Memorabilia (Xenophon)

Memorabilia (Xenophon)

Memorabilia (Xenophon)

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Memorabilia (original title in Ancient Greek: Ἀπομνημονεύματα/Apomnemoneumata) is a collection of Socratic dialogues by Xenophon, a student of Socrates. The lengthiest and most famous of Xenophon's Socratic writings, the Memorabilia is essentially an apologia (defense) of Socrates, differing from both Xenophon's Apology of Socrates to the Jury and Plato's Apology mainly in that the Apologies present Socrates as defending himself before the jury, whereas the former presents Xenophon's own defense of Socrates, offering edifying examples of Socrates' conversations and activities along with occasional commentary from Xenophon.

Book Title

It is also known by the Latin title Commentarii and a variety of English translations (Recollections, Memoirs, Conversations of Socrates, etc.).

Date of Composition

The Memorabilia was probably completed after 371, as one passage (III.5) appears to assume the military situation after the Spartan defeat at the battle of Leuctra in that year.


The “Memorabilia” contains 39 chapters broken into four books; Book I contains 7 chapters, Book II contains 10 chapters, Book III contains 14 chapters, and Book IV contains 8 chapters. Each book has an overarching theme which joins each of the chapters within in some manner.

Book I begins with an introduction of sorts by Xenophon as himself in chapters 1 and 2 where he discusses the indictment of Socrates, in particular actions which were deemed “unjust.” Though the...
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