Virgilio Irmici (Independent Scholar - Europe)
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Critias’ fame is mainly connected to his illustrious relative Plato (he appears in four of his dialogues: 


, in which he has a minor role, as well as 





). Therefore, when a man at the forefront of twentieth-century philosophy like Karl Popper pays him mind, it is for the sole purpose of investigating Plato’s thought and attitude towards politics (for more on Popper and Critias, see Bultrighini, 1999: 36-37). Outside the narrow circle of classicists, Critias as politician and intellectual in his own right is today no more than a name.



We do not know Critias’ exact date of birth, conventionally thought to be around 460 BCE. We know much more about his family, one of the most noble in the city. His relatives include Solon and Plato.

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Citation: Irmici, Virgilio. "Critias". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 December 2018; last revised 12 February 2020. [, accessed 22 April 2024.]

14034 Critias 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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