Plato -427 - -347 (80)

One of the penalties for refusing to take part in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.



Plato was a Greek philosopher, student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle. He founded "Academy", one of the first institutions of higher education in the western world and he is the author of many philosophical works with unparalleled influence on Western thought. He was born in Athens, his parents belonged to the Greek aristocracy, his father died when he was young and his mother remarried her uncle, a Greek politician and ambassador to Persia.

There were two important events in Plato’s life. First the meeting with the great Greek philosopher Socrates. Impressed by him, quickly became his student and a close associate . The second event was the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, in which Plato served for a period between 409 and 404 BC. After the defeat of Athens, the Spartans overthrew the democracy and substituting it with an oligarchy; two of Plato's close relatives were prominent personalities of the new Government, but Plato stood against them. After the restoration of democracy, he was preparing himself for a political career but the execution of Socrates in 399 BC shook him so much that decided to devote himself to a life of study and philosophy.

He left the city, embittered by Athenians and traveled for 12 years throughout the Mediterranean region, studying mathematics with the Pythagoreans in Italy , and geometry, geology , astronomy and religion in Egypt. During this period he started writing extensively. Around 385 BC he founded the school of learning with the name "Academy", which he chaired until his death. Academia operated until 529 AD when it was closed by Justinian I, who perceived science as a threat to Christianity. The Academy curriculum included astronomy, biology, mathematics, philosophy and politics.

Plato traveled to Egypt, Cyrene, Sicily and Italy. In Syracuse, around 367, the tyrant Dionysus feared conspiracy against him and sold him into slavery. In Aegina, his friend Annikeris bought his freedom, finally in 362 he returned to Athens and his Academy, where he focused in teaching and writing philosophical works until his death.

Among others, he wrote “the Apology of Socrates”, which is regarded as a relatively accurate record of Socrates’ apology to his trial, " Symposium " where he talks about the nature of love, "Parmenides", in which he established the objectivity of speech and ideas.