Plato’s School of Athens for the Pursuit of Wisdom, Knowledge and Truth

The School of Athens painted by the Italian Renaissance artist Raphael

How I wish my parents sent me to this School instead of a public school that only wanted to educate me into becoming a dumb ignorant automaton for those in power to profit from.

Anyway, more to come on this apparent attempt by the educational system to dumb down the youth of today and the many generations to come.

The School of Athens painted by Raphael as described on Wikipedia:

The “School of Athens” is one of a group of four main frescoes on the walls of the Stanza (those on either side centrally interrupted by windows) that depict distinct branches of knowledge. Each theme is identified above by a separate tondo containing a majestic female figure seated in the clouds, with putti bearing the phrases: “Seek Knowledge of Causes”, “Divine Inspiration”, “Knowledge of Things Divine” (Disputa), “To Each What Is Due”. Accordingly, the figures on the walls below exemplify Philosophy, Poetry (including Music), Theology, and Law.[2] The traditional title is not Raphael’s, and the subject of the “School” is actually “Philosophy”,[3] or at least ancient Greek philosophy, and its overhead tondo-label, “Causarum Cognitio” tells us what kind, as it appears to echo Aristotle’s emphasis on wisdom as knowing why, hence knowing the causes, in Metaphysics Book I and Physics Book II. Indeed, Aristotle appears to be the central figure in the scene below. However all the philosophers depicted sought to understand through knowledge of first causes. Many lived before Plato and Aristotle, and hardly a third were Athenians. The architecture contains Roman elements, but the general semi-circular setting having Plato and Aristotle at its centre might be alluding to Pythagoras’ circumpunct.


Let us now take a closer look at this magnificent painting as we try to identify the great greek philosophers of ancient times, who contemplated and debated life’s big questions.

(Click above image to enlarge)

1: Zeno of Citium 2: Epicurus 3: unknown 4: Boethius or Anaximander or Empedocles? 5: Averroes 6: Pythagoras 7: Alcibiades or Alexander the Great? 8: Antisthenes or Xenophon or Timon? 9: unknown or the Fornarina as a personification of Love or (Francesco Maria della Rovere?) 10: Aeschines or Xenophon? 11: Parmenides? 12: Socrates 13: Heraclitus (Michelangelo) 14: Plato (Leonardo da Vinci) 15: Aristotle 16: Diogenes 17: Plotinus (Donatello?) 18: Euclid or Archimedes with students (Bramante?) 19: Zoroaster 20: Ptolemy? R: Apelles (Raphael) 21: Protogenes (Il Sodoma, Perugino, or Timoteo Viti)

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