Born - Died : 427 BC - 347 BC
The greatest western philosopher was born in Athens. Plato taught in a garden, or sacred grove, dedicated to the God Academus and known as The Academy. His views were expressed in dialogues and changed during the course of his life. This has allowed subsequent thinkers to interpret his views in different ways, often described as Neoplatonic. Plato did not say much about the fine arts but raised all the important questions. Plato's Theory of Forms had a profound influence on the course of western art, particularly through the Neoplatonic axiom that 'Art should imitate nature'. As a consequence, Plato's theories also had a deep influence on garden design. Book 10 of Plato's Republic and a note on Plato's influence on the history of art and garden design are on the CD.