§ 2. PLATO.
18. His Life. -- Plato was born at Athens, of an aristocratic family, in 427. His meeting with Socrates definitely decided his vocation to philosophy. On the death of his master, Plato first went to Megara, then sailed for Egypt, and later for Cyrene. After an eight years' sojourn at Athens, he repaired to Italy (388), where he encountered the disciples of Pythagoras; thence he went to Sicily to the court of Dionysius the Elder. The monarch, offended at the too severe language of the philosopher, gave him over to a Spartan, who sold him as a slave. Set free by a Cyrenean, Plato returned to Athens and founded a school in the gymnasium of the Academy. His teaching was interrupted by a second sojourn at the Sicilian court, after the death of Dionysius the Elder. Plato had hoped to become the tutor of Dionysius the Younger; deceived in this hope, he returned once more to Athens, where he continued to teach till his death in 347.
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