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Reading Plato: Home

This is an introductory level guide to the work and philosophy of the ancient Greek philosopher called Plato (429?–347 B.C.E.).


"...the unexamined life is not worth living..." Plato Apology 38a


This resource guide is designed to be a springboard for anyone interested in familiarising themselves with the work of the ancient Greek philosopher called Plato (429?–347 B.C.E.). It explains some of the jargon and theories of the Philosophy and Classics disciplines that often shape how Plato’s works are discussed in secondary literature and aims to place useful introductory resources, including Plato's original works, at your fingertips.

The guide provides links to resources in a variety of formats, giving you some choice in how you go about your learning.

To navigate the guide, select the tabs running across the top of the page, each of which provides an outline of key aspects of Plato and his work as well as links to various relevant resources. Below is a summary of each section:

Who was Plato? 

The "Who was Plato?" section gives a brief description of who Plato was and provides links to resources that present more detailed accounts of the philosopher as well as provide insight into the historical context in which his works sit. 

Plato's works 

The "Plato's works" section gives an overview of basic elements of Plato's works and links you to resources that present these primary texts. 


The "Socrates" section provides more information about Plato’s main protagonist, Socrates, and introduces you to some of the literature surrounding this historical figure. 

Understanding Plato

A lot has been written about Plato's work and this final section provides you with a platform to dip your toes into the scholarly discussion. It does this by providing you with links to various introductory works as well as information about common referencing trends for his primary works, making it easy for you to both access and process scholarly material about Plato. 

Resource information


Book resources are linked to their Trove entry, which provides information on which Australian libraries contain the work and where it can be read online. There are sometimes multiple entries in Trove of a resource as it draws its content from various institutions; therefore, if the text is not easily accessible to you through one entry, one of the other entires will reveal more options. It is recommended that users try to obtrain the latest edition of a work for the most up-to-date scholarship. 

Portrait of Plato; bust. Wellcome M0005618

Plato; bust. Illustration Die Bildniskunst der Griechen & Römer Anton Hekler Published: 1912.

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons: licence CC BY 4.0


Melanie Hechenberger's picture
Melanie Hechenberger
I am currently an Information Management student at RMIT University with a BA and MRes in Ancient History from Monash University. I am passionate about the ancient world, particularly ancient Egypt and Greece, as I find it fascinating how ancient people lived very differently to how we do today, and yet share many of our values.