The Trial of Socrates: Ancient Drama Resurfaces in Modern-Day Chicago

2_Prosecution attorney Julie Porter (right) questions Socrates (seated), played by Second City alum John Kapelos, at the National Hellenic Museum's The Trial of Socrates_Image courtesy of the museum

Chicago, IL - April 19, 2024 - The National Hellenic Museum (NHM) brought ancient drama to life in a modern-day setting with its captivating presentation of "The Trial of Socrates." Held at the museum's premises in Chicago, the trial recreated the historical event where the legendary philosopher faced charges of impiety and corrupting the youth of Athens.

Defense counsel Robert A. Clifford and Socrates, played by Second City alum John Kapelos, at the National Hellenic Museum's The Trial of Socrates_Image courtesy of Clifford Law Offices

Socrates, portrayed with meticulous detail, stood trial once again before a panel of distinguished judges and a jury comprised of prominent figures from various fields. The re-enactment aimed to explore the complexities of democracy, freedom, and justice while shedding light on the enduring legacy of Greek philosophy.

U.S. Federal District Court Judge Jorge Alonso, among others, presided over the trial, emphasizing the importance of drawing lessons from ancient Greece in understanding modern-day legal systems and democratic principles. The re-trial was ordered due to procedural irregularities in the previous proceedings.

Despite Socrates' historical conviction in 399 BCE, the modern-day jury, composed of esteemed individuals, including legal experts, scholars, and community leaders, delivered a verdict of "not guilty" by a margin of 10-3. The outcome sparked contemplation on the fragility of democracy and the limits of human justice.

"The Trial of Socrates" is part of NHM's dynamic Trial Series, which seeks to engage audiences in thought-provoking discussions on Greek history and philosophy. The event has garnered widespread acclaim since its inception, with previous trials being broadcast on public television and nominated for regional Emmy awards.

Lead sponsors The Jaharis Family Foundation, Calamos Investments, and Clifford Law Offices generously provided support for the trial, along with contributions from numerous other sponsors and attendees.

For those interested in exploring Greek history, art, and culture, the National Hellenic Museum offers an extensive collection of artifacts, exhibitions, educational programs, and special events. Located in Chicago's historic Greektown neighbourhood, the museum serves as a hub for lifelong learning and cultural exchange.

For more information about the National Hellenic Museum and its upcoming events, please visit or contact 312-655-1234.

About the National Hellenic Museum:
The National Hellenic Museum is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich history, art, and culture of Greece and the Greek American community. The museum seeks to make the Hellenic legacy relevant to contemporary society through its diverse collection of artifacts, oral histories, exhibitions, and educational programs.

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