Dear Professor Gilbert,
Wow – this is a Masterpiece. What Justice you do to Socrates!!
My sense is Socrates was alive in a time of debauchery. He had to deny Eros because the existing violation of what Eros truly was – was being abused and used as an excuse to behave in immorality during Socrates’ time. All the gods were lost to the “Golden Age of Greece”. Yet he maintains Athena’s original archetypal tenets for justice in his solidity regarding true justice. Eros is within the heart of Socrates as well as his mind that will not compromise himself. “This is where I have lived. This is where I have served. This is where I love… I am not running to an obscure place when the laws herein are being violated in their truest sense.
Sophistry had to be identified as the manipulation that is is. He would not manipulate the variables, but made them starkly clear. He died for that clarity. When the gods of Greece were not distorted as they had become by his lifetime, Athene would have served as the perfect administrator of the kind of Justice that Socrates seeks. But to resort to those earlier archetypes as reference points to truth and proof of his innocence in Socrates’ time would not have served him, and would have obscured his message. It is fortunate that Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi were able to inject the heart directly and from directly the core of their message.
I am so grateful that someone with your sense of social justice examines this important topic/s.
Many Thanks for all your hard work – LuAnn Glatzmaier, Ph.D
He did, of course, touch two times on a city of Pythagoreans, of philosophers of whom Theanna was one in the Republic. See here.
And Socrates, in the Crito, looked to the far future…
So true, So true. We had to bring the western reason into the situation, and luckily with Athena, although distorted, still managed to stay stronger than the other deities. As you point to those incredible characteristics of Athena. I like very much how I was taught that she was daughter of Metis, whose provence was “gut knowledge” yet her birth sprung from the head of Zeus – who was so proud of her and her intelligence. Her owl consort brings Metis in again, showing that this is not an Eagle, as with Zeus – this is a trickster creature who hunts in the night through hearing. So rich there. The gut knowledge and intuitive within Athena together with her father’s Justice and she, being a Virgin goddess was able to stay clear of being tainted, whereas Zeus’ exploits dimmed his reputation for Justice, while hers maintained impenetrable. Athens named after her because they wanted to assure that they would “never be penetrated by the enemy” and given that they were constantly fighting the Spartans or whomever, that pretty much was the case. My favorite aspect of her is that she casts a deciding vote in a tie on behalf of the accused, the mercy vote, just as we honor Lincoln’s words “I have always felt that mercy bears greater truth than Justice…” Sometimes these archetypes are right in our midst and we become used to them, thankfully, our Statue of Liberty – Athena incarnate in our core premise. In Greece, the gods may have become frivolous, but not Athena. They may have quit honoring her history and totality, but they didn’t imagine her romping around unjustly as did so many of their once sacred divinities. As Apollo strayed from his chthonic roots, he lost his identity, his wholeness, and became a vain, tragic figure.