Virginie Girod SEASON 2023 - 2024 05:00, February 27, 2024

Listen to the rest of the life of Socrates told by Virginie Girod.

Socrates lived during the century of Pericles, when Athenian democracy was at the height of its power.

But this democracy is fragile and the philosopher, in the name of truth, questions its fault lines.  

Mired in the Peloponnesian War which pitted it against Sparta, Athens' hegemony disintegrated at the same time as its democratic institutions.

In 411 BC.

BC, the regime was even temporarily replaced by an oligarchic government: The Four Hundred.  

During the naval battle of the Arginusa Islands, the Athenians finally achieved victory.

Surprised by a storm, the boats are unable to rescue the dead and the sailors who have fallen into the water, as tradition dictates.

The Athenians, outraged, demanded the trial of the victorious generals.

They are condemned to death!

Socrates is one of the few to oppose it, he knows that this choice will have terrible consequences.

Nothing can any longer oppose the triumph of Sparta which soon blocks the Athenian port of Piraeus.

However, Athens was not self-sufficient in terms of food and capitulated to the specter of famine.

Its fortifications are destroyed, its fleet burned.

The city of Socrates is nothing and democracy is collapsing.

A new oligarchy emerges: the Thirty Tyrants, who are drunk with power and blood.  

Socrates tries to bring order to the city, but he is seen as a lesson-teacher who confronts everyone with their contradictions.

At the beginning of 399, the Athenians put him in prison awaiting trial for impiety and corrupting the youth.

Sentenced to death, he is forced to drink a poison, hemlock.

If Socrates left us no writing, it is through the work of his disciples, such as Plato, that we are aware of his fundamental thought. 

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: Nicolas Gaspard

- 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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