Many children learn about the important facts about Socrates in grade school, when they are first introduced to philosophy and Classical civilization. Most people know Socrates was a philosopher from Ancient Greece, and he continues to play an important part in how people educate themselves.
Socrates was an important individual who certainly left his mark on how people evaluate the world around them, and his ideas still shape a lot of educational philosophy and logical thought. Read on to learn some important facts and to discover who he was and why he was such a critical figure in human history.
Socrates: The Basic Facts
Socrates was a philosopher from Greece, and he lived between the years 469 and 399 BCE. This means he lived to be about 71 years old. His ideas and works live on through his dialogues: written texts that share Socrates’ ideas and stories.
Socrates is known for his work with ethics. One of the most important facts about Socrates is that he helped to develop many of the ideas about logic and morality: what is right and how to help people deal with their problems in everyday life. Although historians do not know much about him, his ideas have been the foundation for much of our perceptions of Ancient Greek History.
Important Facts about Socrates
Socrates’ most important idea was what is known as the Socratic Method. This is when a classroom learning style is based on understanding through dialogue instead of lectures. This is seen through the texts that explain Socrates – he himself never wrote texts, his students took notes on dialogues they had and stories he told to explain his ideas about logic.
Sometimes, it is difficult to tell if the information about Socrates is historically accurate. Plato, for example, was one of the scholars who learned from Socrates, and he wrote many of Socrates’ ideas down. The truth is, some thinkers believe Socrates might have been actually more of a character than a true figure, and that the writer Plato used Socrates as a character to share his own ideas on philosophical matters. Although historians can’t be sure, they can definitely attest to the fact that some of the words and ideas attributed to Socrates have changed the way humans today envision their world.
About Socrates and His Life
Socrates was actually born to a thinker and a midwife. He is known to have been fairly short and generally unattractive, but he did end up marrying a woman named Xanthippe. He had a few children, and those in the academic world are generally unsure of exactly how Socrates worked and what he did to make money – he might not have had a job and might have only done philosophical work. The famous Oracle at Delphi made it known that Socrates was the wisest person alive.
Most people are interested to learn about Socrates’ death. He was put up for trial because of his loyalty to Sparta despite the Athenian takeover. He remained loyal to the idea he wanted to teach people of Sparta, but the government thought he was a detriment to society. This event is thought of by scholars as the time when the ability to question knowledge and thought was under siege. During his trial, it is known that Socrates was rude and upset, and he felt it would be better to die than to continue to live in a society where knowledge and questions were not permitted by the government.
Socrates is famous for his death: he was forced by the court to drink hemlock, a strong poison that killed him. This event has been an important figure in art, and a painting of Socrates’ death has been made famous by Jacques-Louis David in the eighteenth century. His death, one of the most important facts about Socrates, is often thought of as a sacrifice made for educated individuals, and he was sentenced to death for sharing knowledge and thought with philosophers.