Socrates Biography - ILHSocrates (469–399 B.C.E.) was a Greek philosopher whose way of life, character, and thought exerted a profound influence on ancient and modern Western philosophy. Though he did not write anything of his own, he was a widely recognized and controversial figure in his native Athens. All information known about him and his ideas come from three contemporary sources: the dialogues of Plato and Xenophon, and the plays of Aristophanes. He was described as having neglected his own personal affairs, spending all his time discussing virtue, justice, and piety wherever his fellow citizens congregated. He encouraged the youth to seek wisdom and practice right conduct so that he might guide the moral and intellectual improvement of Athens. Yet he was later tried and sentenced to death for opposing democracy, spreading religious heresies and “corrupting the youth”.  Socrates is credited as one of the wisest people of all time, and Plato was his most famous student.

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