Xenophon: Apology of Socrates (Ξενοφῶντος Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους). Audiobook

Xenophon: Apology of Socrates (Ξενοφῶντος Ἀπολογία Σωκράτους). Audiobook


A timeless classic for learning Ancient Greek.

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Why Read Xenophon’s Apology?

Xenophon is the classic “Ancient Greek beginners author”. His style is lucid and straightforward and he writes in good Attic (well, most of the time: don’t get the philologists started on the question how “Attic” Xenophon “really” is).

The “Apology of Socrates” is a short work. You can read through it in a couple of hours and get, at the same time, a glimpse at history’s most outrageous law suit: the trial of Socrates and his condemnation to death before the Athenian court.

In his “Apology”, Xenophon depicts a Socrates who is not only willing but even eager to die. Death, he says, is a gain for us mortals and actually preferable over life because… well, I don’t want to spoiler: Listen to the book and find out for yourself!


Xenophon, Apology of Socrates 1

“Σωκράτους δὲ ἄξιόν μοι δοκεῖ εἶναι μεμ­νῆσθαι καὶ ὡς ἐπειδὴ ἐκλήθη εἰς τὴν δίκην ἐβουλεύσατο περί τε τῆς ἀπολογίας καὶ τῆς τελευτῆς τοῦ βίου. γεγράφασι μὲν οὖν περὶ τούτου καὶ ἄλλοι καὶ πάντες ἔτυχον τῆς μεγαληγορίας αὐτοῦ· ᾧ καὶ δῆλον ὅτι τῷ ὄντι οὕτως ἐρρήθη ὑπὸ Σωκράτους.”

Why Ancient Greek Audiobooks?

Listening is an important skill to master with any language but is often neglected by students of “dead” languages. The reasoning goes something like this: Ancient Greek is transmitted only through texts, so why should I bother with listening or speaking if my end goal is just to read it? In my experience, students who focus exclusively on reading end up not being able to read (yes, that’s the irony). They might be able to analyze a text (“Here is the main verb, there is the subject…”) but they can’t just open a book in Ancient Greek and read it as they would read a book in their mother tongue. So, if you are content with merely analyzing Ancient Greek texts, you don’t need audiobooks. If, on the other hand, you see Ancient Greek as a language, not a Sudoku puzzle, I would recommend that you take a more holistic approach and give listening a try. Here are some benefits of audiobooks for learners of Ancient Greek:

Learn to understand Greek intuitively: Listening forces you to understand a sentence as it naturally unfolds, word for word. You don’t have time to “look for the main verb”, but you are forced to take in information as it comes, one word at a time, just like the ancients themselves would have done.
 Learn in context: Learning words in context is more effective than trying to memorize lists of unrelated words. Narrations from an audiobook are giving you the associations needed to store words in your long-term memory.
 Make repetition easy: Almost all learning is based on repetition. Repeatedly listening to an easy text you understand will help you remember vocabulary without having to actively memorize it.
 Learn on the go: You don’t have time today to sit down and study Ancient Greek? No problem, you can just put on your headphones and listen to an Ancient Greek audiobook wherever you go, whether you are commuting, doing household chores, or walking the dog. I do this myself with all languages I learn and can highly recommend this approach (it also results in a tidier house if the things I am listening to are so intriguing that I don’t want to stop doing chores—win win!).

Further Information

Technical details

File format: mp3 / Duration: 24:59 minutes
After your purchase you can download a ZIP file that contains the audio book plus a PDF with the Greek text. You will need to unpack the ZIP file before you can listen to the mp3.

Which text edition did you use for this reading?

E.C. Marchant, Xenophontis opera omnia, vol. 2, 2nd ed. Oxford, Clarendon Press. 1921 (repr. 1971).
(Available on Perseus.)

What pronunciation do you use?

Erasmian, with an (attempted) emphasis of long vs short syllables.

What happens after my purchase? How do I get the file?

After you have paid you will receive an email with the download link: Just click the link and your download will start.

The download link expires after 14 days. You will need to download your purchased file before the link expires.

There was an issue with my purchase: Who can I contact?

If you have any problems or questions, you can contact: info@argos-didaskei.com