The Hemlock Cup - Socrates, Athens And The Search For The Good Life

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0120101206

Written by Bettany Hughes.

We think the way we do because Socrates thought the way he did.

His aphorism 'The unexamined life is not worth living' may have originated twenty-five centuries ago, but it is a founding principle of modern life.

Socrates lived in a city that nurtured the key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought- yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure.

"The Hemlock Cup" tells his story, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world.

Socrates was a soldier, a lover, a man of the people.

He philosophised neither in grand educational establishments nor the courts of kings but in the squares and public arenas of Golden Age Athens.

He lived through an age of extraordinary materialism, in which a democratic culture turned to the glorification of its own city; when war was declared under the banner of democracy; and, when tolerance turned into intimidation on streets once populated by the likes of Euripides, Sophocles and Pericles.

For seventy years he was a vigorous citizen of one of the greatest capitals on earth, but then his beloved Athens turned on him, condemning him to death by poison.

Socrates' pursuit of personal liberty is a vibrant story that Athens did not want us to hear.

But Bettany Hughes has painstakingly pieced together Socrates' life, following in his footsteps across Greece and Asia Minor, and examining the new archaeological discoveries that shed light on his world.

"The Hemlock Cup" relates a story that is as relevant now as it has ever been.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Reader: Bettany Hughes

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

In May 399BC the philosopher Socrates faced trial.

His beloved Athens had turned on him.

0220101207

Written by Bettany Hughes.

Socrates lived in a city that nurtured the key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought- yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure.

"The Hemlock Cup" tells his story, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world.

The young Socrates listens to the great thinkers of Athens and begins to form his own philosophical thoughts on life.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Reader: Bettany Hughes

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The young Socrates listens to the great thinkers of Athens.

0320101208

Written by Bettany Hughes.

Socrates lived in a city that nurtured the key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought- yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure.

"The Hemlock Cup" tells his story, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world.

War engulfed much of Socrates' life.

Now a young man, he must take up his sword and fight for his beloved Athens.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Reader: Bettany Hughes

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Now a young man, Socrates must take up his sword and fight for his beloved Athens.

0420101209

Written by Bettany Hughes.

Socrates lived in a city that nurtured the key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought- yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure.

"The Hemlock Cup" tells his story, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world.

Socrates debates with the young men of Athens, suggesting that their future may lie in a simpler life of good.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Reader: Bettany Hughes

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

Socrates argues to the young men of Athens that their future may lie in a simpler life.

05 LAST20101210

Written by Bettany Hughes.

Socrates lived in a city that nurtured the key ingredients of contemporary civilisation - democracy, liberty, science, drama, rational thought- yet, as he wrote nothing in his lifetime, he himself is an enigmatic figure.

"The Hemlock Cup" tells his story, setting him in the context of the Eastern Mediterranean that was his home, and dealing with him as he himself dealt with the world.

The Spartans break down Athenian walls and Socrates is barred from associating with the city's youth.

His card is marked.

Abridged by Libby Spurrier

Reader: Bettany Hughes

Producer: Joanna Green

A Pier production for BBC Radio 4.

The Spartans break down Athenian walls.

Socrates' card is marked.