In Plato’s day, how many copies of his collected dialogues would have been written down? Who would have had them? How widely would they have been distributed?
If Plato died in 347 B.C. in Athens, how much of his lore, at that time, might another philosopher in, say, Corinth, have been familiar with? Were there any kind of correspondence societies, where a dinner-and-philosophy club in Thessalonika would all be happy because they just got a copy of Plato’s most recent publication?
What was (in rough terms) the speed of transmission of the great writings, Plato, Aristotle, and their ilk?
(How “dark” were these ages?)
How familiar would Plato have been with, say Democritus (died 370 B.C.) or Heraclitus (died 470 B.C. – an additional century to be known…or forgotten?) I’m not really asking for these specifics, but just a kind of generality. Were the works of the great philosophers spread around for others to know, or was everyone pretty much on his own, in whatever small school or academy he might start up?
(Inspired in part by the thread of epicureans vs. stoics.)