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It Is 300 Bc, You Are A Platonist. Your Friend, Also A Student, Has Been Condemned To Death By The Athenian Court. Write Him A Letter Preparing Him For His Last Hours.

2890 words - 12 pages

My beloved Adeimantus,I cannot but lament that I should lose you so soon and so unjustly. How often have I loved to gaze upon your bearded face and welcomed the opportunity to be privy to that beauty, to which all men aspire? How often have we enjoyed each others company and instructive conversation? All the more sorrowful, then, is the task to which I now apply myself.Nicostratus has truly wronged every Athenian, not least his own person, in robbing us of such a youth as yourself over such a trivial matter. To have been brought to trial merely for overlooking certain occasional libations is something you should not forgive. It is a harsh injustice to consider this impious, and to consider it a crime punishable by death is nonsense and hyperbole. We both, you and I, are known for following our teachers footsteps regarding the folly of democracy but you, Adeimantus are perhaps an easier target than myself; I having a somewhat more powerful position than you and at least as much talent for rhetoric as Nicostratus. I fear that Nicostratus' dislike of myself, and the views that we may share in the matter of politics, are his prime motivations for indicting you.Yes, unfortunately Nicostratus has used his treasured democratic system to commit a great injustice, and has so expertly misled the Ecclesia as to the seriousness of your neglect, that your own eloquent defence was rendered ineffective, and the so called judges were inclined to agree all too quickly, that death, and not exile should be the appropriate form of correction.It should have been I, and not you, facing death at this time and for this I am most sorry. Not only because of my advanced years, but also because it is my power, my life, Nicostratus wishes to render impotent in directing this business.It is an incontrovertible proof of the beauty of your soul and the piety of your heart that, in conversations of late, you have demonstrated your willingness to abide by the laws of the city and, as such, to die in my place. You will surely be rewarded for this sacrifice. There is no courage which the Gods value more highly than the courage of love. You are yet young however, and conversations - being merely sound and air - do not last long, especially in circumstances where the fears and desires of the body are want to cloud the mind and blind the eye of the soul as to the most just path to follow. I have therefore, from love for that very soul -which may be blinded, decided to send you this letter, which aims to recall the conversations we have had, and present to you tangible truths to point you in the right direction and to prepare you for your last hours in this body.I wish you to know that, if I sound sorrowful, my sorrow stems from my own loss and not yours. You will not be losing a life but gaining a clearer view of the Gods and of truth and beauty and wisdom, and for this reason you should be happy, and I too, should be happy for you.Having claimed already to prefer to be the one in the...

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