Plato (428/427 or 424/423 BCE – 348/347 BCE), born Aristokles, was an ancient Greek philosopher, widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition. He was a student of Sokrates and the teacher of Aristotle.
Around 430 BCE, a young Aristokles made the acquaintance of the Spartan misthios Kassandra. After she gathered supporters to help Sokrates out of jail Aristokles introduced himself. After revealing that he did not like his name, Kassandra suggested he choose a new one. Aristokles settled on 'Plato', a name his brother called him in their youth. He also told Kassandra of his passion for debate and how he hoped to be student of Sokrates one day.
In his work The Republic, Plato made his famous Allegory of the Cave, in which prisoners were chained inside a cave and forced to look at a cave wall. They were not able to see the world outside, but only the reflections on the wall that the outside world made. The prisoners are able to free themselves when they see that the intangible, represented by the reflections, is real.
In 1497, during the Bonfire of the Vanities, the Preacher, one of Girolamo Savonarola's nine lieutenants, stated that Savonarola condemned the teachings of both Plato and Aristotle, remarking that the only good thing they owed them was bringing forward many arguments which they could use against the heretics and that they and other philosophers were in Hell.
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