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Ancient Greeks

 

Plato (428-347 B.C.)

Plato was a very famous ancient Greek who wrote many famous ancient Greek writings such as "The Republic", "The Laws", etc.  He lived during and after the destructive Peloponnesian War, he was a member of the Athenian upper class and had been born into the aristocracy of the city of Athens.  He was born just after the catastrophic Peloponnesian War began and watched the destruction of the ancient Greek world at the end of the fifth century.  A Greek war like no other that pitted half of Greece with Athens, the other half with Sparta, in essence the first "Greek World War". 


The Philosopher Plato.

As a young man he had political ambitions, however the excesses that had developed in Athenian Democracy  revolted him.  Equally revolting was the execution of his teacher Socrates  in 399 BC by the Democracy of Athens.  These two events disgusted Plato to such a high degree that he became so disillusioned with his city that he left Athens withdrawing from public life.  

Plato went to Sicily and to Italy at a time when it was known as "Greater Greece" consisting entirely of Greek colonies.  Even till this day there are remnants of  Greater Greece in some towns of Sicily that still speak the Greek language like the village of  Kalimera.   In Sicily he encountered the Pythagorean sects which would have a profound effect in his life and eventually  influence his Philosophy.

Upon returning to Athens in 387 B.C. he founded the Academy of Athens, which is often described as the "First University in the World." 

Plato accepted the basic teachings of Socrates his teacher.  Plato believed that the pursuit of truth can only come through questions, answers, and then with questions once again.  Only in this manner he believed could one find the essence of truth.  He also believed like Socrates that the best quality in a statesman was not technical or practical ability but rather knowledge and wisdom.

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Other Ancient Greeks:

 

  • Socrates Famous ancient Greek Philosopher that was put to death as a result of his beliefs.
  • Epictetus Famous ancient Greek stoic Philosopher.
  • Phidias A great ancient Greek sculptor.  He designed the Parthenon, and created some of the most beautiful sculptures of the ancient world.  He is by far the most famous ancient Greek sculptor.
  • Aristotle Famous ancient Greek Philosopher, and teacher of Alexander the Great.
  • Hippocrates Considered the father of modern medicine. His oath is read till this day.  Take a look at his oath!

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