Someone earlier said that the prytaneum was a fire in the middle of a city or town. Another earlier comment said that because it is a fire, it always needed to be tended to. Socrates believed the purpose of humans was to tend to their soul, add knowledge to their soul, because the soul was eternal.
Meaning Socrates believed that one would tend to their soul while alive, but because it is eternal, they would also tend or maintain their soul after death as well.
Socrates believed that needing to work, often the same task over and over, help with the family, or worry about individuals lying or trying to be deceitful, was a waste of time and just got in the way of someone who wanted to add knowledge to their soul. In Athens, if found guilty, the prosecution would suggest a punishment to the jury, and then the defendant would suggest a punishment. The prosecution, in Socrates' trial, went full out and said the only fitting punishment was the death penalty. Socrates essentially states two punishments. His first answer was that he (Socrates) should receive free meals such that are given to heroes of the Olympian games. However, immediately after he says this, he gives a soliloquy where in which he states: "there can be no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum". Socrates/Plato is being very clever with this response. Because this response was "crafted" in such a way to ensure that Socrates would benefit irrespective of the juries decision. Because this statement has two meanings. It has a direct, rational meaning, and it also has an after death, metaphorical meaning. Socrates was charged with corruption and impiety. Socrates' defense was that his teachings were good for the city, its just the city leaders are too tied up in money, war, food etc. to - I am only using this for simplicity not quoting Socrates - "see the forest for the trees", and actually understand that Socrates is providing a good service to Athens. The immediate, actual meaning of "There can be no more fitting reward than maintenance in the prytaneum" means that if, by chance, the jury actually does realize that Socrates is providing good teachings for the city, and allows him to live, tending, or maintaining the "prytaneum" is a fitting punishment/reward. Because it is work that does have to be done in the city, meaning that "working" for the city for free would, technically speaking, be a punishment, which is what Socrates is supposed to be offering the jury, but, for Socrates, this would actually be rewarding. Because he would be performing a government task, which would benefit the city that he loves, but this task would not require him to converse with many people, work with many people, or worry about anyone else. More Fitting is used to mean that there could not be any other work or task that Socrates could do for the community that would also give him the time, and the best opportunity to also work on maintaining his soul, adding knowledge. Because, and I know someone will be offended, there is just no other way to say this, maintaining the "prytaneum" was considered easy. It didn't require a lot of thought, or physical strength. Allowing Socrates to add as much knowledge as possible while still "working". Which he then in turn, could share with the rest of the city, if the jury did think his teachings were useful. "There is no more fitting reward than maintaining the prytaneum", also has, in case the more probable verdict of death was chosen, an after death, and metaphorical connotation. Socrates is using the city and the prytaneum as a metaphor for a human. Metaphorically speaking, he is saying that the prytaneum is the "soul" of the city. Meaning the city was a metaphor for a human, and the prytaneum within the city was a metaphor for a human's soul. Socrates is using the prytaneum as a metaphor for HIS OWN SOUL in this sentence. The main "after death" meaning of this sentence is that death would be a reward for Socrates. "Maintenance in the prytaneum" is a metaphor Socrates is using to state that, if the death penalty is chosen, he can now concentrate only on maintenance of his soul. His soul would then be free from mundane activities of the living, and after he is dead, his soul will be free to do nothing but take in knowledge. Which to Socrates is a reward. "More fitting" is used in the "getting what you deserve" aspect. Take someone today, that insanely tries to keep their house fire proof. 90% of their time is spent on this, 90% of their communicating is spent on trying to fire proof their house. Their children are forbidden to do "normal" activities other children in the neighbourhood are doing and other "crazy" things. If this person's house does have a fire, and the fire is BECAUSE of one the ridiculously unnecessary fire prevention objects they added to the house. Some people would say that this person got what they deserve. Because they "cannot see the forest for the trees", they didn't understand that concentrating on only one thing, they never noticed that by adding too many precautionary devices, they were actually doing exactly the opposite of what they intended. They actually ended up making the house more prone to starting a fire. Some would call this "fitting". The government of Athens doing exactly the opposite of what they are saying they want to do is, if the death sentence is chosen, what Socrates/Plato means by "fitting". The government's claim for even putting Socrates on trial in the first place is to restore clarity and proper teaching to Athens. "Fitting", in respect to the death penalty, Socrates/Plato means that the governing body within Athens, by killing and ridding the city of Socrates, is in fact, going to do exactly the opposite of what they want, they will hurt the city, and decrease the knowledge of the public in the city, because they will have been responsible for killing the one man who was actually teaching clarity and true knowledge. The government also believes that the death penalty will hurt, or scare Socrates. Again, exactly the opposite happens because Socrates believes that freeing himself, freeing his soul from, ignorant, non reasonable, individuals whose entire goal in life is to have the most power, or have the most wealth, or have the most sex, or eat the most food, is a reward. The "prytaneum statement" was worded to specifically ensure that a positive outlook, or positive spin, would be placed on Socrates irrespective of what verdict the jury actually chose.