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Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's "Euthyphro," "Apology of Socrates," "Crito," and Aristophanes' "Clouds" Paperback – August 27, 1998

ISBN-13: 978-0801485749 ISBN-10: 0801485746 Edition: 1st

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Four Texts on Socrates: Plato's "Euthyphro," "Apology of Socrates," "Crito," and Aristophanes' "Clouds" + The Republic Of Plato: Second Edition + Aristotle's "Politics": Second Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (August 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801485746
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801485749
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,235 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, Greek (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Thomas G. West is Paul Ermine Potter and Dawn Tibbetts Potter Professor of Politics, Hillsdale College.



Grace Starry West is Associate Professor of Classical Studies, Hillsdale College.


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Customer Reviews

Great footnote, meaning, it must go beyond the meaning of the word.
stephen liem
He could be made to speak like a parody of William F. Buckley or the Star Wars character Yoda.
Ornello
I used this book for my undergraduate course on Ancient Philosophy.
Erik

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By John Russon on April 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding translation of these Greek texts. These are texts that many of us regularly teach in introductory classes, and it is a great help to have such a reliable translation: the translation is clear and accessible, but maintains an unusually strict adherence to the form of the original Greek. This makes it useful for advanced study as well. The running footnotes to the text are especially helpful for giving students the relevant points of historical and legal context for understanding Socrates's position, but they are sparse enough that they do not intrude in the interpretation of the text. This is the only translation of these texts that I will use in my courses.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Alexander Alderman on February 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a real rarity in Platonic scholarship--a synoptic translation of four important works on the life of Socrates; in other words, the translators use the same English words to convey the same important Greek terms in each of their translations in order to aid the reader in recognizing how those terms evolve in meaning and shape the drama of each of the works, or in short, in recognizing the dialogue which exists between the works rather than merely within them. A former reviewer seems to have missed the point of this work: if you want someone to TELL YOU WHAT PLATO MEANS, you can read a two line summary in an encyclopedia, but if you want to find out why Plato went and wrote an entire dialogue rather than a two line summary, you have to pay close attention to what he actually says. These translations are about as close as you can get without having advanced knowledge of Greek, and even then, the Wests note specific usages of key terms which even a native speaker of ancient Greek might not have noticed on a first reading, and which are largely ignored by the scholarly community. This is an ideal translation for students of politics, history, philosophy, and classical literature who want to know why the most profound and poetic civilization of antiquity put the first philosopher to death, and why he let them.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bruno Levy on September 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I am very interested in reading Plato in a way that is as close to the original. Unfortunately I don't read ancient gtreek.

So I have a question:

here is the translation provided in this book of a famous passage:

"For there is no human being who will preserve his life if he genuinely opposes either you or any other multitude and prevents many unjust and unlawful things from happening in the city"

here is the translation from Benjamin Jowett
"no man who goes to war with you or any other multitude, honestly striving against the many lawless and unrighteous deeds which are done in a state, will save his life"

now I don't care about whether one is more readable than the other, etc

what I care are answer to the following questions that I would be most grateful to get:
1) is the original speaking of "city" or "state"?
2) which verbal expression is closest to what was originally written: "oppose" or "going to war by honestly striving" ?
3) which expressions is closer to the original: is it "unjust and unlawful things" or "lawless and unrighteous"? Is unrighteous right? wasn't it writtent unjust?

You see i am caring about the translated sentence being as close as possible to the original economy (order of words, structure of the sentence, use of one verb when one was used, etc).

Can someone help me assess whether this translation fit with my goal?
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here is what I am looking for when I am reading Plato:
1. Quality of translation: I prefer readibility over beauty.
2. In-depth introduction to the dialogue (see for example: Allan Bloom's essay in his translation of the Republic).
3. Great footnote, meaning, it must go beyond the meaning of the word.
4. Great bibliography.

This book excels in #1 and #4, but lacking on the interpretive essay and footnote. The essay opened with a promising argument that we do not today pay enough attention to rational thinking, but unfortunately it does not go far enough in linking this to the dialogues. The essays are disappointingly brief. It reads likes those text you would find in a newspaper's book-review. I do, however, appreciate the inclusion of Aristophanes' Clouds and the author has done a decent job in putting that in to the context of the trial.

On the footnote side: the footnote only explains the meaning of the original Greek words. I expect some historical, or cultural backgrounds notes.
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Format: Paperback
Having compared this translation with 4 or 5 other translations and with the Greek, I was most pleased with the Plato and less pleased with the Aristophanes.

The Plato texts are accurate and readable, and the prose is even and flowing. They portray the final conversations with Socrates before his execution. The texts are rich with topics for conversation and hold many curiosities when compared with the other Socratic dialogues.

The Aristophanes was accurate, but at times I felt it was censored compared to several of the other translations; not censored in content, but in word choice. This translation uses the less harsh terms for what some of the other translations use. You may find this to be tasteful or dampening to the humor, its a matter of preference, but it is something to be aware of.

In all a great translation of great dialogues and hilarious criticism.
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