Socrates’ Tomb in Antisthenes’ Kyrsas and its Relationship with Plato’s Phaedo

International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 1176 (2022)
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Socrates’ burial is dismissed as philosophically irrelevant in Phaedo 115c-e although it had previously been discussed by Plato’s older contemporaries. In Antisthenes’ Kyrsas dialogue describes a visit to Socrates’ tomb by a lover of Socrates who receivesprotreptic advice in a dream sequence while sleeping over Socrates’ grave. The dialogue is a metaphysical explanation of how Socrates’ spiritual message was continued after death. Plato underplays this metaphorical imagery by lampooning Antisthenes philosophy and his work and subsequently precludes him from an active role in the Phaedo. A similar case is the exclusion of Euclides of Megara. Fragments of a lost Socratic dialogue depict Apollodorus citing an unnamed Megarian in order to justify care for the remains of the dead. Similar mistaken notions explain Kyrsas’ belief when he lusts after Socrates even though he was dead. In spite of these disputes, the philosophers each attempted to present Socrates’ moral influence as a force that continued after his death and burial.

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