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Socrates taught that the man who is master of himself is truly free. By being master oneself he meant first knowing oneself- one’s faults and weakness and one’s good points, without making any pretence and without being vain and then being able to control oneself.

This knowledge of himself was what helped a man to be courageous and the courageous man has very important sort of freedom from fear. Socrates himself, because he was not afraid of the consequences, always felt free to teach what he thought was right, however unpopular this might make him with the powerful people in Athens.

No wonder all his pupils loved Socrates. But he made some dangerous enemies by his strange way of teaching and asking questions. Some of the rules in Athens did not like people to be encouraged to ask questions for fear that they would begin asking questions about what the rules were doing. So they accused Socrates of teaching young men wicked things, and leading them to throw off their religion. This was false for, in fact. Socrates was a very religious, man.

At last his enemies had him arrested and he was condemned to death.


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