Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are three of philosophy's greatest contributors. You already knew that. But what you might not know is that they all lived in classical Athens at around the same time. You might not know that Socrates was executed for practicing free speech. You might not know that Plato was sold into slavery for making the Tyrant of Syracuse angry. And you might not know that Aristotle tutored the famous Alexander the Great.
The philosophers were part of some crazy world events as well. The Peloponnesian War, the Macedonian takeover, the 30 tyrants who thought they could wipe out Athenian democracy...it's all there.
Truth be told, there's not a lot of testimony out there detailing what their lives were like. Historians of those days were more concerned with documenting the perpetual civil wars, and the philosophers' students were more concerned with recording their teachers' ideas. However, this book by Simon T. Bailey, entitled Greek Philosophers: The Lives and Times of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, is a look into what it might have been like for Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle to live in Athens in the fourth and fifth centuries BCE.
If you're looking for a dry, professorial work full of archaeological evidence, then this book isn't going to be your cup of tea, but if you're looking for a partially fictionalized rendition of the philosophers' lives and thoughts that seeks to humanize those marble statues or for something to wet your palate and get you excited about ancient Greek history and philosophy, then this book is your boon.
©2015 Simon T. Bailey (P)2015 Simon T. Bailey