Plato Thesis Statements

Although Socrates influenced Plato directly as related in the dialogues, the influence of Pythagoras upon Plato, or in a broader sense, the Pythagoreans, such as Archytas also appears to have been significant.

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However, another scholar claims that "there is good reason for not dismissing [the idea that Aristocles was Plato's given name] as a mere invention of his biographers", noting how prevalent that account is in our sources.

Ancient sources describe him as a bright though modest boy who excelled in his studies.

The traditional date of Plato's birth during the 87th or 88th Olympiad, 428 or 427 BC, is based on a dubious interpretation of Diogenes Laërtius, who says, "When [Socrates] was gone, [Plato] joined Cratylus the Heracleitean and Hermogenes, who philosophized in the manner of Parmenides.

Then, at twenty-eight, Hermodorus says, [Plato] went to Euclides in Megara." However, as Debra Nails argues, the text does not state that Plato left for Megara immediately after joining Cratylus and Hermogenes.

Apuleius informs us that Speusippus praised Plato's quickness of mind and modesty as a boy, and the "first fruits of his youth infused with hard work and love of study".

His father contributed all which was necessary to give to his son a good education, and, therefore, Plato must have been instructed in grammar, music, and gymnastics by the most distinguished teachers of his time.

One story is that the name of the Academy comes from the ancient hero, Academus; still another story is that the name came from a supposed former owner of the plot of land, an Athenian citizen whose name was (also) Academus; while yet another account is that it was named after a member of the army of Castor and Pollux, an Arcadian named Echedemus.

During this first trip Dionysius's brother-in-law, Dion of Syracuse, became one of Plato's disciples, but the tyrant himself turned against Plato.

Dionysius expelled Dion and kept Plato against his will. Dion would return to overthrow Dionysius and ruled Syracuse for a short time before being usurped by Calippus, a fellow disciple of Plato.

According to Seneca, Plato died at the age of 81 on the same day he was born.


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