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Book by Creighton professor examines death of Socrates

Fr. Ross RomeroFocusing on the death of Socrates, Without the Least Tremor, sees his death not as merely an execution, but also a sacrificial act. Creighton philosophy professor, the Rev. Ross Romero, S.J., released his book, published by SUNY Press, on May 1.

The ancient philosopher’s death has widely been studied as an execution and even as a suicide. But Fr. Romero notes its parallel to ancient Greek sacrificial rituals: the bath, the procession, the libation, and so on. When Socrates is forced to drink poison, he does so “without the least tremor” and undermines sacrifice by deviating from it.

Fr. Romero’s background in philosophy and theology led him to examine the death of Socrates similar to that of Jesus, whose death is often seen as a sacrifice. This has important implications in the understanding of the relationship of the body and the soul.

“What this shows is as early as people were doing philosophy, mainly the ancient Greeks, that there was a religious dimension to their thought,” Fr. Romero said.

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