Alienation in the ancient world The concept of alienation has a long and colorful history. As its full accounting would require many volumes, we review only the most general trends. In Plato’s Republic , Socrates considered the brave and wise soul as least disturbed by external circumstances ( ἀλλοιώσειεν , later rendered as the Latin alienatio ). For Plato and Platonists, the soul that liberates itself from the known world’s contingencies and external realities achieves a positive state of alienation from everyday living as it apprehends the Ideal, or the Divine.