'The god wanted everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible.' Timaeus, one of Plato's acknowledged masterpieces, is an attempt to construct the universe and explain its contents by means of as few axioms as possible. The result is a brilliant, bizarre, and surreal cosmos - the product of the rational thinking of a creator god and his astral assistants, and of purely mechanistic causes based on the behaviour of the four elements. At times dazzlingly clear, at times intriguingly opaque, this was state-of-the-art science in the middle of the fourth century BC. The world is presented as a battlefield of forces that are unified only by the will of God, who had to do the best he could with recalcitrant building materials. The unfinished companion piece, Critias, is the foundational text for the story of Atlantis. It tells how a model society became corrupt, and how a lost race of Athenians defeated the aggression of the invading Atlanteans. This new edition combines the clearest translation yet of these crucial ancient texts with an illuminating introduction and diagrams. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
This volume brings together ten of the most celebrated Platonic myths, from eight of Plato's dialogues ranging from the early Protagoras and Gorgias to the late Timaeus and Critias. They include the famous myth of the cave from Republic as well as 'The Judgement of Souls' and 'The Birth of Love'. Each myth is a self-contained story, prefaced by a short explanatory note, while the introduction considers Plato's use of myth and imagery.
Author: Richard Ellis
Release Date: 2012-01-11
Ever since Plato created the legend of the lost island of Atlantis, it has maintained a uniquely strong grip on the human imagination. For two and a half millennia, the story of the city and its catastrophic downfall has inspired people--from Francis Bacon to Jules Verne to Jacques Cousteau--to speculate on the island's origins, nature, and location, and sometimes even to search for its physical remains. It has endured as a part of the mythology of many different cultures, yet there is no indisputable evidence, let alone proof, that Atlantis ever existed. What, then, accounts for its seemingly inexhaustible appeal? Richard Ellis plunges into this rich topic, investigating the roots of the legend and following its various manifestations into the present. He begins with the story's origins. Did it arise from a common prehistorical myth? Was it a historical remnant of a lost city of pre-Columbians or ancient Egyptians? Was Atlantis an extraterrestrial colony? Ellis sifts through the "scientific" evidence marshaled to "prove" these theories, and describes the mystical and spiritual significance that has accrued to them over the centuries. He goes on to explore the possibility that the fable of Atlantis was inspired by a conflation of the high culture of Minoan Crete with the destruction wrought on the Aegean world by the cataclysmic eruption, around 1500 b.c., of the volcanic island of Thera (or Santorini). A fascinating historical and archaeological detective story, Imagining Atlantis is a valuable addition to the literature on this essential aspect of our mythohistory. From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Release Date: 2016-04-11
In the 4th century CE, Calcidius translated into Latin an important section of Plato’s Timaeus, complemented by commentary and organized into coordinated parts. Its organization subsequently informed the sense of macrocosm and microcosm—of the world and our place in it—which is prevalent in western European thought in the Middle Ages.
Author: Emlyn-Jones Chris
Publisher: Penguin UK
Release Date: 2005-06-30
Rich in drama and humour, they include the controversial Ion, a debate on poetic inspiration; Laches, in which Socrates seeks to define bravery; and Euthydemus, which considers the relationship between philosophy and politics. Together, these dialogues provide a definitive portrait of the real Socrates and raise issues still keenly debated by philosophers, forming an incisive overview of Plato's philosophy.
Author: Robin Waterfield
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2009-03-26
These first philosophers paved the way for the work of Plato and Aristotle - and hence for the whole of Western thought. This is a unique and invaluable collection of the works of the Presocratics and the Sophists. Waterfield brings together the works of these early thinkers with brilliant new translation and exceptional commentary. This is the ideal anthology for the student of this increasingly appreciated field of classical philosophy.
A brilliant study of Aristotle as biologist The philosophical classics of Aristotle loom large over the history of Western thought, but the subject he most loved was biology. He wrote vast volumes about animals. He described them, classified them, told us where and how they live and how they develop in the womb or in the egg. He founded a science. It can even be said that he founded science itself. In The Lagoon, acclaimed biologist Armand Marie Leroi recovers Aristotle’s science. He revisits Aristotle’s writings and the places where he worked. He goes to the eastern Aegean island of Lesbos to see the creatures that Aristotle saw, where he saw them. He explores Aristotle’s observations, his deep ideas, his inspired guesses—and the things he got wildly wrong. He shows how Aristotle’s science is deeply intertwined with his philosophical system and reveals that he was not only the first biologist, but also one of the greatest. The Lagoon is both a travelogue and a study of the origins of science. And it shows how a philosopher who lived almost two millennia ago still has so much to teach us today. From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Christopher Gill
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2017-04
This book aims to bring together all the evidence relevant for understanding Plato's Atlantis Story, providing the Greek text of the relevant Platonic texts (the start of Plato's Timaeus and the incomplete Critias), together with a commentary on language and content, and a full vocabulary of Greek words. This essential work also offers a new translation of these texts and a full introduction. The book has two special objectives. The introduction offers a full-scale interpretative reading of the Atlantis story, focused on the philosophical meaning of the story and the significance of Plato's presentation, and responding to recent scholarly discussion of these questions. In conjunction with the new translation, this introduction provides a point of entry to a fascinating story for a wide range of readers. The introduction also discusses the question whether the story had a factual basis, and assesses possible links with Minoan Crete. Secondly, the Greek text (the Oxford Classical text) and commentary are juxtaposed and presented in 'bite-size' chunks making it easy to use and helpful especially for students using the book to improve their Greek. The notes provide full grammatical and linguistic help as well as pointers on the philosophical content and presentation, supported by the translation and complete vocabulary of Greek terms. The book is a second edition of one published in 1980. This edition has a new translation, a much fuller introduction, revised and updated notes and a new commentary format.
Two masterpieces of Plato's later period. The Theaetetus offers a systematic treatment of the question "What is knowledge?" The Sophist follows Socrates' cross-examination of a self-proclaimed true philosopher.
Meno Charmides Laches Lysis 'Do please try to tell us what courage is...' In these four dialogues Plato considers virtue and its definition. Charmides, Laches, and Lysis investigate the specific virtues of self-control, courage, and friendship; the later Meno discusses the concept of virtue as a whole, and whether it is something that can be taught. In the conversations between Socrates and his interlocutors, moral concepts are debated and shown to be more complex than at first appears, until all the participants in the conversations are reduced to bafflement. The artistry as well as the philosophy of these dialogues has always been widely admired. The introduction to this edition explains the course of the four dialogues and examines the importance of Socrates' questions and arguments, and the notes cover major and minor points in more detail. This is an essential volume for understanding the brilliance of the first Western philosopher. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Building on the virtues that made the first edition of "A Presocratics Reader" -- the most widely used sourcebook for the study of the Presocratics and Sophists -- this second edition offers even more value and a wider selection of fragments from these philosophical predecessors and contemporaries of Socrates. With revised introductions, annotations, suggestions for further reading, and more, the second edition draws on the wealth of new scholarship published on these fascinating thinkers over the past decade or more, a remarkably rich period in Presocratic studies. At the volume's core, as ever, are the fragments themselves but now in thoroughly revised and, in some cases, new translations.
Author: G. R. Boys-Stones
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Literary Collections
A collection of essays exploring the relationship between Plato and the poet Hesiod. The volume covers a wide variety of thematic angles, brings new and sometimes surprising light to a large range of Platonic dialogues, and represents a major contribution to the study of the reception of archaic poetry in Athens.