Perhaps happiness can be attributed only to the dead because they are beyond the reach of fortune: but that security is denied to one's reputation. The case of Socrates makes this clear, and it is his reputation which is this paper's theme. For since his death Socrates has been the object of such competing assessments that some have despaired of ever finding the real person executed in Athens in 399 B.C. Although that search need not be fruitless, this study is concerned not so much with the sources of our knowledge of Socrates as with the ways in which Plato's Socrates has been represented and assessed. On the one hand are interpreters who hold him up as a model for life and thought, an ideal figure approaching sainthood if not divinity; and on the other more sinister hand are those who claim to discern under the saint's clothing the sly fox, the devious devil whose major aim is to destroy other people's beliefs and arguments. Socrates has been praised and condemned with fervour since his original trial, and although we will not reach yet another final verdict here, perhaps by canvassing a little of the evidence we may come to understand not only something of his reputations, but also how they find their sources in Plato's own writings.