Posted on 24th December 2020
Plato was a philosopher who founded the Academy of Athens, the first institution of higher education in the western world. Having been taught by Socrates, he passed on these teachings by becoming the teacher of Aristotle, his most famous student.
The birth date of Plato is unknown but many believe he was born around 428BC – 423BC. There is little known of his early life but he did belong to an aristocratic and politically active family, therefore he received an extensive education covering grammar, music and philosophy.
As a student of Socrates, Plato learnt much, becoming a devoted follower of Socrates. The knowledge we have of Socrates today comes mainly from Plato’s writings.
Plato’s work was written as dialogues (conversations), it reads as if two people are talking to one another, one always being Socrates.
Following Socrates death in 399BC, Plato travelled for over 12 years in Sicily, Italy and Egypt.
Following this he returned to Athens and established his school just outside of the city, the Academy of Athens. This was to attract students from all over Greece and beyond.
Plato’s most influential work is ‘The Republic’, written around 375BC; this was Socrates discussion about an ‘ideal’ state, about justice and government. Plato believed that wisdom was important, and you must be wise to rule a continent; he believed that if people who do bad things are given power in society, then that society becomes an unhappy one. As philosophers do good things, they should be given power in society.
Many of Plato’s dialogues contain debates and disagreements, many are still debated today.
Plato died in his sleep in 347BC.
Tagged as: Junior Ancient Greece
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