The People of Plato: A Prosopography of Plato and Other Socratics

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The People of Plato is the first study since 1823 devoted exclusively to the identification of, and relationships among, the individuals represented in the complete Platonic corpus. It provides details of their lives, and it enables one to consider the persons of Plato's works, and those of other Socratics, within a nexus of important political, social, and familial relationships.

Debra Nails makes a broad spectrum of scholarship accessible to the non-specialist. She distinguishes what can be stated confidently from what remains controversial and--with full references to ancient and contemporary sources--advances our knowledge of the men and women of the Socratic milieu.

Bringing the results of modern epigraphical and papyrological research to bear on long-standing questions, The People of Plato is a fascinating resource and valuable research tool for the field of ancient Greek philosophy and for literary, political, and historical studies more generally.

In discrete sections, Nails discusses systems of Athenian affiliation, significant historical episodes that link lives and careers of the late fifth century, and their implications for the dramatic dates of the dialogues. The volume includes a rich array of maps, stemmata, and diagrams, plus a glossary, chronology, plan of the agora in 399 B.C.E., bibliography, and indices.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

A treasure-house of vital information, exhaustively and meticulously researched, presented with clarity and verve. Students of Plato's dialogues--and other Socratic writings--will no longer be frustrated by wading through dispersed and difficult to use scholarly tomes to find out about Meno's family and career or Plato's brothers or uncles or who Thucydides son of Melesias was, and his relation to the historian. With philosophical readers foremost in mind, Nails tells all. From now on, anyone reading Plato will always have this book nearby. --John M. Cooper, Princeton University

A unique scholarly resource, brimming with information practically inaccessible elsewhere, this painstakingly constructed work keeps one constantly engaged with the historical reality behind Plato's speculative universe. --Lloyd P. Gerson, University of Toronto

A permanent contribution to scholarship of the highest order, this beautifully-produced and engagingly-written book will be around as long as Plato is read. If you want to know who the son of Smicrion is, and you should, this book will tell you and amuse you in the process! --C. D. C. Reeve, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780872205642
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/1/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 414
  • Sales rank: 1,268,285
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Debra Nails is Professor of Philosophy, Michigan State University.

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Table of Contents

List of Diagrams and Maps ix
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xiii
Abbreviations, Ancient Texts, and Translations xv
Modern Works xv
Ancient Authors, Texts, and Translations xvii
Common Abbreviations and Symbols xxxiv
Introduction xxxvii
On Sources xl
On Ancient Dates xli
Ages and Dating Conventions xliii
Onomastics xliv
Guide to Other Prosopographies xliv
Spelling, Language, and Punctuation xlvi
How to Use this Book xlvi
A Sample Entry xlviii
Primer of Platonic Prosopography 1
Acumenus--Alcibiades III 1
Excursus 1 The Sacrilegious Crimes of 415 17
Alcibiades IV--Callixenus 20
Excursus 2 The Arginusae Trial of 406 79
Cambyses--Critias IV 82
Excursus 3 The Rule of the Thirty 404/3 111
Crito--Patrocles 114
Excursus 4 The Amnesty of 403-402 219
Pausanias--Zopyrus 222
Appendix I. Dramatic Dates, Characters, Setting and Style 307
Dialogues with Definite Dramatic Dates 308
Dialogues with Problematic Dramatic Dates 324
Dialogues without Dramatic Dates 327
Letters 329
Appendix II. Peripheral Persons 331
Appendix III. Athenian Affiliation: Demes, Phratries, Clans et al. 347
Appendix IV. Chronology of the Period of the Platonic Dialogues and Letters 357
Glossary 369
Works Cited and Consulted 377
Maps 401
Map Index 406
Index of Selected Topics 409
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