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date: 23 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter attempts to situate Plato’s philosophizing and literary production in its historical context. The evidence external to the dialogues that such an enterprise can rely on is either scrappy or suspect, or both. Thus, what is offered here is a series of snapshots that follow a chronological sequence, from Plato’s relationship with Socrates and the Athens that executed him; through his momentous first visit to Italy and Sicily and its impact on his thinking about politics and philosophy; to the founding of the Academy, Plato’s rivalry with Isocrates, and the birth of the theory of Forms; and ending with the worlds of the late dialogues.

Keywords: Plato, philosophy, literary production, dialogues, Socrates, Athens, Italy, Academy, Isocrates

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