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The Sacrifice of SocratesThe Sacrifice of Socrates

Athens, Plato, and Girard

Wm. Blake Tyrrell

Narrated by Bob Neufeld

Available from Audible

Book published by Michigan State University Press

When Athenians suffered the shame of having lost a war from their own greed and foolishness, around 404 BCE the public’s blame was directed at Socrates, a man whose unique appearance and behavior, as well as his disapproval of the democracy, made him a ready target. Socrates was subsequently put on trial and sentenced to death. However, as René Girard has pointed out, no individual can be held responsible for a communal crisis. Plato’s Apology depicts Socrates as both the bane and the cure of Greek society, while his Crito shows a sacrificial Socrates, what some might consider a pharmakos figure, the human drug through whom Plato can dispense his philosophical remedies. With tremendous insight and satisfying complexity, this book analyzes classical texts through the lens of Girard’s mimetic mechanism.

Wm. Blake Tyrrell is Distinguished Professor of Classics at Michigan State University.


“An essential pick for philosophy and literary criticism collections.”

Midwest Book Review

“An excellent introduction…Highly recommended.”


All titles are published by:
University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks