by T. J. Woodward from St. Paul

"Come then, and let us pass a leisure hour in story-telling, and our story shall be the education of our heroes."

Plato was born on the year 427 B.C. in Athens, and died on the year 345 B.C. in Athens. He was born to aristocratic parents and went to school like all the other schoolboys in Athens. Later he became acquainted with the philosopher Socrates, and became his disciple when he was twenty. During the time when Plato was Socrates' disciple, he wrote a great many dialogues, one of which was the Symposium.Socrates was the biggest influence on Plato.

At the year 399 B.C., Socrates was tried and convicted, then finaly sentenced to death. After the death of Socrates, Plato was urged by his friends to move out of the city because he was closely related to Socrates. He was out of Athens for 12 years. During those twelve years he moved to Negara and stayed with Dionyseus the second, the ruler of Syracuse.

On his return, he was captured by a band of cutthroats who held him for ransom. It took a long time for his friends to gather the money needed to get him out. When he came back, he founded a school called the Academy, which was functional for nearly 1,000 years. The Academy brought the word academic into the world. He stayed there to the end of his days.

One of his main ideas was the Platonic Ideal, or The World of Ideas. It goes like this: you're in a cave and all you can see is the cave wall. There are shadows bouncing all over the wall. Say you broke free of your bonds, and saw what created those shadows. You hurry to tell everyone else but they refuse to listen. They say, "there are only shadows, can't you see?" as they gesture to the shadows. You find that it is hopeless but you still pursue the quest for truth.

You are the philosopher, the cave what you see, and the things creating the shadows are the "world of ideas." This is what Plato thought and his thoughts made a great impression on all beings who knew of him.

Page created on 6/1/2004 3:02:32 PM

Last edited 6/1/2004 3:02:32 PM

Related Links

philosophers: Plato - A full investigation of Plato's dialogues.
Greek Philosophyplato - all the hidden things on Plato, right on this site. when you get to this site click the hypertext on the right and type in Plato
The Perseus Project - Tufts University's digital library for the Classics