An Ancient Dialogue

Brad Miner | August 21, 2023

Note: TCT cannot affirm the antiquity – or authenticity – or even the author — of this newly-discovered fragment, but we thought it would be of interest to our classically-minded readers.

Eudaimon: Socrates, Socrates! Wait! I need to talk with you.

Socrates: Well, well. My young friend, owl-eyed Eudaimon. How kind the gods are to let us meet again here, seemingly by chance, under these sheltering trees, as the sun goes down in the mist-filled West. What has you so agitated at this evening hour? Another romantic misadventure?

E:  No. The whole city seems aflame with a raging fever, Socrates. All summer, I’ve hoped for the public battles to cool down, as in past years. But they haven’t. The public men are indicting one another everywhere, in the law courts, like madmen. The agora is in constant uproar, even on the hottest days. In summer, the big men used to seek relief from the heat in their shady country houses. This year, wildfires are raging. The lyre-players are singing about the callousness of rich men in the North, and horrors in the city unthinkable in a small town. Even the high priests are caught up in the madness.

S: Slow down, my young Eudaimon. I know several high priests. Some have indeed drunk deep of the general madness. But quite a few understand what’s happening, and are as appalled as you are.

E: But what are they – what are we all – going to do? This simply cannot go on.

S: You’re right, and how blessed you are to have already learned that at your tender age. It’s heartbreaking when a great city like ours, with a brilliant history, seems hellbent on destroying itself.

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