Plato was born in 427 BC in Athens, Greece. He was born into a wealthy and aristocratic family with a political background. Plato's father claimed he was a descendent of Codrus, the last king of Athens; on his mother's side he was related to a Greek lawmaker by the name of Solon. Plato's father died when he was still young and the rest of his childhood was spent with his mother and her new husband Pyrilampes, an Athenian politician. Although Plato had many political influences in his childhood, he chose not to serve in the same manner as his family had. Plato chose not to become associated with the declining Athenian politics, but rather he began writing poetry and competing in athletics. As Plato grew older he was introduced to pre-Socratic philosophical teachings concerning metaphysics and knowledge. Sometime early in his life, Plato met Socrates, an infamous Greek philosopher who was gathering a sizeable following. Plato became a prominent follower of Socrates and adopted many ideas from his teachings. Plato is known to have accepted Socrates dialogue form of conversation and his striving to understand truth. Through time spent with Socrates, Plato eventually began developing his own ideas, theories and understandings of philosophy. In 399 Socrates was tried and convicted of many charges surrounding his teachings and actions, resulting in execution. Fearing for his life, Plato left Athens and began travelling the area of the Mediterranean. Plato travelled throughout Egypt, Italy and Sicily in search of philosophers, religious leaders and astronomers with whom he could learn. During his travels Plato began to write his first dialogues. Using the conversational method of Socrates, he began recording theories of his own. In 387 Plato returned to Athens and established the Academy, what many consider the first university. Plato used the Academy to share his knowledge, experience and theories with young philosophers. Through his teachings...
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