If you’ve ever studied philosophy, then you will have most certainly come across the name, works and thoughts of Socrates, who is thought to have lived
around 469-399 BC. Socrates is regarded as one of the greatest philosophers connected to the classical period of Greece. He promoted the questioning of common thought in order to come about new ways of thinking and dare to explore new truths.
Born to a sculptor and a midwife, Socrates studied a wide-range of subjects as a youth. His mind swirled with
music, literature, geometry, and even gymnastics. He also kept abreast on the latest beliefs of some of the top philosophers. He was also a great fan of the Greek epic poet, Homer
. Socrates did not first dive into the world of philosophy as an adult. He actually worded as a sculptor, following in the footsteps of his father. He fashioned statues concerning the three Graces, which included
Aglaia, Thalia, and Euphrosyne.
Socrates is often connected to thoughts and ideas, but did you know that he served in the military? He was actually an honorable opponent who took to the field during the Peloponnesian War, which was fought against Sparta. He participated in many different battles, which included the likes of Potidaeia, Delium, and Amphipolus. During his wartime in Potidaeia, he saved the life of one of his friends, who was hurt on the battlefield. In Delium, Socrates saved yet another close companion, who had been trapped under a horse.
Discarding hard labor, Socrates found his calling in assisting his peers in what he called “seeing the light of truth.” He took to the streets of Athens, which is where he conducted dialogue and life experiments. In historical literature, Socrates was described as man who possessed a great amount of charm and was a witty conversationalist. He had plenty of friends by his side, but he also had his fair share of enemies, as he made it known his views and support regarding anti-democracy.
Despite some of the enemies he may have made throughout the years, he never spoke an ill word against them. As he wandered the streets, speaking of truth and questioning thought, many may have wondered how he made a living. When his father passed away, he left a hefty inheritance that allowed him to live in a rather comfortable state.
When Socrates hit the social scene, he was often spotted attending and participating in a variety of symposiums, which sound pretty fancy, but are really parties where drinking took place. Often held after a dinner among the wealthy and affluent citizens of Athens, some of the features associated with this get-together include
games and music.
This was also the time where gossip passed about the crowd and debates took place. Many individuals took this opportunity to spread their ideas and thoughts. As more and more alcohol was consumed, the topics floated and bounced from subjects, such as war, politics, religion, and philosophy. Although Socrates didn’t pass on the drinking, he was able to keep a clear head and remain sharp with his tongue.