Height: 27.500 cm
Purchased with the assistance of the
Room 22: Alexander the Great
Portrait statuette of Socrates
Greek, about 200 BC - AD
Said to be from Alexandria, Egypt
Socrates (469-399 BC) is considered to be the intellectual father of modern Western philosophy. His method of enquiry was to enter into a penetrating discussion with his companions, questioning the nature of knowledge itself in pursuit of absolute truths. Socrates himself wrote nothing, but versions of his conversations are recorded in the written works of his pupils Plato and Xenophon.
Socrates' pursuit of true knowledge brought him into conflict with the piety laws of his native Athens, where his eventual prosecution led to enforced suicide.
to both Plato and Xenophon, Socrates' physical appearance -
portly, pug-nosed, fleshy-lipped - was like that of a
P. Zanker, The mask of Socrates (University of California Press, 1995)
G.M.A. Richter, The portraits of the Greeks (London, Phaidon, 1965)