44 pages 1 hour read


The Republic

Nonfiction | Book | Adult | BCE

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Key Figures


Plato (427-347 BC) was an Athenian philosopher of the Classical period in ancient Greece and author of The Republic. A student of Socrates, Plato also founded the first academy in the western world, a forerunner to the modern university, in Athens. Its most famous member was Aristotle (384-322 BC), a student of Plato. How much of The Republic represents Socrates’ views and how much Plato’s is hard to determine because Socrates did not preserve his philosophy in written form. Nevertheless, Plato’s influence on western thought and philosophy has been huge. His writings were critical in the development and codification of Christianity and the early Christian church. He is also credited with founding western political philosophy through The Republic.

His other major works, all of which are in dialogue form and mostly have Socrates as the main character, include, Symposium (385 BC), Phaedrus (370 BC) and Theaetetus (369 BC).


Socrates (470-399 BC) was an ancient Greek philosopher, teacher of Plato, and the central protagonist of The Republic. As he produced no written texts, our ideas about who he was, and what he thought or said, comes principally from Plato’s Socratic dialogues. Other Greeks such as his students Xenophon and Antisthenes, and playwright Aristophanes, also wrote about him.