Aeschines of Sphettus is a Socratic author that deserves more attention than he actually gets, as he is, besides Plato and Xenophon, the only Socratic who left substantial literary records. The present paper focuses on his representation of Socrates’ educational activity. Aeschines’ Socrates does not only disavow any technical capability to make the others better, but he entrusts the educational work to an unpredictable “divine dispensation” which simply means a factor that escapes the educator’s control. Not unlike Alcibiades, who is the target of Socratic educational endeavor in Aeschines’ dialogue, the author himself must have experienced in his life that achievement of virtue cannot be simply transferred from educator to educated, but requires a strong personal commitment.
Aeschines of Sphettus, Minor Socratics, Socratic dialogue, Socratic education, Theia moira