When did Plato write The Republic?
While the exact year is unknown, Plato wrote The Republic somtime in the first half of the fourth century BC, probably around two decades after the death of Socrates (whose dialogues are the basis of The Republic) in 399 BC. Some scholars argue that the first book of The Republic was written some time before the second. In any case, this was a tumultuous period in Athens, which had just seen the dissolution of its empire in the wake of the Peloponnesian War. The social and political problems confronting the city provide a crucial context for the book, particularly Plato's conclusion that a philosopher-king would provide the best possible government.