After pursuing the liberal studies of his day, he became in 407 B.C. a pupil and friend of Socrates. From about 388 B.C. he lived for a time at the court of Dionysius the Elder, tyrant of Syracuse. On his return to Athens, Plato founded a school, the Academy, where he taught mathematics and philosophy until his death. His teaching was interrupted by two more visits to Syracuse (367 and 361 B.C.), which he made in the vain hope of seeing his political ideals realized in Sicily.