Few people are remembered with the adulation and reverence normally reserved for the founders of religious sects. These founders are admired not only for establishing religions but for being paradigms of the perfect life. The Greek philosopher Socrates is venerated not only for living the exemplar life of a philosopher, but also for being an example on how one ought to live. Like Christ or Buddha, Socrates too succeeds in being a classic example of an ideal life. Much like them, everything we know of him is through secondary sources.

It is without doubt that Socrates existed, and he was as much a celebrity then as he is now. With a numerous authors using him in their works and often talking about him directly, Socrates was assuredly impressive and well known in Athens. The three main sources on Socrates’ life are the playwright Aristophanes, the historian and writer Xenophon, and the philosopher Plato. From these three writers and a number of fragmentary sources, the picture of Socrates that emerges is contradictory and confusing. It presents a perplexing historical conundrum between the historical Socrates and the Socrates of writers; this is known as the Socratic problem. For someone who spent his life trying to make other people think and was ultimately executed for his iconoclastic ways, it seems a fitting memorial. Till today through the Socratic problem and his philosophic legacy, Socrates still evokes our thoughts.