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Socrates in Love: The Making of a Philosopher

Armand D'Angour

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Bloomsbury
01 July 2020
Biography: historical, political & military; Classical history & classical civilisation; Philosophy; Western philosophy: Ancient, to c 500; Abbey's Double Rewards; Advocate - Philosophy
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An innovative and insightful exploration of the passionate early life of Socrates and the influences that led him to become the first and greatest of philosophers Socrates: the philosopher whose questioning gave birth to the ideas of Western thought, and whose execution marked the end of the Athenian Golden Age. Yet despite his pre-eminence among the great thinkers of history, little of his life story is known. What we know tends to begin in his middle age and end with his trial and death. Our conception of Socrates has relied upon Plato and Xenophon - men who met him when he was in his fifties and a well-known figure in war-torn Athens.

There is mystery at the heart of Socrates' story: what turned the young Socrates into a philosopher? What drove him to pursue with such persistence, at the cost of social acceptance and ultimately of his life, a whole new way of thinking about the meaning of existence?

In this revisionist biography, Armand D'Angour draws on neglected sources to explore the passions and motivations of young Socrates, showing how love transformed him into the philosopher he was to become. What emerges is the figure of Socrates as never previously portrayed: a heroic warrior, an athletic wrestler and dancer - and a passionate lover. Socrates in Love sheds new light on the formative journey of the philosopher, finally revealing the identity of the woman who Socrates claimed inspired him to develop ideas that have captivated thinkers for 2,500 years.
By:   Armand D'Angour
Imprint:   Bloomsbury
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
Weight:   226g
ISBN:   9781408883822
ISBN 10:   1408883821
Pages:   272
Publication Date:   01 July 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Armand D'Angour is an Associate Professor of Classics at Oxford and Fellow and Tutor at Jesus College, Oxford. Author of The Greeks and the New (2011), an investigation into ancient Greek attitudes to novelty, he has written widely about Greek and Latin poetry, music and literature, and was commissioned to compose odes in ancient Greek for the Olympic Games in Athens (2004) and London (2012). He was trained as a pianist and cellist as well as a classicist, and has recently reconstructed ancient Greek music from original documents on stone and papyrus.

Reviews for Socrates in Love: The Making of a Philosopher

Sympathetic and irreverent ... A demythologised Socrates is revealed, not so much debunked as rendered newly human ... All this is done in prose of easy elegance and authority ... Socrates is one of the very few philosophers whose thoughts on love are worth reading * Daily Telegraph * In this brilliant study, Armand D'Angour refocuses the works of Socrates the Philosopher by looking afresh at the life of Socrates the Man. In doing so, he provides new insights not just into Socrates but into ancient Greek thinking as a whole -- Peter Frankopan, author of 'The Silk Roads' Write the name Aspasia on your hearts! History, as told by men, has often erased the role of women. Our new champion Armand D'Angour has pieced together the evidence - that a woman of great intellectual powers helped lay the foundations of Western philosophy. This is a delicious and exhilarating piece of serious scholarship -- Helena Kennedy D'Angour sets about his task with admirable imagination, even a touch of literary flair ... Highly readable -- Patrick Kidd * The Times * A terrific read * Literary Review * A fascinating and revelatory book. A penetrating combination of tremendous scholarship, imagination and sympathetic understanding -- William Boyd A learned, agile and slickly written book ... [D'Angour] offers an erudite guide to the intellectual culture of the time ... [I] couldn't help admiring his grasp of the material and his ability to communicate it compactly -- Tim Whitmarsh * Guardian * Who was Socrates? D'Angour guesses that the majority of people who know something about him will answer that Socrates was `a thinker, wise man, or philosopher of ancient Greece.' If your answer was along these lines, then you need to pick up this book ... Not only clearly well-researched, but it is also enjoyable to read * All About History * A book that succeeds brilliantly in achieving something that I had always assumed was impossible: providing a historically grounded portrait of the man Socrates may actually have been. Not merely eye-opening, it is thrilling and moving -- Tom Holland Armand D'Angour's new readings of Plato's dialogues bring a new Athenian world to life ... Plausible and beautifully written -- Josephine Quinn Who was Socrates? Surprising insights abound in Armand D'Angour's new, even radical, biography of the brilliantly eccentric, earthy, and brave provocateur-philosopher. Socrates in Love is deeply thoughtful and delightfully written -- Adrienne Mayor, author of 'Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology' The most nourishing book I have read this year * praise for The Greeks and the New, Spectator: Book of the Year Selection * A fantastic, engaging book ... Not to be missed * praise for The Greeks and the New, Bryn Mawr Classical Review * The book is well-written and fun to read-it has itself some of the gleam and glamour of the new, and I expect that its readers will give it kleos * praise for The Greeks and the New, Classical Journal Online * Engaging and aptly original study * praise for The Greeks and the New, Times Literary Supplement * A learned, agile and slickly written book ... D'Angour offers an erudite guide to the intellectual culture of the time ... I couldn't help admiring his grasp of the material and his ability to communicate it compactly -- Tim Whitmarsh * Guardian *


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