Introduction In chapter 1 I argued that Socrates relies on the authority of custom to provoke critical and self-critical questioning of custom. Ordinary Greeks were not only familiar with, but well-practiced in, making the “hermeneutic ascent,” questioning the meaning of a claim (an oracle, for example), since what it truly means can be different from what it appears to mean. Socrates was not unreasonable to think that such questioning could legitimately be focused on traditional views of the virtues. In this respect, Greek attitudes are quite different from those expressed in a bumper sticker I once saw: “God said it. I believe it. That settles it!” For Socrates’ Greeks, the legitimate interpretation of divine signs can be a tricky business, and the divine sign rarely settles anything on its own. This is one reason I think we should be less inclined than we might otherwise be to interpret Socrates as being kerdaleos or ironic when he claims that (i) his wisdom makes him god’s gift to Athens, although (ii) he has no great wisdom. Socrates is reasonable to assume that ordinary members of the jury will not be thrown by such apparently contrary claims but will instead take them as a puzzle: he’s not contradicting himself, he’s claiming only that he has a special kind of wisdom, not what most people probably think of at first when they hear that someone is wise.