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History of Western Civilization Essay


Western civilization is anchored in an active interaction of law and justice that perpetually try to find harmony and stability in the gist of unending antagonism and vulnerable dissolution. Civilization has thrived while this counter-point has staggered and crumbled (Plato 69). Greek tradition and misfortune were the reasons for instability.

Thus, Aeschylus outlines the importance of trial by a judge to officiate justice founded on due procedure in a bid to ensure that a balance between justice and law is attained (Plato 54). This paper will discuss the main issues in the Euthyphro, the Apology, and the Crito, and how these issues impact the western civilization.

The paper will also attempt to answer various questions emerging from this book: Why should a person suffer the injustices of his/her country? Would this inculcate a level of apathy that would frustrate any effort of public fairness or legal transformation?

The Euthyphro

We first meet Socrates on the day prior to his trial where he is charged with wickedness towards the gods and misdirecting the Athenian youth. The Euthyphro recognizes Socrates as a self declared mogul on religious issues who had journeyed to Athens to bring his father to court for unjust demise of a servant. It is in the exchange between the two that we learn about the accusations placed against Socrates.

In the dialogue, we are introduced to the Socratic system, a dissertation that usually seeks to determine the essence of a universal quality or something articulated in a description. The Euthyphro raises a critical issue that pertains to the basis of ethics. In response to Socrates’ inquiry, Euthypro describes the meaning of right (or piety) as anything that is pleasant to the gods.

This description replicates the conventional foundation of the Greeks ethics. According to the typical Greeks, what was agreeable to the gods was more of an issue of official adherence than individual conduct. The significant issue thus regards ethical foundations, and the subsequent dialogue sounds gentle.

First, Socrates skillfully steers Euthyphro into accepting that the gods sanction what is spiritual since it is religious, and not because they support it. This significant differentiation not only counteracts Euthyphro’s recognition of what is right for the gods, but talks explicitly on the status of its origin and approval (Plato 69).

The Apology

In 399 B.C., Socrates’ enthusiastic justification in front of the panel of Athenian judges was a central source of information about his way of life and personality (Plato 94).

From this trial, we learn about his heavenly motivated mission to search for the truth, the reason behind his fame and animosity, an internal voice that discouraged him from acting unfairly, and his attempts to convince fellow Athenians of their moral welfare instead of their realistic gains.

Besides these motivating disclosures, Socrates’ justification elicited some important historical issues. One of the them was the odd-sounding concept that the rule of God did not allow a bad man to intimidate a good man. This meant that the actions of Socrates questioning and engaging people in authority was against the law of God and made Socrates a bad man.

The Apology is vital for outlining the idea of justice when Socrates emphasized that living honestly was the utmost good, even when it was in conflict with the apparent improvement. Socrates explained this idea when he notified the judges that an indicted person should not make an appeal, but should notify them of facts and persuade them with arguments (Plato 94).

The Crito

The discussion commences with a jailed Socrates being paid a visit by Crito, his comrade and follower. Crito tried to convince Socrates to run away from jail and escape Athens before his execution. Saying that his capital punishment was around the corner, Crito gave numerous reasons for Socrates’ running away, but none of these reasons was sufficient to persuade him to flee.

A critical deliberation of the relative advantages of the two men’s dispute comprises the theoretical importance of the dialogue. One of Crito’s main worries was that he and other followers of Socrates would be blamed for abandoning their jeopardized friend.

Socrates stated that the view of his friends should not deserve serious attention, and that in all issues where understanding directed practice, it was only the opinion of the well-informed that should be referred and observed (Plato 104).


The ancient Greeks had no satisfactory structure of positive law since they construed law, morals, and religion as one. For them, law had a divine foundation and comprised an ethical theme (Plato 95-104).

Although the Euthyphro, Apology, and Crito highlight the ethical basis of law and the dynamic interaction of law and fairness, they have been understood to apply an unqualified duty to comply with practical law arising from the Crito. These discussions introduce modern students to the most outstanding and remarkable man in the history (Plato) who played a vital role in worldly saints of the Western civilization.

Works Cited

Plato, Ariston. The Last Days of Socrates: Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo. Ed. Hugh Tredennick. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 2003. Print.

This Essay on History of Western Civilization was written and submitted by user Ellen Sharpe to help you with your own studies. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.

Ellen Sharpe studied at Wayne State University, USA, with average GPA 3.62 out of 4.0.

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Sharpe, E. (2019, December 29). History of Western Civilization [Blog post]. Retrieved from

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Sharpe, Ellen. "History of Western Civilization." IvyPanda, 29 Dec. 2019,

1. Ellen Sharpe. "History of Western Civilization." IvyPanda (blog), December 29, 2019.


Sharpe, Ellen. "History of Western Civilization." IvyPanda (blog), December 29, 2019.


Sharpe, Ellen. 2019. "History of Western Civilization." IvyPanda (blog), December 29, 2019.


Sharpe, E. (2019) 'History of Western Civilization'. IvyPanda, 29 December.

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