Alcibiades versus pericles: Apologetic strategies in xenophon's memorabilia

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One of Xenophon's chief aims in Memorabilia is to defend his beloved teacher from charges raised both during and after his trial. Some readers have thought that he has gone so far in whitewashing Socrates that the resulting portrait makes it impossible to explain the hostility he aroused: Socrates appears here merely as an innocuous friend offering good advice on all sorts of mundane subjects. But the apologetic strategies employed by Xenophon are more complex and subtle than that. The widespread view of him as a simple-minded defender of conventional attitudes blinds us to the places where he speaks with a different, more radical voice. We should not be surprised to find that the enthusiastic student of Socrates, one of the most radical and unconventional thinkers of ancient Greece, has some radical thoughts of his own.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-28
Number of pages22
JournalGreece and Rome
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2014


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