Euthyphro, Plato
Euthyphro
Plato
0:48 h Ideas Lvl 10.35
Euthyphro by Plato, is a Socratic dialogue whose events occur in the weeks before the trial of Socrates (399 BC), between Socrates and Euthyphro. The dialogue covers subjects such as the meaning of piety and justice. As is common with Plato's earliest dialogues, it ends in aporia. In this dialogue, Socrates meets Euthyphro at the porch of the King Archon. Socrates tells him that he is preparing to go to court against the charges of Meletus on the grounds of impiety. Euthyphro tells Socrates that he is going to court himself to prosecute his father for binding a worker in chains and leaving him to die. The aporic ending in Euthyphro has led to one of the strongest theological debates in religious history.

Euthyphro

by
Plato

Translated by Benjamin Jowett, 1891


Euthyphro

Persons of the Dialogue

Socrates. Euthyphro.

Scene: — The Porch of the King Archon.

Euthyphro. Why have you left the Lyceum, Socrates? and what are you doing in the Porch of the King Archon? Surely you cannot be concerned in a suit before the King, like myself?

Socrates. Not in a suit, Euthyphro; impeachment is the word which Athenians the use.

Euth. What! I suppose that some one has been prosecuting you, for I cannot believe that you are the prosecutor of another.

Soc. Certainly not.

Euth. Then some one else has been prosecuting you?

Soc.Yes.

Euth. And who is he?

Soc. A young man who is little known, Euthyphro; and I hardly know him: his name is Meletus, and he is of the deme of Pitthis. Perhaps you may remember his appearance; he has a beak, and long straight hair, and a beard which is ill grown.

Euth. No, I do not remember him, Socrates. But what is the charge which he brings against you?

Soc. What is the charge? Well, a very serious charge, which shows a good deal of character in the young man, and for which he is certainly not to be despised. He says he knows how the youth are corrupted and who are their corruptors. I fancy that he must be a wise man, and seeing that I am the reverse of a wise man, he has found me out, and is going to accuse me of corrupting his young friends. And of this our mother the state is to be the judge. Of all our political men he is the only one who seems to me to begin in the right way, with the cultivation of virtue in youth; like a good husbandman, he makes the young shoots his first care, and clears away us who are the destroyers of them. This is only the first step; he will afterwards attend to the elder branches; and if he goes on as he has begun, he will be a very great public benefactor.

Euth. I hope that he may; but I rather fear, Socrates, that the opposite will turn out to be the truth. My opinion is that in attacking you he is simply aiming a blow at the foundation of the state. But in what way does he say that you corrupt the young?

Soc. He brings a wonderful accusation against me, which at first hearing excites surprise: he says that I am a poet or maker of gods, and that I invent new gods and deny the existence of old ones; this is the ground of his indictment.

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