Plato Biography

biography of Plato

427 BC, Athens, Greece
347 BC, Athens, Greece
One of the greatest Greek philosophers (considered the greatest Greek writer of prose by some), Plato, was born into an aristocratic Athenian family. He met Socrates around 407 BC and became his disciple in philosophy. Socrates was executed in 399 BC. Plato and fellow disciples took refuge under Euclid in Megara. Following that for a period of 12 years Plato travelled extensively to Egypt, Sicily and Italy. He met Dionysius I of Syracuse in 390 BC. And the Pythagorean mathematician Archytas of Taras (Tarentum) while in Italy, who was a follower of the semi-legendary Pythagoras of Samos (6th Cent. B.C.). He began teaching pupils near the grove of Academus outside Athens in 388 BC. His school was named Academy after the place. Plato was summoned to the court of Dionysuis II of Syracuse by Dion, the ruler's uncle, in 366 BC, and by Dionysius II himself in 362 BC. Plato's philosophical and literary activities extend over a period of 50 years. His main works falls into 2 categories viz. letters and dialogues. The 13 letters are mainly addressed to Dionysus the Tyrant of Syracuse and deal with political advice. The 26 dialogues fall into 3 broad categories - early, middle and late based on his travels. The more well known include the Protagoras, Gorgias, Ion, the Republic (where he attacks the power and pretension of literature), Cratylus, Phaedrus, Sophist and Laws. His death is reported by some authorities as having occurred at a wedding feast or while he was writing. He was buried at the Academy.
Sujit R. Varma

-   We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.

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