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Plato and the Tyrant  By  cover art

Plato and the Tyrant

By: Anselm Audley
Narrated by: James Patrick Cronin
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Publisher's Summary

The greatest philosopher who ever lived. A dissolute tyrant in need of an education. What could possibly go wrong?

Plato was the most brilliant thinker of his age. Head of the Academy in Athens, friend of the best minds of his generation, his philosophy was famous across the Greek world. But would he ever get the chance to try his ideas out?

Dionysius the Younger was Tyrant of Syracuse, feckless son of a famous father. His rule ran from Sicily to the Adriatic, but he had time only for debauchery and dancing girls. The ancient cities of Sicily were in ruins, destroyed by the rising power of Carthage. His father's empire was slipping away. His austere, disciplined uncle Dion, Plato's most beloved pupil and the power behind the throne, was in despair.

So was born the dream of making a real philosopher-king by taking an unworthy young man with absolute power and shaping him into a model of wisdom, integrity, and benevolence.

In the last generation of Greek independence, Plato's doomed journeys to Syracuse were an attempt to turn thoughts into actions, to make a philosophical ideal into a political reality. But philosophy could be a dangerous business.

©2015 Anselm Audley (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

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A Sad Complicated History Expert Narration


This was a short interesting book about how the ancient city of Syracuse, ruled by tyrants attempted to have Plato teach the principles of philosophy. It is the complicated history of a tyrant, his arrogant brother in law who became a disciple of Plato and the tyrant's son, who claims he wants to learn from Plato. It does not go well. A leopard never changed his spots. Author Anselm Audley guides the reader through the multitude of events in a clear concise manner. It is a sad history. I read this book using immersion reading while listening to the audiobook. The wonderful James Patrick Cronin ably handles the story beautifully. A great short read for history lovers.

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true story of Plato's philosopher-king

I think the platonic philosopher- king is found 8n The Republic. here is a historical snippet of Plato's roles in the power play in the Tyranny of Syracuse. One must also realize, tyrant is the name of the office, similar to monarch.

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  • J. Newton
  • 06-28-20

Absolutely brilliant!

Ancient history brought to life with wit, action and intrigue. Brilliantly written and brilliantly read.

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  • Nicholas Gruen
  • 12-27-21

Anachronistic costume drama

I was interested in the story

always the author had no taste for the previously different world of the ancients