Loeb Classical Library

Adam Kirsch wrote a great essay on how the Loeb Classical Library allows readers to discover how Socrates’s contemporaries viewed him:

But it has always been a matter of debate whether the Socrates Plato writes about is a faithful reflection of the man who walked the streets of Athens.

And later

Pursuing the figure of Socrates through the Loeb Classical Library leads, then, to troubling conclusions. There’s no reason to think that Xenophon’s dull moralist or Aristophanes’s comic foil is closer to the real Socrates than Plato’s philosopher — rather the contrary, since Plato was the closest to Socrates of any of them. But the three portraits are a reminder that we have no direct access to the real Socrates, whoever he was. We have only interpretations and texts…

 

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