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Plato: Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus (Loeb Classical Library) Reprint Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674990401
ISBN-10: 0674990404
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  • Plato: Euthyphro. Apology. Crito. Phaedo. Phaedrus (Loeb Classical Library)
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  • Plato: Laches, Protagoras, Meno, Euthydemus, (Loeb Classical Library, No. 165) (Greek and English Edition)
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Product Details

  • Series: Loeb Classical Library (Book 36)
  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press; Reprint edition (1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0674990404
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674990401
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 1 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #159,835 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Like most volumes in the Loeb series, the emphasis is not on word-for-word precision in the translation, but on acheiving greater readability in broader terms. Since the original text in ancient Greek is provided on the facing page, the editors assume that anyone with a little knowledge of Greek can supplement the looseness of the translation by referring to the original. And in general, the compromises made in this way are good ones throughout the series. This particular translation is one of the more succesful in the Loeb series and manages to chart a course quite close to the original while also catching the flavor of idiomatic English.
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The mirror text offered in this book is of the most importance to any serious philosophy student. However for the mirror text to have any use you must know some Greek. The Greek text is on one side with Fowler's english translation on the other. It serves as an excellent reference whether using the Fowler translation or another translation because at any point where a misunderstanding occurs which may be due to a word choice in translation, one can simply look at the greek. It serves as a great reference for a person who takes Plato seriously and knows some Greek.
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Plato's Apology is one of the most famous books on philosophy. It contains the defense that Plato's teacher Socrates offered at his trial in Athens in 399 BCE before a jury of five hundred Athenians. He was charged with corrupting the young people of Athens with his ideas and with not believing in the gods. Socrates explained what he did, why he did it, and why he was innocent of the charges against him. In his final speech, he also discusses life after death.

Many translations were made of this classic, including the famous scholarly translation in the Loeb Classical Library. The Loeb translation is very good, but it doesn't reflect the colloquialisms of modern American English. For example, the opening sentence in Loeb reads: "How you, men of Athens, have been affected by my accusers, I do not know: but I, for my part, almost forgot my own identity, so persuasively did they talk; and yet there is hardly a word of truth in what they have said."

There are other translations, such as by Steve Kostecke, "Plato's Apology of Socrates," who breaks the opening sentence into two and adds stage directions in brackets. "What you have just experienced at the hands of my accusers - and what effect it had on you, Athenians, - I can only imagine. They spoke so persuasively that I nearly forgot who I was myself because of them, ... [Socrates sweeps his arm toward the prosecution bench.] ... and yet hardly a word of truth came out of their mouths." Nevertheless, the Loeb Classical edition is excellent, easy to read, and the Apology should be understood, since it is a classic with important ideas.

In his final speech, Socrates discusses life after death. He stresses that people should not fear death. There are two possibilities.
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In my many decades of studying many subjects and philosophy, I tend to forget certain passages in some of the best philosophical books. In this case I have read many times Crito and Apology, however, I wished to recall a certain passage in Phaedo. The LOEB Classical Library books are excellent for the young and old, and especially the few of us who can still read and translate the Athenian - Ionian language from 25 centuries ago. The classic language has no equal in its precise but difficult syntax's structure which makes it perfect for expressing complex ideas in a few words. "To Lakoneein esti Philosophen" they used to say. which translates to: speak briefly as the Lakaedemonians and then you might be considered a Philosopher. (see how many more words have to be used to translate 4 words from then). What a crime it will be when this language is lost. So, I highly recommend these books even if one does not read classical Ionian language. The English translations are as precise as the literati from England can make it. Yes, they are not perfect for me and I am improving in certain portions for my sons and grandchildren.
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This five Platonic dialogs can definetely offer a text pratice for reading the fastatic classical philosophy from where it gets its roots. It is meant for intermediate readers of classical greek, but with some effort, you can do it. It is worthy!!!
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