Socates V. Perpetua

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Submitted By yoyou
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The Death of Socrates vs. The Death of Perpetua
Civil disobedience has been a common element in human behavior. From the time of antiquity to the present, people lash out in various ways against standards that society has placed upon citizens. Two ancient examples of disobedient actions come from different ages revered for standards that hold today and provide a basis for modern law; the Greek and ancient Roman empires. From the Greeks, we have come to know the story of Socrates as memorialized by Plato, and the Roman age was the time of Perpetua, an early Christian woman. The fate of those individuals is the same – a death sentence handed down by the society they lived in. Although the conclusion of their respective lives is the same, the differences that lie in the reasoning of their death run deeper, with several key factors impacting their individual destiny. As we will see, these factors affect their relationship to the states and time periods they existed.
Understanding the differences between Socrates and Perpetua rests in two major elements. The first one is the role of religion and understanding of deities. Their respective beliefs affected their relationship with the state that decided their deaths. Beginning with Socrates, we must first remember that Greek society was polytheistic. Standards such as monotheism in Catholic terms did not exist. There were Gods that ruled over emotions, the land, sea, and even realms outside of human reach, such as Zeus in heaven and Hades below. In Crito, the reader is not given much to know where Socrates stands in his beliefs with the plethora of Greek deities. The only hints of Greek religion are minimal, mentioned in passing of the last paragraph that “…since [death] is the way the god is leading us”, which possibly referring to the Greek equivalent to Christian Hell, Hades. His faith in Greek deities is correlated…...

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