Xenophon’s Apology and Plato’s Apology


Write a 1250 – 1500 word essay in response to one of the following questions. Your response to the problem must be argumentative, i.e., defending a clear
thesis with appropriate evidence and supported by a properly constituted scholarly apparatus. Submit your essay according to the instructions in the course
syllabus, subject to any procedural modifications communicated by your writing instructor in the tutorial.

Entitle the electronic document you uploaded to Dropbox as: yourlastname st# finalessay
Hence, Dr. Lavery’s document would be named: Lavery 85096387 final essay

1) Xenophon’s “Apology” is a second-hand account of Socrates’ trial, whereas Plato was an eye witness. In many respects, this difference makes
Plato’s “Apology” more authoritative than Xenophon’s. However, Plato’s version of Socrates’ speech is suspiciously well polished for an extemporaneous
speech, and it omits fundamental details. [On the MyLS page for BF 299 you will find Xenophon’s account, also entitled “Apology” (see Socrates: a source
book, by John Ferguson, pp. 139-144).] Question: Are there important respects in which Xenophon’s “Apology” is more reliable as a primary historical source
for Socrates’ trial than Plato’s “Apology”? Defend your answer.

See the handouts “Categories of Assessment” and “Formatting a Humanities Essay” for further information.

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