, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 167–171 | Cite as

The philosopher Socrates had exophthalmos (a term coined by Plato) and probably Graves’ disease

  • Peter D. PapapetrouEmail author
Letter to the editor


According to a previously published theory, Socrates was afflicted with temporal lobe epilepsy since his childhood. Plato, Xenophon, and Aristoxenus described Socrates as having exophthalmos, probably diplopia, and some symptoms compatible with hyperthyroidism. Using these data, we theorize that Socrates had Graves’ disease. In order to determine a cause of his temporal lobe epilepsy, we speculate that the philosopher also had autoimmune thyroiditis and Hashimoto encephalopathy during his childhood and his epilepsy may have been a sequel to this hypothesized encephalopathy.

Key words

Exophthalmos Graves’ disease Hashimoto encephalopathy Socrates 


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Copyright information

© Hellenic Endocrine Society 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Papagou, AthensGreece

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