Other than Plato’s work, this is the other main source for the man Socrates and his philosophy. This book contains four books about Socrates, which is the complete works of Xenophon on the subject of Socrates. The first book is Socrates’ Defence which is what he did and said before his execution, it is far less poetic than Plato’s Defence of Socrates, Crito, Euthyphro and Phaedo, which may suggest it is a more realistic source about the real Socrates. The second book is called the Memoirs of Socrates, which is a collection of every main argument and conversation that Xenophon wrote down of Socrates. The third book is The Dinner-Party, which any reader of Plato will recognise as The Symposium. The fourth book is The Estate-Manager, which is a conversation between Socrates and Critobulus. Socrates is telling Critobulus about a man called Ischomachus and his wife concerning their farm, agriculture, being good and women (to a much smaller degree). Ischomachus is shown by Xenophon’s writing to be a man of strong character, wisdom and goodness – how much that is true is somewhat unknown, but Socrates in the conversation is impressed with him, and if Xenophon’s portrayal of Ischomachus is accurate then surely he was a virtuous man for us to follow and learn from.

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