The ages of socrates in plato's symposium

Margalit Finkelberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Plato's Symposium has no less than three dramatic dates: Its narrative frame is placed in 401 BCE; Agathon's dinner party is envisaged as having occurred in 416; finally, Plato makes Socrates meet Diotima in 440 BCE. I will argue that the multi-level chronology of the Symposium should be approached along the lines of Socrates' intellectual history as placed against the background of Greek ideas of age classes (also exploited in the Republic). As a result, the Symposium functions as a retrospective of Socrates' life, which uses the traditional concept of ages of man to create a paradigm of philosophical life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-69
Number of pages11
JournalPlato Journal
StatePublished - 28 Jan 2021


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