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Italian Study week

4th - 11th June 2019

The First Alcibiades

 Ah, my remarkable friend, listen to me and the Delphic motto, ‘Know thyself’

Socrates, The First Alcibiadess


The Trust is to run a week’s study on the First Alcibiades in Umbria, central Italy. The week will run from 4th to 11th June: we will be guests of Etain and Martin who run a small farm called Pratale in the Umbrian hills between Gubbio and Perugia.

In the Platonic Academies of late antiquity the First Alcibiades was the considered to be the best starting point for the study of Plato's dialogues: questions of selfhood, knowledge and ignorance, justice and goodness, as well as philosophic methods are discussed in an accessible way. As is so often the case, more subtle truths sit just below the dialogue's surface waiting for those who engage with it to become aware of them. We are fortunate that we have two commentaries on the Alcibiades written by two of the brightest lights of the Platonic tradition – Proclus and Olympiodorus – and out joint exploration of the dialogue will draw on these in order to discover some of the deeper meanings within Plato's text. 

Our intention is to bring together the insights gained from the texts and those found within our own selves – for, says Socrates, "all learning is reminiscence" – that is to say, true philosophic education is primarily the drawing forth of truths which lie more or less obscured within the human soul. Being intrinsic to our very nature, these truths are not mere abstractions but have a real bearing upon us and how we live.



We ask for a donation to the Trust of 15 for the week to help with the Trust’s expenses; other than this small donation the fees of the week are only DSC_0454food and sundry costs - 20 euros per day inclusive, payable directly to our hosts while you are at Pratale. Pratale guests will find the accommodation is fairly basic, but the welcome is warm, the food (largely from the farm itself) delicious, and the surroundings beautiful. We will be joining in with the cooking and washing up duties: for more information about the farm and Etain and Martin’s approach to life on it, click here - Pratale.


For those who prefer 3-star accomodation, Etain and Martin’s nearest neighbour (about half a mile away) runs a fine Bed and Breakfast - we can pass on contact details on request.

For further details and booking please email the administrator:


Some scenes from previous study weeks at Pratale -