… what was the meaning of them–thinking that they would teach me something. (Plato 23) What he found was each writer had a fundamental inability to explain the wisdom of even his own work, let alone the ideal maxims they wished their knowledge to stand upon.
Socrates speaking through Plato in his Apology tries his accusers rather than answering their questions he levels them back toward those who express them, mainly Meletus, and concludes that each man present can be accused of the same misdeeds and that he is the least guilty of them all. Through out Socrates words there …
… is through this example of self-sacrifice that many a future philosopher bases his ideals upon. The attainment of true knowledge through humility and the retention of the philosophical calling through adversity and or fear of death becomes a new standard for post Socratic ethics.
Plato. The Apology of Socrates
Wheelright, Philip ed. The Presocratics. New York: Odyssey Press, Inc. 1966.