Translated by Benjamin Jowett
After an interval of some months or years, and at Phlius, a town of
Peloponnesus, the tale of the last hours of Socrates is narrated to
Echecrates and other Phliasians by Phaedo the 'beloved disciple.' The
Dialogue necessarily takes the form of a narrative, because Socrates has to
be described acting as well as speaking. The minutest particulars of the
event are interesting to distant friends, and the narrator has an equal
interest in them.
During the voyage of the sacred ship to and from Delos, which has occupied
thirty days, the execution of Socrates has been deferred. (Compare Xen.
Mem.) The time has been passed by him in conversation with a select
company of disciples. But now the holy season is over, and the disciples
meet earlier than usual in order that they may converse with Socrates for
the last time. Those who were present, and those who might have been
expected to be present, are mentioned by name. There are Simmias and Cebes
(Crito), two disciples of Philolaus whom Socrates 'by his enchantments has
attracted from Thebes' (Mem.), Crito the aged friend, the attendant of the
prison, who is as good as a friend--these take part in the conversation.
There are present also, Hermogenes, from whom Xenophon derived his