College of Arts and Sciences
Department of Classical and Modern Languages and Literatures
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
This paper undertakes a discussion of the Sisyphus fragment and Critias of Athens, examining the question of authorship and arguing that, ultimately, the attribution to Critias is more important than whether or not his authorship of the fragment is historical fact, though it is also likely that he did indeed write it. The attribution to Critias is supported by the consistencies between the views present in the fragment and Critias’ character and actions as reported by contemporaries and later biographers. Moreover, those views are a natural extension of pre-Socratic thought and share some commonalities with Plato’s own philosophy; by establishing the philosophical context of the fragment, this paper cements Critias’ relevancy as a philosopher, not just a ruthless politician.
Phillips, Sarah Adison, "Critias of Athens and the Sisyphus Fragment" (2018). Honors Theses. 32.