Crito, Plato
Crito
Plato
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Crito is a dialogue that was written by the ancient Greek philosopher Plato. It depicts a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito of Alopece regarding justice (δικαιοσύνη), injustice (ἀδικία), and the appropriate response to injustice after Socrates' imprisonment, which is chronicled in the Apology. In Crito, Socrates believes injustice may not be answered with injustice, personifies the Laws of Athens to prove this, and refuses Crito's offer to finance his escape from prison. The dialogue contains an ancient statement of the social contract theory of government. In contemporary discussions, the meaning of Crito is debated to determine whether it is a plea for unconditional obedience to the laws of a society. The text is one of the few Platonic dialogues that appear to be unaffected by Plato's opinions on the matter; it is dated to have been written around the same time as the Apology.

Crito

by
Plato


Crito

PERSONS OF THE DIALOGUE: Socrates. Crito.

Scene: — The Prison of Socrates.

Crito appears at break of dawn in the prison of Socrates, whom he finds asleep.

SOCRATES: Why have you come at this hour, Crito? it must be quite early.

CRITO: Yes, certainly.

SOCRATES: What is the exact time?

CRITO: The dawn is breaking.

SOCRATES: I wonder that the keeper of the prison would let you in.

CRITO: He knows me, because I often come, Socrates; moreover, I have done him a kindness.

SOCRATES: And are you only just arrived?

CRITO: No, I came some time ago.

SOCRATES: Then why did you sit and say nothing, instead of at once awakening me?

CRITO: I should not have liked myself, Socrates, to be in such great trouble and unrest as you are — indeed I should not: I have been watching with amazement your peaceful slumbers; and for that reason I did not awake you, because I wished to minimize the pain. I have always thought you to be of a happy disposition; but never did I see anything like the easy, tranquil manner in which you bear this calamity.

SOCRATES: Why, Crito, when a man has reached my age he ought not to be repining at the approach of death.

CRITO: And yet other old men find themselves in similar misfortunes, and age does not prevent them from repining.

SOCRATES: That is true. But you have not told me why you come at this early hour.

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