Essay by badballCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2006

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In 470 B.C.E. a Greek Philosopher named Socrates was born in Athens. He was the son of Sophroniscus of Alopece, who was a sculptor. Researchers have said that Socrates was brought up as a sculptor which later he abandoned. When the Peloponnesian war broke out, Socrates went into active service and he earned high praises by the people of Athens. The size of Potidaea which was the beginning of the war and where he saved Alcibaiades life, he fought in the battle of Amphipolis in 422 and he was considered a hero by the people of Athens.

In 406 B.C.E. a trail of generals who commanded an Athenian fleet at the battle of Arginusae was held. They were accused of failing to pick up survivors and the dead of the battle. The generals defended themselves by claiming that the rescue of the bodies would be impossible because of the strong seas.

Socrates was a member of the Prytaneis who are the board of fifty presidents at the trial. What Socrates asked himself was whether the generals had a right to be tried separately. He believed that if they were tried together it would be unfair. The Athenian council listened to the public opinion who said, that the general should be tried together. Socrates dissented and challenged the mass trial as unconstitutional under Athenian law and procedure of the court.

But, the population of Athens and the majority of that population was so angered by the decision to postpone the trial, that the committee forgot unconstitutionality and allowed a vote on an amendment to try all ten generals together. Socrates held out against this decision because he believed it was not only illegal but also unjust (pg. 33). The majority prevailed and cleared the passage for the amendment and the trail.