Plato was a backpacker
On the excellent site http://www.worldhum.com, a great story appeared recently, authored by Frank Bures. (www.frankbures.com).
A brief excerpt appears below:
Not far into Will Durant’s book The Story of Philosophy, I came across a startling fact. In his chapter on the Greek thinker Plato, after discussing the politics, history and geography of ancient Athens, he mentions that, due to political unrest, the philosopher was forced to leave the city-state in 399 B.C.
“Where he went, we cannot for certain say,” Durant writes. “Twelve years he wandered, imbibing wisdom from every source, sitting at every shrine, tasting every creed. Some would have it that he went to Judea and was moulded there for a while by the tradition of the almost socialistic prophets; and even that he found his way to the banks of the Ganges and learned the mystic meditation of the Hindus. We do not know.”
I had no idea Plato spent so much time on the road. Like most students, I was assigned to read The Republic in college—several times. As I recall, it seemed like an interesting set of mental exercises, a decent bunch of questions, with maybe even some worthwhile ideas about how society should be run. (Don’t all college students think they’re philosopher-king material?) But Plato the traveler? …”
Go read the rest of the article at this link: http://www.worldhum.com/features/travel-books/plato_was_a_backpacker_20080624/
It’s a great read, and definitely food for thought.