Plato, perhaps now completely disgusted with politics, returned to his beloved Academy, where he lived out the last thirteen years of his life. His grave, however, has not yet been discovered by archeological investigations. There can be no doubt that Plato was also strongly influenced by Parmenides and Zeno (both of Elea), in Plato's theory of the Forms, which are plainly intended to satisfy the Parmenidean requirement of metaphysical unity and stability in knowable reality.

According to Diogenes, Plato was buried at the school he founded (D. Aristotle and Diogenes agree that Plato had some early association with either the philosophy of Heraclitus of Ephesus, or with one or more of that philosopher's followers (see Aristotle Metaph. Parmenides and Zeno also appear as characters in his dialogue, the He mixed together in his works the arguments of Heracleitus, the Pythagoreans, and Socrates. 3.8) A little later, Diogenes makes a series of comparisons intended to show how much Plato owed to the comic poet, Epicharmus (3.9-3.17).

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It has frequently been assumed that if we can establish a relative chronology for when Plato wrote each of the dialogues, we can provide some objective test for the claim that Plato represented Socrates more accurately in the earlier dialogues, and less accurately in the later dialogues.

In antiquity, the ordering of Plato's dialogues was given entirely along thematic lines.

These works blend ethics, political philosophy, moral psychology, epistemology, and metaphysics into an interconnected and systematic philosophy.

It is most of all from Plato that we get the theory of Forms, according to which the world we know through the senses is only an imitation of the pure, eternal, and unchanging world of the Forms. Plato came from one of the wealthiest and most politically active families in Athens.

The question has led to a number of seemingly irresolvable scholarly disputes.

At least one important ancient source, Aristotle, suggests that at least some of the doctrines Plato puts into the mouth of the "Socrates" of the "early" or "Socrates" dialogues are the very ones espoused by the historical Socrates.

Aristotle ( 143c, Plato announces through his characters that he will abandon the somewhat cumbersome dialogue form that is employed in his other writings.

Since the form does not appear in a number of other writings, it is reasonable to infer that those in which it does not appear were written after the Scholars have sought to augment this fairly scant evidence by employing different methods of ordering the remaining dialogues.

Once again, however, things in Syracuse were not at all to Plato's liking.

Dionysius once again effectively imprisoned Plato in Syracuse, and the latter was only able to escape again with help from his Tarentine friends ( 350a-b).

Nonetheless, it is plain that no influence on Plato was greater than that of Socrates.