Xenophon’s Socrates

June 16, 2011 § Leave a comment

Xenophon’s description of Socrates in his Memorabilia is most interesting. Often regarded as ‘inferior’ compared to Plato’s accounts, there are moments when the prose (or at least what is translated) comes across as lively.

In fact Xenophon gives us a humble view of Plato’s brother, Glaucon. During a conversation between Socrates and Glaucon (in which the latter was aspiring to become a head of state) A series of questions by Socrates leaves makes him realize that he really isn’t prepared for the top position, his vain ego in danger of crumbling.

Socrates gives a most humbling remark to the elder brother of Plato.

“If a man can’t carry one talent in weight, surely it’s obvious he shouldn’t even try to carry more than one.”


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