The Last Days of Socrates (Euthyphro, The Apology, Crito, Phaedo) by Plato
Because of the absence of writings by Socrates, we only know of his philosophical beliefs through the writings of his students. Fortunately many of these have survived through to today and provide an excellent primary source for the understanding of this great philosopher. Of all the students' writings none are more comprehensive and informative with regard to Socrates than those of Plato. Contained in this volume are some of the most important of those writings by Plato. In "Euthyphro" we find a dialogue between Socrates and Euthyphro, a religious expert, concerning the definition of piety or holiness. This dialogue is important for it examines the injustice of the charge against Socrates of not believing in the gods in whom the city believed. In the "Apology" we find Plato's version of the speech given by Socrates in his defense at his trial. In "Crito" we find a conversation between Socrates and his wealthy friend Crito regarding justice, injustice, and the appropriate response to injustice. In this dialogue we see Socrates refusing Crito's offering to finance his escape from prison on the basis that injustice cannot be solved by further injustice. In "Phaedo" we find a dialogue depicting the death of Socrates. Collectively these works detail the final days of Socrates and provide a profound example of the virtues for which Socrates both lived and died for.