The Sacrifice of Socrates: Athens, Plato, Girard – by Wm. Blake Tyrrell

When Athenians suffered the shame of having lost war from their own greed and foolishness, around 404 BCE the public’s blame was directed at Socrates, a man whose unique appearance and behavior, as well as his disapproval of the democracy, made him a ready target. The Sacrifice of Socrateswas subsequently put on trial and sentenced to death.

The Sacrifice of Socrates

However, as René Girard has pointed out, no individual can be held responsible for a communal crisis. Plato’s Apology depicts Socrates as both the bane and the cure of Greek society, while his Crito shows a sacrificial Socrates, what some might consider a pharmakos figure, the human drug through whom Plato can dispense his philosophical remedies. With tremendous insight and satisfying complexity, this book analyzes classical texts through the lens of Girard’s mimetic mechanism.

Check out The Sacrifice of Socrates on Amazon.