Secular scholars and historians take a serious look at Plato's depiction
of the lost continent of Alanis, because Plato's writings are serious, and
not mythical. (A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada similarly said that the
saints and sages of ancient India: Valmiki, Vyasadeva, Narada, etc. wouldn't
waste their time writing myths!)
In her book, From Socrates to Sartre: The Philosophic Quest, Dr. T.Z. Lavine writes:
"Plato is the most celebrated, honored and revered of all the philosophers of the Western world. He lived in Athens...in the fourth century before Christ...He is said to be the greatest of the philosophers which Western civilization has produced; he is said to be the father of Western philosophy; the son of the god Apollo...
"The British philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead said of him that the history of Western philosophy is only a series of footnotes to Plato. The American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Plato is philosophy, and philosophy is Plato...Out of Plato come all things that are still written and debated among men of thought.’"
According to Diogenes Laertius, Plato (427-347 BC) began as a follower of Socrates. After Socrates’ death, he became the pupil of the leading Pythagoreans of his day—Philolaus, Eurytas, Archytas, and others. Plato was also the greatest collector of Pythagorean literature in antiquity. Ovid attributed Plato’s great longevity to his "moral purity, temperance, and natural food diet of herbs, berries, nuts, grains and the wild plants...which the earth, the best of mothers, produces."
Plato wrote about ethics, politics, justice, knowledge, virtue, the soul, rebirth, judgement, heaven, hell, monastic living, and a transcendent realm of goodness. The early church historian Eusebius observed: "Plato, more than anyone else, shared in the philosophy of Pythagoras." Early church father Justin Martyr is known to have said repeatedly that Plato must have been versed in Christian prophecy.