Literapedia Book Notes for

Laches by Plato


  • Lysimachus
  • Melesias
  • Nicias
  • Laches
  • Socrates

Background to Laches

  1. Inquires into the nature of courage.
  2. Since there was no public education, parents would employ private tutors for their kids.
  3. Hellenes" are Greeks
  4. Lacedaemonians" are Spartans, a people known for their prowess in war.

Part 1: Is There Value in Military Training? (1-69)

  1. Lysimachus and Melesias ask advice concerning the military education of their sons.
  2. Nicias advises for military training (17-18).
  3. Laches advises against military training (19-24).
  4. Socrates questions who is best qualified to answer this question.

Part 2: Laches Tries to Define Bravery (70-158)

  1. Socrates suggests defining bravery.
  2. Laches first defines bravery as standing and fighting (85).
  3. Laches redefines bravery as endurance (107).

Part 3: Nicias Tries to Define Bravery (159-268)

  1. Nicias suggests that bravery is a special kind of wisdom [knowledge] (163).
  2. Socrates shows that the definition of Nicias cannot distinguish between bravery and virtue [goodness] (253).
  3. Socrates concludes that they all need an education.

Book Note Creator

Hal Waller, instructor