Plato 428-347 B.C.

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Plato was born in Athens of aristocratic parents and received the best possible education for his time. At 20 he met Socrates and was his pupil for eight years. Following the death of Socrates he traveled extensively in Greece, Egypt, Italy, and Sicily. In 387 he began his teaching "in the gymnasium of the Academy and its shady avenues." Except for short periods of time he continued to teach until his death in Athens at the age of 81 years.

Plato's writings involved both Socratic as well as educational dialogues. In the majority Socrates appeared either in a major or subordinate capacity. Plato took no particular interest in agriculture. Sarton states that "we can hardly imagine Plato except in the garden of the Academy discussing philosophy and mathematics, quarreling with his colleagues and disciples." Over the vestibule of his home he is said to have set up the inscription: "Let no one enter who is unacquainted with geometry." His works are characterized by outstanding "purity of language and elegance of style."

Malaspina Great Books Research Database - Plato