chapter  2
Plato: Who Should Rule?
Pages 18

Plato was born in Athens c. 427 B.C.E. Until he was in his mid-twenties, Athens was involved in a long and disastrous military conflict with Sparta, known as the Peloponnesian War. Coming from a distinguished family-on his father’s side descending from Codrus, one of the early kings of Athens, and on his mother’s side from Solon, the prominent reformer of the Athenian constitution-–Plato cherished the hope of assuming a significant place in his political community, but he found himself continually thwarted. As he relates in his autobiographical Seventh Letter , he could not identify himself with any of the contending political parties or the succession of corrupt regimes, each of which was bringing Athens further into decline (324b-326a).