The Shadows of Socrates: The Heresy, War, and Treachery Behind the Trial of Socrates


Product Details

$29.95  $27.85
Pegasus Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 9.1 X 1.2 inches | 1.01 pounds

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About the Author

Matt Gatton is a scholar based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is a pioneer of the study of the ritual and aesthetic uses of physical light in prehistory and classical antiquity. Gatton's groundbreaking work on optical distortions at Lascaux was published in the Journal of Applied Mathematics; and his work on the ritual use of optics at the influential ancient Greek temple of Eleusis was published by Oxford University Press. Gatton has presented his work at the Institute of Archaeology at Oxford, the University of Cologne, Slovak University, and Vanderbilt University.


Praise for The Shadows of Socrates:
"In Socrates's Athens--a fragile democracy addicted to imperialist adventures and idol-worship--pondering the concepts of truth and justice could easily become a capital offense. Matt Gatton guides us down the twisted path that led to the philosopher's trial and forced suicide, resurrecting a pair of villains who'd be comfortable in today's political scene."--John Sayles, novelist, director, screenwriter, MacArthur Fellow, two-time Academy Award nominee for best original screenplay
"A thrilling and important epiphany of a book. Like Socrates himself--the stubborn philosophical hero of this reexamination of the most famous trial of all time--Matt Gatton leads us out of the confusing shadows of historical misperception into the blinding light of reasoned analysis and understanding. In Gatton's skillful hands, the vexed trial of Socrates becomes not only an intelligible political and legal event but itself a powerful indictment of religious control and power over the human mind."--Rep. Jamie Raskin, New York Times bestselling author of Unthinkable: Trauma, Truth and the Trials of American Democracy
"I tore through The Shadows of Socrates in three sittings. An absolutely fantastic read--an amazing human story about the life, times, trial, and execution of Socrates. There is much in this story that is new, including striking discoveries about the Mysteries of Eleusis and how that enigmatic ritual connects to Socrates's Allegory of the Cave and his execution. This is history writing at its best--fascinating, vivid, and shocking. I would easily put The Shadows of Socrates on the same level as the books of Barbara Tuchman or Stacy Schiff's Cleopatra. I highly recommend it."--Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author
"In this dazzling work of resourceful sleuthing, Matt Gatton just may have invented an entirely new genre: The philosophical thriller. The Shadows of Socrates transports us back to a pivotal moment from classical times, but it's a tale that feels strangely, hauntingly current, with familiar clashes of titanic egos and sly intrigues that might easily unfold in Washington or Moscow today."
--Hampton Sides, New York Times bestselling author of Blood and Thunder, Hellhound on His Trail, and On Desperate Ground