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Courses Socrates

Enroll now for How to Live Like Socrates – Live from Athens

I am delighted to announce that I will be running my elearning course How to Live Like Socrates, which lasts four weeks, starting on Sunday 4th September. Enroll now if you want to join us! I will be delivering the webinars live from Athens, the birthplace of Socrates!

This is the first time I’ve run the course in over two years. It used to run 2-3 times per year but I’ve been busy writings books. I am currently working on a new book about Socrates. So some of that original material will find itself into the course this time around!

Donald Robertson Signature
Donald at the Acropolis in Athens

Categories
History Philosophy

Philosophy Attractions of Athens

Where to go if You’re Interested in Ancient Wisdom

Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It also happens to be the home of western philosophy. Yet most tourists are unaware of the significance that certain locations in the city have for the history of philosophy.

Friends, and strangers, who share my love of history, often ask me what locations they should visit there.

I am originally from Scotland, emigrated to Canada about eight years ago, but recently became a permanent resident of Greece. I’ve spent a lot of time exploring Athens, doing research for various books on philosophy. (My graphic novel, Verissimus: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, depicts scenes in the Ancient Agora and Delphi.) Friends, and strangers, who share my love of history, often ask me what locations they should visit there. So I finally decided to write this short guide to Athens for fans of ancient philosophy.

One thing worth clarifying at the outset is that ancient Greece ended up becoming part of the Roman world. In 146 BC, Greece was conquered by the Roman Republic, becoming a client state and later a province of what eventually became known as the Roman Empire. Later, under the Ottoman Empire, Greece was still referred to as the “Roman nation”. Many of the archeological ruins and museum exhibits in Athens actually date not from the classical period of Pericles and Socrates, et al., but from Roman era, particularly the rule of Emperor Hadrian.

Read the rest of this article on Medium.

Categories
Marcus Aurelius Socrates Stoicism

Marcus Aurelius on Socrates

What the Stoic Emperor Learned from the Athenian Philosopher

In 175 AD, probably for the first time in his life, in his mid-fifties, the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, set foot in Athens. It was in fact a pilgrimage for him. During of the “War of Many Nations” he’d been fighting along the Danube frontier, he had taken a sacred oath that he would travel to Athens, if victorious, and be initiated into the Eleusinian mysteries. Although these rites ended with initiation at the Temple of Demeter in nearby Eleusis, they began in the centre of Athens, outside the Stoa Poikile, or painted porch, the ancient home of Stoic philosophy.

As Marcus stood upon the Stoa Poikile, he would have gazed across the Agora where Socrates once discussed philosophy, and where he was later put on trial, imprisoned, and executed. Beyond the Agora, Marcus would have seen the Temple of Athena known as the Parthenon. At that time a colossal statue of the goddess of wisdom looked down on Athens, from atop the Acropolis. Most of the drama of Socrates’ life had unfolded within the bounds of the Agora, under the gaze of Athena.

It must have been a humbling experience for Marcus to know that he was walking in Socrates’ footsteps. According to the Historia Augusta, the emperor had “ever on his lips” the saying attributed to Socrates in Plato’s Republic that “those states prospered where the philosophers were kings or the kings philosophers.”

Read the rest of this article on Medium…

Categories
Events Philosophy

Announcing: Plato’s Academy Centre Virtual Conference

Ancient Philosophy Comes Alive

Virtual Conference on Greek Philosophy and the Good Life

If you’re interested in how Greek philosophy can help us live better lives today, this is the online event for you!

Tickets now available on EventBrite. Payment is by donation, an amount of your choosing, and all proceeds go toward the Plato’s Academy Centre nonprofit. Not available or in a different time zone? Don’t worry as recordings will be available afterwards to everyone booking tickets in advance.

What’s it all about?

We bring together a special program of world-class philosophers and renowned authors for an exclusive online event that you absolutely won’t want to miss.

Each speaker will share with you their knowledge and captivating insights into the most famous ancient philosophers, including effective and practical advice and strategies to help understand and manage the challenges of our uncertain and complex daily lives.

Speakers

  • Prof. Angie Hobbs, University of Sheffield; author of Plato’s Republic: A Ladybird Expert Book
  • Prof. Voula Tsouna, University of California, Santa Barbara; author of Plato’s Charmides: An Interpretative Commentary
  • Prof. Nancy Sherman, University of Georgetown; author of Stoic Wisdom: Ancient Lessons for Modern Resilience
  • Prof. Chloe Balla, University of Crete; author of Platonic Persuasion: From the Art of the Orator to the Art of the Statesman
  • Dr John Sellars, Royal Holloway, University of London; author of Hellenistic Philosophy and The Pocket Epicurean
  • Robin Waterfield, classicist and translator of Plato and Xenophon
  • Donald Robertson, author of How to Think Like a Roman Emperor: The Stoic Philosophy of Marcus Aurelius

NB: Presentation titles will be added shortly. Details may be subject to change without prior notification.

Who will be hosting?

Our hosts will be Donald Robertson, the president of the Plato’s Academy Centre, and Anya Leonard, the founder and director of the Classical Wisdom website.

About Plato’s Academy Centre

The Plato’s Academy Centre is a new nonprofit, based in Greece, run by a multidisciplinary team of volunteers from around the world. Our mission is to make ancient Greek philosophy more accessible to a wider international audience and to celebrate the legacy of Plato’s Academy in Athens. Everyone is welcome to join us.

FAQ

  1. Will recordings be available? Yes, everyone who orders a ticket in advance will automatically have access after the event to recordings of all presentations. So don’t worry if you’re unavailable at these times or located in another time zone.
  2. Will it be too academic for me? While many of our speakers are notable academics, the sessions are aimed at a nonacademic audience.
  3. How much does it cost? We’re making this event payment by donation, amount of your choosing, so it’s available to the widest possible audience. As a rough guide, tickets for a physical conference like this might cost €150. Your generosity helps support our nonprofit’s work and allows us to reach more people through future events.
  4. Why this date? 21st May is the approximate date of the Platoneia, on which Plato’s birthday is traditionally celebrated. The event begins at 12pm EST.
  5. Where can I get updates? Follow our Facebook Event page and our Twitter account for updates on this event.

Thanks

We’re grateful to our board of advisors, Orange Grove incubator, Classical Wisdom, and the Aurelius Foundation, for their support in bringing you this event. Special thanks to Phil Yanov, Gabriel Fleming, and Kasey Robertson for their help organizing the event.