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17.05.2012 / Events


2012, May 25
18:30 | Main Stage | Onassis Cultural Centre

In the spring of 399 B.C., Socrates confronted 500 Athenians, citizens, judges and jurors, in his trial initiated by the charges leveled at him by Meletus, Anytos and Lycon. The trial began with a reading of the formal charges: Socrates is guilty of crime in refusing to recognise the gods acknowledged by the state, and importing strange divinities of his own; he is further guilty of corrupting the young.
On May 2012, almost 2,500 years later, the trial of Socrates is repeated. This time Socrates is acquitted in a historical trial which is not a re-enactment but a modern perspective based on current legal framework supplemented with ancient Greek elements and comical theatrics.
The Alexander S. Onassis Foundation found advocates for its venture, top American and European judges and lawyers, who all examined the trial material retrieved from ancient texts by Plato (Apology, Crito, Euthyphro, Phaedo), Xenophon (Memorabilia) and Aristophanes (The Clouds), as well as the corresponding Athenian law of that time.

The event will be held in English and French languages, with concurrent translation.
The event will be aired through Internet (

The Court:
Richard Aikens
Sophie-Caroline De Margerie
Pierre Delvolvé
Stephan Gass
Giusep Nay  
Loretta Preska
Vassilios Rigas
Stephen Sedley
Francois Terré
Harm Peter Westermann   
Counsel for the City of Athens:
Ilias Anagnostopoulos
Anthony Papadimitriou
Counsel for Socrates:
Michael Beloff
Patrick Simon



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