"The European philosophical tradition. . . consists of a series of footnotes to Plato." Alfred North Whitehead The dialogues of Plato stand alongside the Bible and Homers Iliad and Odyssey as foundational texts of Western civilization.
The works of Plato collected under the title The Trial and Death of Socrates have been particularly influential. This is because they provide both an excellent point of entry into Platos vast philosophy and a vivid portrait of Platos mentor, Socrates one of the most uncompromising intellectuals in the pantheon of human history. It is predominantly through Platos account in these works of the words and actions of Socrates during his trial and execution for impiety that the latters nobility and profound integrity have become known to succeeding generations.