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Vivienne J. Gray

The Framing of Socrates

The Literary Interpretation of Xenophon´s Memorabilia

1. Auflage 1998.
VI, 202 S.
ISBN 978-3-515-07313-4


Xenophon's Memorabilia is a principal source for the image of Socrates. Xenophon's argument about Socrates is here examined in its entirety for the first time in English as a product of his personal knowledge of Socrates, his use of rhetoric to persuade his audience, and of literary traditions which had already set in place the 'frame' for the acceptable image of the wise man. Xenophon innovates within these traditions to present a Socrates who innovated in the traditions of philosophy. The work is proven to have a unified and sustained rhetorical argument. It imitates the philosophical process that it attributes to Socrates. Xenophon's literary techniques and artistry, the nature of rhetoric and the literary traditions concerning the wise man are illuminated. Comparison with Plato is not a major focus, but the investigation increases awareness of the complexity of the 'Socratic problem'.


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