Plato and Aristotle
13 1. Life Plato was born in Athens in 427 BC. The key sources of information about his life are mainly the Lives of Emi- nent Philosophers by Diogenes Laertius and the seventh of Plato’s Letters. He came from an aristocratic family, from his father Ariston he traced his origin from the mythical king Codrus and further to Poseidon. Simi- larly aristocratic is the family of his mother Perictione whose origins were similar to his father’s, so it starts at Poseidon and continues through the famous statesman Solon. Plato’s relatives are often characters in his dia- logues. Two of his dialogues are named after Critias, the cousin of his mother and her brother Charmides, and in The Republic we can meet Plato’s brothers Glauconand and Adeimantus. Diogenes incidentally states that Plato was born on the same day of the year as the god Apollo and was even conceived by him (DL III, 2). These reports 14 1 More important authors use the speciﬁ c and universal cus- tom to refer to the works. Plato used the so-called Stephanus numbers that are mentioned in the margins of the editions of Plato’s works. Similarly, the so-called Bekker number is referred to in the works of Aristotle. At the same time each work has its own speciﬁ c abbreviation (in this case the abbre- viation Ep. It corresponds to Plato’s Letters, Epistulae). Such show that Plato’s person was later attributed legendary and divine features. In his youth, Plato acquired a good education, alleg-...
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