Friday, September 4, 2015

Dionysius II the Arrogant Dictator

Dionysius II the Arrogant Dictator

In volume 4 of Hermead, my epic of philosophers, I explore the life of Plato, the most famous Greek philosopher. Plato wrote about his conception of the perfect Republic, which he felt should be run by an enlightened philosopher king.

Plato had personal experience with how not to run a nation. Three times he went to Sicily, where Plato attempted to teach philosophy to the tyrant Dionysius I and then his son Dionysius II.

The first time he went, Dionysius I had Plato arrested and sold as a slave, and he was sent to fight as a gladiator in Cyrene in North Africa. His friends bought his freedom and he went to Athens and founded the Academy.

Two times after that he went to Sicily to teach philosophy to the younger Dionysius II with hopes to turn him into an enlightened philosopher-king. However, Dionysius was an arrogant, blustering blow-hard, much like a certain politician currently running for President of the United States.

Both times, Dionysius would pretend to be open to being taught philosophy, but his arrogance always prevailed, and he held Plato under house arrest, but both times let him go.

Eventually, Dionysius was overthrown, and ended up homeless and poor in Corinth where he would sit in the market and teach philosophy.

Read the life of Platon in
Hermead Volume 4

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