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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Philosophy » History & Surveys » Ancient & Classical

Timaeus and Critias

By Plato, Desmond Lee (Translated by), Thomas Kjeller Johansen

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Format: Paperback, 176 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United Kingdom, 01 November 2008
'It is unlawful for the best to produce anything but the most beautiful' The Timaeus-Critias is a Platonic treatise in two parts. A response to an account of an ideal state told by Socrates, it begins with Timaeus' theoretical exposition of the cosmos and his story describing the creation of the universe, from its very beginning to the coming into being of man. Timaeus introduces the idea of a creator God and expounds the structure and composition of the physical world. The Critias, the second part of Plato's work, comprises an account of the rise and fall of Atlantis, an ancient, mighty and prosperous empire ruled by the descendents of Poseidon, which ultimately sank into the sea. A key Platonic text, the Timaeus-Critias formed a central basis to Western thought and influenced subsequent philosophical doctrine. In his introduction, Thomas Johansen discusses how the Timaeus-Critias relates to Plato's work and ancient thought, and explores the main themes of the dialogue. This edition includes explanatory illustrations, a summary of Timeaus' contents and notes on the text. Translated and annotated by Desmond Lee Translation revised and further annotated with an introduction by Thomas Kjeller Johansen

About the Author

Plato (c. 427-347 b.c.) founded the Academy in Athens, the prototype of all Western universities, and wrote more than twenty philosophical dialogues. Thomas Kjeller Johansen studied philosophy and classics at Trinity College, Cambridge. He is now University Lecturer in Ancient Philosophy at Oxford University and Tutorial Fellow of Brasenose College, Oxford. His publications include Plato's Natural Philosophy. A Study of the Timaeus-Critias (Cambridge 2004).

EAN: 9780140455045
ISBN: 0140455043
Publisher: Penguin Books
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 1 centimetres (0.14 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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2 review(s)
All Reviews
Julian Mark Shields on
It would take a certainty level of blasphemy to give pieces of text that have been reproduced, re-translated, and care taken to keep them alive through out history, with anything less than top marks.

The Timaeus is not the first dialogue of Plato that you would want to read. It is a stretch to even call this one a dialogue. It is essentially a monologue after the first few opening lines. The Timaeus doesn't have the usual wit or thought provoking arguments that characterise Plato's work, but it does have a conception of the physical universe as reasoned by one of mankind's greatest ever minds far before the birth of modern science. For this reason the dialogue is fascinating.

I would recommend to anyone who is really looking to read and understand Plato past just the usual know dialogues (the Meno, The Republic, etc.).
Hassan Iz on
Timaeus and Critias are a set of dialogues by Plato.

Timaeus is in the form of a long monologue given by Timaeus and puts forth speculations on the nature of the physical world and human beings.
The participants of the dialogue include Socrates, Timaeus of Locri, Hermocrates, and Critias.

Critias follows Timaeus and precedes a third dialogue Hermocrates

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