From, A History of Greek Philosophy, vol. IV, Plato: the man and his dialogues, earlier period,
Cambridge University Press, 19896, pp. 8-38.
Theopompus, who wrote a work Against the School of Plato, was a pupil of Isocrates, and in view of the rivalry between Isocrates and Plato (p. 24 below) may have thought he was serving his master by these violent attacks. That such denigration was also current among the Peripatetics is shown by the astonishing declaration of Aristoxenus (ap. D.L. 3.37) that nearly the whole of Plato’s Republic was in the Contrary Arguments of Protagoras.
In addition to the above, Plutarch and Cornelius Nepos in their lives οf Dion say something of Plato’s activities in Sicily, and there are naturally a number of scattered references to him in later antiquity, especially in Cicero, and chronological information from Apollodorus.
(b) Birth and family connexions
N ALL probability Plato was born in 427 B.C. and died at the age of eighty in 347. His birthplace was either Athens or Aegina (D.L. 3.3). As to his family, in the words of Apuleius ‘de utroque nobilitas satis clara’. His father Ariston traced his descent from Codrus, the last king of Athens, and the family of his mother Perictione was connected with Solon, who, as Field remarked (Ρ. and Contemps. 4), might be of less venerable antiquity but at least had the advantage of having really existed. Plato had two elder brothers, Glaucon and Adeimantus, and a sister Potone, the mother of Speusippus. Critias and Charmides, who became members of the notorious Thirty in 404, were respectively the cousin and brother of his mother. Ariston, says Plutarch (De am. prolis 496 f.), did not live to hear Plato expound philosophy, and after his death Perictione married Pyrilampes, who must have been her uncle, since Plato himself (Charm. 158a) calls him the uncle of Charmides. Plato adds that he went on embassies to the Great King of Persia and other rulers in Asia. From this marriage Plato acquired a half-brother Antiphon, whom he makes the narrator of his dialogue Parmenides.
A Day in Old Athens * A Short History of Greek Philosophy
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