Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher

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Cornell University Press, 1991 - Philosophy - 334 pages
3 Reviews

Horace's first three books of odes are universally acknowledged to be masterpieces. His fourth, which appeared ten years later, continues to be relatively neglected. The eminent classicist Michael C. J. Putnam here offers the first comprehensive study of the fourth book of odes. In his view, Horace's last work is at once the culmination of his poetic career and a beautifully crafted composition of exceptional power and brilliance.

Putnam discusses each of the fifteen odes found in the book, studying the work both as a whole and as a series of interactive units. Always conscious of the historical and social contexts in which the poems were written, he maintains that the fourth book not only expands the intellectual horizons of the three earlier books, but also draws upon, and responds to, two works of genius by other poets: Propertius's third book of elegies and Virgil's Aeneid. Putnam shows how Horace co-opted and remolded their imaginative detail in his own poetry and how the parallels between Horace's writings and those of his predecessors can help to illuminate the final flowering of Horatian lyric.


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Socrates, ironist and moral philosopher

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Vlastos is the greatest living writer on Greek philosophy, and his book on the historical Socrates--many years in the making--has been eagerly awaited. Although the main arguments have appeared in ... Read full review

Review: Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher

User Review  - Tyler - Goodreads

I read this at a time when there arose the need for a book I could slog through slowly. I couldn't have done it otherwise. Since no review of the book has yet been done and the Goodreads synopsis is a ... Read full review


Socratic irony
Socrates contra Socrates in Plato
The evidence of Aristotle and Xenophon
Elenchus and mathematics
Does Socrates cheat?
Socratic piety
Socrates rejection of retaliation
Happiness and virtue in Socrates moral theory
Charity as a principle of interpretation
Index of passages cited
Index of names in Plato and Xenophon

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About the author (1991)

Gregory Vlastos (1907ndash;1991) was Professor of Philosophy at Princeton University and at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1990, he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. His other books include Socratic Studies ; Studies in Greek Philosophy , Volumes I and II; and Plato's Universe .

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