Museum quality bonded alabaster bust of Plato the philosopher, mounted to a genuine alabaster base. Imported from Italy and originally sculpted by master sculptor A. Giannelli. Plato is widely quoted and the most renowned of the ancient philosophers. He was born in 427 BC of aristocratic parents, he became a student of Socrates before he was twenty. Plato's association with Socrates profoundly influenced him, shaping his future thoughts and writings. Plato's writings became the basis for a countless number of religious and political teachings, including many early Christian doctrines and the Neo-Platonism of the Italian Renaissance which influenced the thinking and artistic creations of Michelangelo. After the death of Socrates, Plato traveled throughout the countries surrounding the Mediterranean. At Syracuse in Sicily he incurred the enmity of its ruler Dionysius I by his outspoken criticism of the morality of the city. It resulted in his being sold as a slave but he was fortunate. His purchaser freed him and soon thereafter Plato established a school called "The Academy" where he taught until his death at eighty. The word academy became widely used to designate a place of learning and has endured for all these years.