The Apology or Apologia is also known as Socrates, Condemned to Death, Addresses His Judges. These first titles could lead to some confusion about the nature of the work. Explain why this confusion might occur, and describe the aspects of the text that make its true nature clear.

The word "apology" in the context of Socrates's Apology means "defense" and does not imply any admission of guilt. Socrates makes this clear as he dismisses the charges against him as false from the very beginning of his speech and proceeds to refute them, along with other accusations which have been made outside the trial.

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The words "apology" and "apologetic" often mislead readers who are unfamiliar with secondary meanings of these words as terms of art. The primary meaning of the word "apology" in modern English is an admission of culpability, accompanied by a confession of regret. Therefore, readers encountering this text for the first...

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The words "apology" and "apologetic" often mislead readers who are unfamiliar with secondary meanings of these words as terms of art. The primary meaning of the word "apology" in modern English is an admission of culpability, accompanied by a confession of regret. Therefore, readers encountering this text for the first time might be expecting an admission of guilt from Socrates. In this legal context, however, the word "apology" means "defense."

It is evident that Socrates means to defend himself from the very beginning of his speech, when he refers to "the many falsehoods" of his accusers. He goes on to say that he will rely on the truth, rather than on finely wrought rhetoric, and that his judges will hear him defending himself in exactly the same terms as they are accustomed to hearing from him in the marketplace.

In the second paragraph, Socrates justifies the length of his speech by remarking that he has many accusers to refute, since many people have spoken against him for many years before this formal accusation in court, and all these accusations have been similarly untrue. Socrates proceeds to lay out a structured refutation of the three specific legal charges against him, as well as those which he feels have formed a background to these legal charges. There is nothing remotely apologetic in his manner as he does this.

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