Did Plato hide a secret code in his writings? Dr. Jay Kennedy, a historian and a member of the University of Manchester’s Faculty of Life Sciences, recently published a scholarly work parsing the Ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s writing, discovering a rhythmic system of symbols that constitute a musical pattern in the storied philosopher’s key texts.
This rhythm is known as “The Plato Code.”
Dr. Kennedy closely read Plato’s writings, most notably The Republic, and in its structure, he was able to perceive an entire blueprint of constructed Greek musical notes. Kennedy observed how Plato would insert groups of words at each twelfth portion of his writing— realizing that the Greek musical scale contains twelve notes—and that with these spaced increments, Plato was able to portray the entire musical scale.
These notes were not all the same, expressing a wide range of emotion and affect through their contrast and dissonance.
The hidden codes show that Plato anticipated the scientific revolution 2,000 years before Isaac Newton, discovering its most important idea—that the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. The decoded messages also open up a surprising way to unite science and religion. The awe and beauty we feel in nature, Plato says, shows that it is divine; discovering the scientific order of nature is getting closer to God.
This revelation could transform today’s culture wars between science and religion.
Plato’s thinking in this regard was influenced by Pythagoras, another ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician who is perhaps best known for discovering the Pythagorean Theorem. Pythagoras believed that the universe could be reduced to a natural, mathematical foundation and that the solar system moved in a rhythm he called “a harmony of the spheres.”
Because musical notation corresponds to mathematical notation, Pythagoras thought the workings of nature were determined by a mathematical-musical harmony. Plato adapted this musical movement to the experience of his writing.
“It’s a musical code,” says Kennedy. “Plato and the Greeks believed music was the key to mathematics and the cosmos. What we didn’t know was that he used Greek musical scales to give his works a hidden structure and then built layers of hidden meanings beneath that.”
“The Plato Code” deepens the already rich Republic
The presence of “the Plato Code” in the Republic adds a structural sophistication to a work that was already dense with complex ideas about the nature of society and politics. Plato was able to inscribe a reference to Pythagoras in the very DNA of his writing while also impacting the abstract concepts of democracy and civilization for years to come.
Plato is famous for his writings that pierced to the heart of man’s fraught relationship with the process of world-building: “Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
But the advancement in mathematical and musical construction Plato created opens up the possibility for new ways of thinking just as much as his more well-known political philosophy.
“This is a true discovery, not simply reinterpretation ” asserts Dr. Kennedy, a researcher in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine in Manchester in the UK. He continued: “As we read his books, our emotions follow the ups and downs of a musical scale. Plato plays his readers like musical instruments.”
However, Plato did not design his secret patterns purely for pleasure. It was for his own safety. The great thinker’s ideas were a dangerous threat to Greek religion. He clearly held that mathematical laws—and not the gods—controlled the universe.
Plato’s own teacher, Socrates, had been executed by the state for heresy. Secrecy was therefore normal in ancient times, especially for esoteric and religious knowledge, but for Plato it was a matter of life and death. Encoding his ideas in secret patterns was the only way to be safe.
Plato experienced a huge amount of personal upheaval as a result of his writing. His life was famous for its fascinating drama. Born four centuries before Christ at a time when Sparta defeated plague-ravaged Athens, he wrote thirty books and founded the world’s first university, called the Academy.
He was a feminist, allowing women to study at the Academy, and the first great defender of romantic love (as opposed to marriages arranged for political or financial reasons), and he defended homosexuality in his books. In addition, he was even captured by pirates and sold into slavery before being ransomed by his friends.
“Plato’s importance cannot be overstated. He shifted humanity from a warrior society to a wisdom society. Today our heroes are Einstein and Shakespeare—and not knights in shining [armor]—because of him.” Dr. Kennedy said.
Over the years, Dr. Kennedy carefully peeled back layer after symbolic layer, sharing each step in lectures in Manchester and with experts in the UK and the US.
He recalls: “There was no Rosetta Stone. To announce a result like this I needed rigorous, independent proofs based on crystal-clear evidence.”
“The result was amazing—it was like opening a tomb and finding a new set of gospels written by Jesus Christ himself,” he concluded.
“Plato is smiling,” Dr. Kennedy added. “He sent us a time capsule.”
Dr. Kennedy’s findings are not only surprising and important; they overthrow conventional wisdom on Plato. Modern historians have always denied that there were codes, but now, Dr. Kennedy has proven otherwise.
He adds: “This is the beginning of something big. It will take a generation to work out the implications. All 2,000 pages contain undetected symbols.”