Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.
But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

The Death of Socrates

8 minutes

Can philosophy and morals be transmitted through a painting?

The French painter Jacques-Louis David was a pre-eminent figure in the Neoclassical movement. His painting ‘The Death of Socrates’ (1787), based on Plato’s account of the execution of Socrates for blasphemy in 399 BC, is widely considered a seminal Neoclassical work. This video essay from the US filmmaker called The Nerdwriter, breaks down the ‘interplay of historical, personal, political and aesthetic elements’ that make David’s painting not just technically impressive, but a masterwork that conveys deep ethical concerns through visual storytelling.

Director: Evan Puschak

Support Aeon

Ideas can change the world

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview.

But we can’t do it without you.

Aeon is a registered charity committed to the spread of knowledge and a cosmopolitan worldview. Our mission is to create a sanctuary online for serious thinking.

No ads, no paywall, no clickbait – just thought-provoking ideas from the world’s leading thinkers, free to all. But we can’t do it without you.

Become a Friend for $5 a month or Make a one-off donation

Essay/Anthropology
Infanticide

There is nothing so horrific as child murder, yet it’s ubiquitous in human history. What drives a parent to kill a baby?

Sandra Newman

Essay/Rituals & Celebrations
Who first buried the dead?

Evidence of burial rites by the primitive, small-brained Homo naledi suggests that symbolic behaviour is very ancient indeed

Paige Madison