Socrates and Alcibiades: Four Texts
gathers together translations our four most important sources for the relationship between Socrates and the most controversial man of his day, the gifted and scandalous Alcibiades. In addition to Alcibiades’ famous speech from Plato’s Symposium, this text includes two dialogues, the Alcibiades I and Alcibiades II, attributed to Plato in antiquity but unjustly neglected today, and the complete fragments of the dialogue Alcibiades by Plato’s contemporary, Aeschines of Sphettus. These works are essential reading for anyone interested in Socrates’ improbable love affair with Athens’ most desirable youth, his attempt to woo Alcibiades from his ultimately disastrous worldly ambitions to the philosophical life, and the reasons for Socrates’ failure, which played a large role in his conviction by an Athenian court on charges of impiety and corrupting the youth.
Focus Philosophical Library translations are close to and are non-interpretative of the original text, with the notes and a glossary intending to provide the reader with some sense of the terms and the concepts as they were understood by Plato’s immediate audience.