The Athens of Socrates's time has gone down in history as the very place where democracy and freedom of speech were born. Yet this city put Socrates, its most famous philosopher, to death. Presumably this was because it citizens did not like what he was teaching. Yet he had been teaching there all his life, unmolested. Why did they wait until he was 70, and had only a few years to live, before executing him?
In unraveling the long-hidden issues of the most famous free speech case of all time, noted author I.F. Stone ranges far and wide over both Roman and Greek history to present an engaging and rewarding introduction to classical antiquity and its relevance to society today.