Socrates (c.470-399 BC), Ancient Greek philosopher. Socrates is one of the most famous philosophers of antiquity. He is credited with introducing a new and critical attitude in philosophy and science. Socrates spent much of his life in discussion and debate with both the youth of Athens and leading philosophers of the day. He gained a reputation as the wisest of all men but in 399 BC, having been convicted of neglecting the city gods and corrupting the youth of Athens, he was forced to drink a fatal draught of hemlock. His ideas and life story are known to us through the writings of his pupil Plato. Artwork published in 1888.