To my mind, this translation surpasses all others with which I am familiar. The translation has a flowing literary style that does justice to the rich feel of reading Platos own prose and is remarkably precise in its reflecting of the original language, with the result that, when one notices something interesting going on in the language of the translation, one will consistently find it is reproducing what is found in the Greek. In both these ways, this is a very trustworthy text--the reader can confidently presume to be experiencing Platos writing. The dialogue itself--Platos _Phaedo_--has few parallels for philosophical, literary and cultural depth and importance. It is the conversation Socrates has on the day of his death with a number of philosophical admirers. It is a rich discussion of the nature of knowledge, the nature of virtue, the ultimate nature of reality and especially the nature of death itself. The introduction by the translators is also uncommonly good for putting the reader in a position to read the text well. This is the only translation of the _Phaedo_ that I will assign to my classes. This translation is a fantastic accomplishment.
Socrates, as depicted by his devoted student, Plato, is one of the true spiritual giants of recorded history, standing in such company as Jesus and the Buddha. The Phaedo preserves the moment where Socrates earned his immortality, forced to commit suicide by the Athenian democracy.
This edition is the only accessible volume to give the Phaedo the individual treatment it merits. The translation is clear, dramatic, naturalistic, and compelling. Included are an extensive introduction, an outline of the arguments of the dialogue, and copious explanatory notes, as well as a bibliography for further reading.
To hear Socrates lecturing his students on the nature of the soul and his assurance of the life to come as the moment of his execution approaches is inspiring and uplifting. As great as any Greek tragedy, the Phaedo recreates a moment where one of the greatest of men shuffles off his mortal coil and puts on immortality. A powerful, moving, and transforming read; not to be missed!
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