to Socrates. During this period Pericles, the Athenian ruler and Aspasia’s partner, treated Aspasia as an equal and allowed her the opportunity to engage in dialogue with the important and educated men of society.

Socrates (469-399 BCE) greatly influenced the direction of the Classical Period. Most of what we know about Socrates comes from the writings of his student Plato.

Plato (429-347 BCE) wrote about rhetoric in the form of dialogues with Socrates as the main character. Plato defined the scope of rhetoric according to his negative opinions of the art. He criticized the Sophists for using rhetoric as a means of deceit instead of discovering truth.

Aristotle (384-322 BCE) is the most famous Greek Scholar. Aristotle studied in Plato’s Academy where he later taught public speaking until Plato’s death in 347 BCE. During this time, he opened his own school of politics, science, philosophy, and rhetoric.

Aristotle: This statue resides at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece.

Aristotle defined rhetoric as the “faculty of discovering the possible means of persuasion in reference to any subject whatever.” Aristotle divided the “means of persuasion” into three parts, or three artistic proofs, necessary to persuade others: logical reason (logos), human character (ethos), and emotional appeal (pathos).

Sophist (400s BCE): The Classical Period flourished for nearly a millennium in and around Greece as democracy gained prominence. Citizens learned public speaking from early teachers known as Sophists. Sophists were self-appointed professors of how to succeed in the civic life of the Greek states.

The Romans: Cicero and Quintilian

Cicero (106-43 BCE) is considered one of the most significant rhetoricians of all time. His works include the early and very influential De Inventione (On Invention ), often read alongside the Ad Herennium as the two basic texts of rhetorical theory (throughout the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance) De Oratore (a fuller statement of rhetorical principles in dialogue form) and Topics (a rhetorical treatment of common topics, highly influential through the Renaissance). Cicero is most famous in the field of public speaking for creating the five canons of rhetoric, a five-step process for developing a persuasive speech that we still use to teach public speaking today.

Quintilian (c. 35-95 CE) extended this line of thinking and argued that public speaking was inherently moral. He stated that the ideal orator is “a good man speaking well. ”

The Medieval Period (400 CE – 1400 CE)

In contrast to the Classical Period, which saw tremendous growth and innovation in the study of communication, the Medieval Period might be considered the dark ages of academic study in public speaking. The church felt threatened by secular rhetorical works they considered full of pagan thought. The Church did, however, focus on persuasion and developing public presentation to improve preaching.

St. Augustine (354 CE-430 CE), a Christian clergyman and renowned rhetorician, argued for the continued development of ideas that had originated during the Classical Period. He thought that the study of persuasion, in particular, was a worthwhile pursuit for the church.

The Renaissance (1400-1600 CE)

Powered by a new intellectual movement during this period, secular institutions and governments started to compete with the church for personal allegiances. Ideas surrounding issues of style in speaking situations received significant attention during the Renaissance period.

Petrus Ramus (1515-1572) paid great attention to the idea of style by actually grouping style and delivery of the five canons together. Ramus also argued that invention and arrangement did not fit the canon and should be the focus of logic, not rhetoric. Ramus challenged much of what early scholars thought of truth, ethics, and morals as they applied to communication.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626), a contemporary of Shakespeare, believed that the journey to truth was paramount to the study and performance of communication. According to Bacon, reason and morality required speakers to have a high degree of accountability, making it an essential element in oration.

The Enlightenment (1600 – 1800 CE)

Neoclassicism revived the classical approach to rhetoric by adapting and applying it to contemporary situations.

George Campbell (1719-1796), a Scottish minister and educator, tried to create convincing arguments using scientific and moral reasoning by seeking to understand how people used speech to persuade others.

Finally, the elocutionary approach (mid 1700’s to mid-1800’s) concentrated on delivery and style by providing strict rules for a speaker’s bodily actions such as gestures, facial expressions, tone, and pronunciation.

Overall, the Enlightenment Period served as a bridge between the past and the present. Political rhetoric also underwent renewal in the wake of the U.S. and French revolutions. The rhetorical studies of ancient Greece and Rome were resurrected in the studies of the era as speakers and teachers looked to Cicero and others to inspire defense of the new republic. Leading rhetorical theorists included John Quincy Adams, who advocated for the democratic advancement of the art of rhetoric.

New School — 1900s and 2000s Through Today

Throughout the 20 th century, rhetoric developed as a concentrated field of study with the establishment of rhetorical courses in high schools and universities. Courses such as public speaking and speech analysis apply fundamental Greek theories, as well as trace rhetorical development throughout the course of history.

The 1960’s and 70’s saw renewed emphasis and focus on the works of those from the Classical Period. Thus, the 60’s and 70’s worked to bridge together the old and new school of communication study for the first time. Communication departments had professors who studied and taught classical rhetoric, contemporary rhetoric, along with empirical and qualitative social science.

Watch the video: INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY. Timeline of Western Philosophy #1 (July 2022).


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