In 399 bce, Socrates was tried for impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens. He was convicted and sentenced to death. Reluctant to send the prominent intellectual to his grave, his compatriots devised a scheme to spare his life via exile. Socrates declined, declaring that “an unexamined life is not worth living.”
For centuries prior to this drama, potentates throughout the Mediterranean Sea would travel to Delphi loaded with tribute, seeking sage counsel from the renowned Oracle. Inscribed on the pronaos of the Temple of Apollo, home of the Oracle, were the words,
'Gnothi Seauton' - Know Thyself.
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The image is a cropped section of Jacques Louis David's 1787 portrait titled 'The Death of Socrates.'