Plato was a pupil of Socrates. He taught that certain things - such as good, evil and justice - exist outside of human senses and continue unchanged forever.
In The Republic, a series of ten books, Plato set out what he thought was a perfect system of government. He said there should be a rigid class system and that the ruler should be a philosopher-king who was wise enough to rule in the interests of all.
The education that the philosopher-king should receive was described as being based on physical exercise, artistic appreciation and philosophy.
After travelling to many different Greek cities, Plato produced a new book called Laws. In this he abandoned the idea of a philosopher-king and instead said there should be joint ownership of all property by the citizens.
When he returned to Athens, Plato bought a field called Academus that lay just outside Athens. Plato set up a school called the Academy in the field where he taught his ideas.
Plato died in 347bc, but his Academy survived until ad529. Thousands of men were educated there and Plato's ideas have remained important down to the present day.
from "100 Facts About Ancient Greece" by Rupert Matthews
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