The Philosopher King

2423 Words10 Pages
“If the choice is between a blind person and a sharp-sighted one, isn’t it clear which one we’ll need? (Plato 203). The image of the philosopher king was thoroughly described in Plato’s Republic, but the perfect ruler or philosopher king has transformed throughout history and are influenced by historical events. First, the description of a perfect ruler in an ideal society in Plato’s Republic will be the first comparison and the basis of a philosopher king. Second, Marcus Aurelius, who was described as the first philosopher king wrote Meditations and it expresses his own thoughts and beliefs which can ultimately reflect his actions. Lastly, Notker’s account of Charlemagne can be used to examine a king who may not always be recognized as a philosopher king, but Charlemagne is described as a great ruler who valued learning and philosophy. These three examples are from different time periods and so their perception and lifestyles are different in some aspects. Likewise, all three accounts are from different viewpoints because the Republic is not examining one specific person, but an ideal individual. Marcus Aurelius wrote about himself and his beliefs and values are examined to determine philosopher king characteristics. Lastly, Notker’s writing is a secondary source and Notker did not know Charlemagne personally. Therefore, Notker’s account is praising a king who he did not know, but Charlemagne is remembered as an ideal ruler and Notker lists Charlemagne’s accomplishments and
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