The First Symposium Platonicum, entitled at the time Symposium Platonicum 1986, took place in the aforementioned year in Mexico City, at the initiative of Conrado Eggers Lan (U. N. A. M.). Participating were several Mexican scholars and five scholars from elsewhere : Alfonso Gomez-Lobo, (Georgetown Univ., Washington), Giuseppe Mazzara (Univ. of Palermo), Thomas M. Robinson (Univ. of Toronto), Livio Rossetti (Univ. of Perugia), and Christopher J. Rowe (Univ. of Bristol).
The Symposium took as its theme Los diálogos tardíos, and the Acta of the meeting, edited by C. Eggers Lan and entitled Platón : Los diálogos tardíos. Actas del Symposium platonicum 1986, were published in 1987 as part of the ongoing series published by the Instituto de Investigaciones Filosóficas of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (U. N. A. M).
The volume was re-issued in 1994, with a “Preface to the second edition”, as the third volume in the series International Plato Studies.
Conrado Eggers Lan, we announce with great regret, died in March 1996.
During the Symposium of 1986, L. Rossetti proposed that a Second Symposium Platonicum be held in Perugia in 1989, and this proposal was unanimously and enthusiastically accepted.
L. Rossetti subsequently invited 90 scholars from all over the world to designate, by postal vote, an Organizing Committee for the Second Symposium, to consist of one Italian scholar, one from elsewhere in Europe, and one from outside of Europe.
Those elected were G. Reale (Univ. Cattolica, Milan), K. Gaiser (Univ. of Tübingen), and J. Annas (Univ. of Arizona). G. Reale and K Gaiser declined the offer, and were replaced by the two scholars who had received the next-highest number of votes in their constituencies (’Italy’ and The rest of Europe’ respectively), G Cambiano (Univ. of Turin) and Th. A. Szlezák (Univ. of Würzburg).
The final constitution of the Organizing Committee was therefore L. Rossetti (Co-ordinator), J. Annas, G. Cambiano, and Th. A. Szlezák. At a meeting in Zurich the Committee established the topic for the Second Symposium (the Phaedrus) ; selected the focus areas for papers and discussion ; and accepted the proposal to include in the official programme of the Symposium a session to discuss the idea of founding an International Plato Society.
The IPS was founded on September 3, 1989 at Bevagna, a small town 40 km. to the south east of Perugia, Italy, on the occasion of the Second Symposium Platonicum.
The idea of setting up the Association was launched by L. Rossetti (Univ. of Perugia), organizer of the Second Symposium Platonicum, in documents preparatory to the Symposium, and a session for this purpose, to be chaired by G. Cambiano (Univ. of Turin) was included in the official programme of the Symposium. The Bevagna meeting was attended by 95 scholars, of whom 5 were from Eastern Europe (Czechoslovakia, Poland, USSR), 3 from Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Finland), 7 from the Far East (South Korea, Japan, The People’s Republic of China), 1 from Australia, and 8 from Latin America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico).
At a plenary session participants in the Symposium made decisions as follows :
- they adopted a set of working procedures for the Society (which were afterwards fine-tuned by the Executive Committee and unanimously approved on September 5)
- they made a decision to elect an Executive Committee by geographical distribution (2 members to represent Plato scholars from Europe, 1 to represent those from North America, 1 to represent those from Latin America, and 1 those from the rest of the world).
- they accepted a proposal by C. J. Rowe to hold the Third Symposium (on the Statesman) in Bristol in 1992, and designated him President of the IPS for the period 1989-1992 and thereby organizer of the said Symposium.
- they elected as members of the Executive Committee L. Brisson (C. N.R. S., Paris) and Th. A. Szlezák (Univ. of Würzburg) as representatives of Plato scholars in Europe ; T. M. Robinson (Univ. of Toronto) as representative of Plato scholars in North America ; C. Eggers Lan (Univ. of Buenos Aires) as representative of Plato scholars in Latin America ; and S. Kato (Univ. of Tokyo) as representative of Plato scholars from the rest of the world, with L. Rossetti (Univ. of Perugia) serving as Past President. L. Brisson was elected by the Committee as the Society’s Vice-President.
- they designated English, French, German, Italian and Spanish as the Society’s operating languages.
- they established criteria for the admission of new members to the Society and fixed the membership fee for the triennium 1989-92
- they gratefully accepted an offer by A. P. Bos (Free University of Amsterdam), acting on behalf of the C. J. de Vogel Foundation, of an institutional subvention from the said Foundation.
The Acta of the Second Symposium were published in 1992, under the editorship of L. Rossetti. Entitled Understanding the Phaedrus. Proceedings of the II Symposium Platonicum, they were published by the Academia Verlag, Sankt Augustin (near Bonn), and constitute the first volume of the series International Plato Studies.
During this period (1989-92) the Executive Committee also appointed L. Brisson, L. Rossetti and Th. A. Szlezák as Series Editors of the said International Plato Studies.
In 1993 an Index to Understanding the Phaedrus was published. It was prepared by G. Ramírez Vidal (U. N. A. M., Mexico City).