Virginie Girod SEASON 2023 - 2024 05:00, February 26, 2024

Socrates is one of the most famous philosophers of ancient Greece.

But in reality, we know very little about him: he left no writings.

His disciples, including the best known, Plato, looked after his posterity.

In a new story in two parts, Virginie Girod tells you the story of the first philosopher of Athens.  

Socrates was born into a poor family in the southern suburbs of Athens around 470 BC.

AD It was a prosperous period for the city.

At the head of the Delian League, a coalition of cities, she emerged victorious in the war against the Persians.

The city-state, led by Pericles, is then a democracy.

But only free men, or 10% of the population, can take part in the political decisions of the city.

Women, metics and slaves are excluded from citizenship.  

A sculptor like his father, Socrates is especially interested in rhetoric.

However, the art of speaking well is the prerogative of the elite, who despise artisans.

Socrates therefore knows that he must stop practicing a manual profession to be taken seriously by the aristocracy.  

From there, we don't know what Socrates lives on.

During the Peloponnesian War which pitted Athens against its rival Sparta, he was rich enough to be a hoplite, a heavy infantryman.

At that time, every citizen bought his own military equipment!  

The Athenians are the kings of the sea, but they are no match for the Spartan soldiers and prefer to retreat behind the walls.

A courageous fighter, Socrates observes the Athenians harshly during this war, he is horrified by the lack of courage of his people.

Socrates impresses with his intelligence, his refusal of social conventions and his way of addressing people to make them think.  

Pericles died in 429. The city rested on one man for too long.

Athenian democracy is faltering.

Socrates will try to raise awareness. 

Topics covered: Ancient Greece, philosophy, Pericles, Peloponnesian War 

“At the Heart of History”

is a Europe 1 Studio podcast

- Presentation: Virginie Girod 

- Production: Camille Bichler and Caroline Garnier 

- Director: Clément Ibrahim

- Composition of the original music: Julien Tharaud and Sébastien Guidis

- Writing and Distribution: Nathan Laporte

- Communication: Marie Corpet

- Visual: Sidonie Mangin

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Aurélie Damet, The Greek world, Armand Colin, 2020. 

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