Cover: On Plato’s <i>Timaeus</i>, from Harvard University PressCover: On Plato’s <i>Timaeus</i> in HARDCOVER

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library 41

On Plato’s Timaeus


Edited and translated by John Magee

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Product Details


$29.95 • £19.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674599178

Publication: April 2016

Academic Trade

800 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

23 line illustrations

Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library


Until the Renaissance, the work of Calcidius offered the medieval West almost the only direct access to Plato’s corpus not dispersed in fragments. In the 4th century CE, Calcidius translated into Latin an important section of Plato’s Timaeus, complemented by extensive commentary and organized into coordinated parts. The first part is broadly devoted to the architecture of the world, to its intelligible structure. The second delves into the nature of the living creatures that inhabit it. This basic division 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. At the same time, this medieval volume altered perspectives on Plato by drawing on other philosophical traditions, particularly the Stoic and Peripatetic, while including Judeo-Christian cosmology and anthropology. The present edition provides the first English translation of Calcidius’s work.