First English edition of the Nuremberg chronicle: being the Liber chronicarum of Dr. Hartmann Schedel…

Xenophon, a philosopher and distinguished commander of the army of the Athenians, the son of the Athenian Gryllus, was a modest man, incredibly handsome, of good morals, and agreeable to all. He was a disciple of Socrates and a rival of Plato. When he heard the first two books of Plato on the general welfare and care of the State, he was opposed to their ideas and wrote against them; and when Plato heard of that he was affected. He was the first to take note of the things Socrates had said, and brought them to general attention; and he, first of all philosophers, wrote a history. He was also a strict military commander who brought the army back home from the remotest parts of Babylonia through dangerous territory and barbarian nations without loss. He lived to the age of 89 years.[Xenophon (c. 435-354 BCE), Greek historian, essayist, and military commander, was the son of Gryllus, an Athenian knight. He came under the influence of Socrates at Athens. As he recounts in his celebrated military memoir, , in 401 he accepted the invitation of Proxenus of Boeotia, a commander of Greek mercenaries, to join him at Sardis and take service under the Persian prince, Cyrus, ostensibly against the Pisidians, but really against Cyrus's own brother, King Artaxerxes Mnemon. After the failure of this bold scheme and the death of the rebel prince at Cunaxa, Xenophon succeeded Proxenus in the command of the Ten Thousand Greeks. He became the life and soul of the army in his march of 1500 miles, as they fought their way against the ferocious tribes through the highlands of Armenia and the ice and snow of an inclement winter; and with such skill did he lead them that within five months they reached Trapezus, a Greek colony on the Black Sea, and ultimately Chrysopolis (Scutari) opposite Byzantium (399). He secured for his soldiers permanent service in the Lacedaemonian army against the Persians. Sentence of banishment was passed against him from Athens for thus taking service with Sparta. In 396 he formed a close friendship with Agesilaus, the Spartan king, and accompanied him in his eastern campaign; was in his company when he returned to Greece to conduct the war against the anti-Spartan league of Athens, Corinth, and Thebes, and witnessed the battle of Coronea. He went back with the king to Sparta, where he resided on and off until the Spartans presented him with an estate at Scillus, a town taken from Elis. And here he spent some twenty years of his life indulging his taste for literary work and the pursuits of a country gentleman. But the break-up of Spartan ascendancy after the battle of Leuctra drove him from his retreat. The Athenians who had now joined the Spartans against Thebes repealed his sentence of banishment. He settled at Corinth, where he died. His writings are divided into four classes: historical, technical and didactic, politico-philosophical, and ethic-philosophical.]

Archytas (Archita) of Tarentum, the son of Mnesagoras (or, as Aristoxenus said, of Histiaeus) (Estei), was a Pythagorean philosopher highly celebrated at this time, and in all branches of ethics was looked upon as a marvel. By a letter that he wrote to Dionysius he saved the life of Plato who was to be put to death. He also wrote many things, among which is the following: There is no greater plague than the carnal pleasures of the body, whose desires are excited to foolish and unrestrained uses. From these arise betrayal of the fatherland and destruction of the common good. There is no vice, no evil action, to which licentiousness does not lead.[Archytas of Tarentum was a distinguished philosopher, mathematician, general and statesman. He lived about 400 BCE, and onwards, so that he was a contemporary of Plato, whose life he is said to have saved by his influence with the tyrant Dionysius. He was seven times the general of his city, and he commanded in several campaigns, in all of which he was victorious. After a life which secured to him a place among the very greatest men of antiquity, he was drowned while upon a voyage on the Adriatic. As a philosopher he belonged to the Pythagorean school, and he appears to have been himself the founder of a new sect. He paid much attention to mathematics. To his theoretical science he added the skill of a practical mechanician, and constructed various machines and automatons, among which his wooden flying dove in particular was the wonder of antiquity. He also applied mathematics with success to musical science, and even to metaphysical philosophy. Plato was indebted to him for some of his views; and Aristotle is thought by some writers to have borrowed of him the idea of the categories, as well as some of his ethical principles. (This entry on Archytas was taken word-for-word by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith's 1870 , Vol. 1, pp. 273-4 s.v. Archytas.)]

Plato, the most celebrated philosopher at this time (as Eusebius writes), was the most renowned of all philosophers, and the most brilliant. He was born at Athens to his father Ariston and his mother Perictione (Perictonia) (or as others say, Potone (Petona)), on the same day that Apollo was born at Delos (as Apollodorus states). His mother was of the line of Solon, and his father was descended from Codrus,[Codrus was the last king of Athens.] the son of Melanthus. Plato had two brothers, Adeimantus and Glaucon, and a sister named Petona, from whom sprang Speusippus, the philosopher. He learned grammar and literature with Dionysius the Grammarian, while Aristone supervised his physical exercise in the gymnasium. Plato at first learned to paint, and also wrote poetry, as well as tragedies. Because of the lordly appearance of his body he was called Plato; although he was first named after his ancestor Aristocles. He studied under (literally ‘listened to') Socrates, but upon his death he studied under Cratylus (Crathylus) and Hermogenes, and then, at the age of 29, took himself to Megara to (study with) Euclid; and afterwards he went to Cyrene to study under Theodorus. He later traveled to Egypt where he heard the priests and prophets. On this journey Euripides was his traveling companion. Then he returned to Athens and lived in the Academy. He made three voyages to Sicily, and while fleeing to escape the menace of death, he was sold (into slavery). Being asked how one may attain to wisdom, he replied: Not by waiting for something that may never come to pass, nor by dwelling on the past. Plato, at last, died while seated at a feast at the age of 81.

