428/7 [Archonship of Diotimus] Plato born in Athens, the son of Ariston (son of Aristokles, direct descendant of Solon's brother Exekestiades); his mother was Periktione (sister of Charmides and cousin of Kritias). Plato had two brothers and a sister. His mother married a second time, to Pyrilampes, a member of the Periclean group.
431-421 The Great Peloponnesian War (Part I). Young Plato received a musical and gymnastic education; he wrote juvenile epigrams and tragedies, but burned them once he became associated with Socrates.
416-411 Great Peloponnesian War (Part II). He was active politically ( Letter 7 ). His uncle and cousin were among the Thirty Tyrants (404/3), who terrorized the Athenian state after Athens lost the war to Sparta in 404.
411 Conservative coup d' état (The 400), followed later in the summer by a democratic restoration led by Alcibiades.
399 Trial and execution of Socrates. Plato was present at the trial, but not allowed to speak. Plato and other disciples removed themselves to Megara, next door to Athens. There was later a 'Megarean School' of Socratic philosophy: Elkleides of Megara (author of a Crito, Eroticus, Aeschines, Alcibiades ), Bryson and Stilpo.
395-94 Plato served in the military on two occasions (the Corinthian war?).
399-390 First Period of Plato's literary activity.
Laches Protagoras Apology
Charmides Hippias Minor Crito
Euthyphro Ion Gorgias
Lysis Hippias Major
390-388 First Journey to Sicily and Italy (early 390 to summer 388). Probably Plato's first real attention to Pythagoreanism, which was undergoing a renaissance in South Italy under the leadership of Archytas of Tarentum. First acquaintance with Dion of Syracuse (brother-in-law of Dionysius I) and with the young Dionysius II (who became tyrant in 367 on the death of his father). Plato departed to Aegina, on orders of Dionysius I.
388-367 Second Period of Plato's literary activity: foundation of the Academy:
Meno Symposium Phaedrus
Cratylus Phaedo Parmenides
Euthydemus Republic Theatetus
366-365 Second Journey to Sicily (exile and restoration of Dion).
365-361 The Sophistes and the Politicus.
361-360 Third Journey to Sicily, on the invitation of Dion. Plato is forced to live outside the palace at the camp of the mercenaries (as a hostage for Dion's good behavior?). Dion decides on revolution, but Plato refused to participate. With the intervention of Archytas of Tarentum, Plato is allowed to return to Athens (summer, 360).
357-354 Dion's government of Syracuse, aided and eventually terminated by pupils from the Academy (Kallipos the Academic).
360-348/7 Last Period of Plato's literary activity:
Philebus Kritias Letter 7
Timaeus The Laws


May 28, 2009 9:50 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN

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