Getting at the Truth Concerning Ancient Trials
Examine trial in historical context

Trial of Socrates:
Recent overthrows of Athenian democracy (411 to 410 BC and 404 to 403 BC) involving former students of Socrates
---especially bloody rule of "30 Tyrants" from 404 to 403
---executions and banishments (but Socrates, unharmed remained in Athens)
---led by pupils of Socrates (Critias, the uncle of Plato's mother)
---after democracy restored, Socrates resumed anti-democratic teachings

Trial of Jesus:
In 63 BC, Roman general Pompey captured Jerusalem and rule of Palestine by Jewish priests came to end
---Rome began appointing high priests, who juggled interests of Rome (taxes, etc) and Jewish population
---Jewish uprisings in 6 AD in opposition to Roman policy (especially property tax)
---crucifixion of 2,000 Jews, perhaps 20,000 sold into slavery
---armed resistance groups (Zealots) form, as well as apocalyptic movements (John the Baptist)
---John the Baptist executed and Jesus became leader of Jewish nationalist group