Plato was born at Athens or in the neighboring islands of Aegina about 429 BCE. Paternally he boasted descent from Codrus, maternally from Solon. He was originally named after his grandfather Aristocles, but because of his fluency of speech, or the breadth of his chest, he received the name by which we know him (Platon = ‘broad [shoulders/chest?]'). When a youth he is said to have competed in the Isthmian and other games. He did not devote himself to philosophy until later, probably after he was drawn to those in Socrates' circle. He received instruction from some of the most distinguished teachers. In his twentieth year he started listening to Socrates, becoming one of his most ardent admirers. After the latter's death he withdrew to Megara where he probably composed several of his dialogues. Through friendship for the mathematician Theodorus, he went to Cyrene. He also visited Egypt, Sicily, and the Greek cities in Lower Italy in his quest for knowledge. During his residence in Sicily he became acquainted with the elder Dionysius, but very soon fell out with the tyrant (and, we are told in later, probably legendary, accounts that he was sold by the tyrant into slavery). After his return he taught gratuitously. A narrow circle of his disciples assembled in his garden at simple meals. From his house came his nephew Speusippus, Xenocrates of Chalcedon, Aristotle, Heraclides Ponticus, Hestiaeus of Perinthua, Philippus the Opuntian, and other men from many parts of Greece. With the exception of two visits to Sicily, Plato was occupied from the time he opened his school in the Academy in giving instruction and in the composition of his works. He died in 347 at the age of 82 years. According to his last will and testament, his garden remained the property of the school and passed, considerably increased by subsequent additions, into the hands of the Neo-Platonists who kept as a festival his birthday as well as that of Socrates. (This entry on Plato was taken, and massively abridged, by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith's 1870 Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Vol. 3, pp. 392-405 s.v. Plato.)

Plato is, perhaps, the most famous and influential philospher in the western tradition. In addition, he is a master prose stylist (his Symposium, for example, in addition to being the most sophisticated—and influential—exploration of the idea of ‘love' in western civilization, is also one of the greatest of all literary works from the ancient world).

Antisthenes, the Athenian philosopher, first heard the orator Gorgias,[Gorgias of Leontini, Sicily, was a celebrated rhetorician, orator, sophist and philosopher. He was born about 480 BCE and lived to be about 109 years old, so it is said.] and later became associated with Socrates. He lived in Piraeus and walked 40 stadia[40 stadia are equal to approximately 4.5 miles] to hear him. From Socrates he learned patience and serenity. Antisthenes originated the sect of the Cynics and was a master among them. He derided the haughty and pompous Plato; and when he heard Plato speak ill, he remarked: It is edifying to hear evil when you have been virtuous yourself. Antisthenes wrote many books on various subjects. According to Jerome (when writing his Against Jovinian[Jerome's (‘Against Jovinian') was a polemical treatise in two volumes written in 393 CE to counter pagan pride in pagan culture. It was titled ‘Against (the monk) Jovinian', because that monk had asserted, among other things, the equality of virginity and marriage. The citation is from 2.344.]) Antisthenes, after hearing Socrates, made this observation to his disciples: Go forth and seek a master for yourselves, for I have found one for myself; for all this learning is nonsense, and what you know amounts to nothing.[Antisthenes, an Athenian, was the founder of Cynic philosophy. He was a disciple, first of Gorgias, and later of Socrates, whom he never abandoned. He taught in the Cynosarges, a gymnasium for Athenians born of foreign mothers; this is probably the origin of the name Cynics, although others derived the name from the doglike behavior and neglect of all forms and usages of society by its adherents. His writings, chiefly dialogues, were numerous, his style pure and elegant, and he possessed considerable wit and sarcasm. Being an enemy of all speculation he opposed Plato. His philosophical system was confined almost entirely to ethics. He showed contempt for luxury and the comforts of life by his mean clothing and hard fare. The Stoics later sprang from his school. (This entry on Antisthenes was abridged by our translator and indefatigable note gatherer, Walter Schmauch, without attribution—it was a more innocent time—from Smith's 1870 , Vol. 1, pp. 207-208 s.v. Antisthenes. It has been every so slightly modified by the current editor.).]

Speusippus, Athenian philosopher, was the son of Eurymedon and a nephew of Plato by the latter's sister. He was master of Plato's school for eight years. He was easily angered and extended his hand to pleasures. Indeed, he gave his hand to the doctrine of Epicurus. For these faults Diogenes, the philosopher, severely criticized him. Having become afflicted with paralysis, he begged Xenocrates to take his place as teacher. According to Plutarch he died from an accumulation of lice. Timotheus says he was lean of body. He left many books and dialogues. Favoronius says that Aristotle bought his books for three talents, and that Simonides wrote a biography of him. He was the first to discover how to make large receptacles out of thin wood.[Speusippus, the philosopher, native of Athens, was a son of Plato's sister Potone, and succeeded Plato as president of the Academy, over which he presided for eight years. He developed the doctrines of his master in a number of works, all of which are now lost.]