PERICTIONE, wife of Ariston, gave birth to a boy, Plato, in 428 or 427 B.C. He was their third son. Both Perictione and Ariston came from families who had for generations been prominent in the political life of Athens. After Ariston's death, Perictione married her uncle Pyrilampes, who had been a close friend and prominent political supporter of Pericles. We may say that politics was in Plato's blood. In his youth he must have become familiar with the maneuvering and strategies of power politics during the feverish years of the Peloponnesian War. We know from a probably authentic letter written late in his life that he had had invitations to take part in the government of Athens while still a young man. But the constant attraction of active political life never led to Plato's actually holding office. The reasons for this include the combination of his peculiar intelligence and the influence on it of Socrates.