Osudy a proměny Sókratova daimonia

Title in English The Fates and Transformations of Socrates' daimonion


Year of publication 2014
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Socrates´s personality resonated not only in his times, but also through the works of later authors, while the views on him differed significantly in the course of centuries. However, it seems that the Socratic tradition split in two ways: on the one hand, there is Socrates functioning as a moral authority par excellence, as we know him from Plato, Xenophon, Cicero or Seneca, with an emphasis on his calm reception of death penalty; on the other hand, there is another, supernatural, dimension of his personality represented by the concept of so-called daimonion. The aim of the paper is to examine the development and changes of perception within the frame of the latter tradition. The argumentation is based on Plato´s accounts in his dialogues, as well as the reports of the authors of late antiquity, Plutarch, Maximus Tyrius and Apuleius. Treatise De deo Socratis written by aforementioned African intellectual Apuleius provides us with the most systematic and complex view on the issue of daemons. Here, it is of a particular interest to see, how it was accepted, or rather condemned, by the early Christian authors. It is Augustinus who is to be regarded responsible for the negative connotations of the term daimonion under the influence of Christianity.
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