Aristocles, nicknamed Plato ('Broad Shoulders') was born at Athens probably in 428 B.C. After an unusually wide education he became a pupil of Cratylus, the Heraditean philospher. But when he was only 20 he attached himself to Socrates and remained his follower till 399 B.C. when Socrates was put to death by the state.
He then travelled widely, to Italy amony other places. When he was forty years old he was summoned by Dionysius the Elder to exemplify and inculcate philosophy at his court. Legend says that this was so unsuccessful that Plato was sold as a slave by Dionysius.
He soon returned to Athens, and began there his career as a teacher, which continued for his remaining forty years. His school met in the grounds sacred to the hero Academus, whose name has thus been ever since associated with education. Plato died in 347 B.C., eighty years old, but still engaged in his work. The 'Academy' was well established and his nephew Speusippus succeeded him as it's head. It flourished as a university till the Emperor Justinian closed the schools of Athens.
This was adapted from The Writers of Greece and Rome by Norwood and Wight Duff.