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BornAthens, (Greece), circa 428 BCE

DiedAthens, (Greece), 348/347 BCE

Plato's astronomy, though never systematized like that of Eudoxus or Aristotle, continued to influence readers for millennia, through the beauty and coherence of his images and myths.

Plato was born as Aristocles to Ariston and Perictionê, in one of the wealthiest Athenian families, descended from Solon's brother through his mother. He had two older brothers, Glaucôn and Adeimantos, a sister Potonê, and a younger half‐brother Antiphôn. Well‐educated, Plato in his early 20s came under the influence of Socrates, upon whose execution he left Athens, traveling especially to south Italy and Syracuse. He returned to Athens around 390 or 385 BCE and founded his school in the grove sacred to the hero Akademos. In the 360s BCE Plato again visited Syracuse twice, vainly attempting to teach philosophy to its tyrant Dionysios II. He was unmarried but well loved by his students.

The pervasive dramatic irony of his dialogs,...

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Selected References

  • Gregory, Andrew (2000). Plato's Philosophy of Science. London: Duckworth.

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  • Kalfas, Vasilis (1996). “Plato's ‘Real Astronomy' and the Myth of Er.” Elenchos 17: 5–20.

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© 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

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Keyser, P. (2007). Plato. In: , et al. The Biographical Encyclopedia of Astronomers. Springer, New York, NY.

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