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Timaeus and Critias (Oxford World's Classics) [Paperback]

Plato , Andrew Gregory , Robin Waterfield
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

13 Nov 2008 Oxford World's Classics
Plato attempts to describe and explain the structure of the universe: the creator god, the elements, the lower gods, the stars, and men. The companion piece,

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford (13 Nov 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192807358
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192807359
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 12.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 151,036 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Plato (c. 427-347 BC), was an Athenian philosopher-dramatist. Born into a wealthy and prominent family, he grew up during the conflict between Athens and the Peloponnesian states which engulfed the Greek world from 431 to 404 BC. Following its turbulent aftermath, he was deeply affected by the condemnation and execution of his revered master Socrates (469-399) on charges of irreligion and corrupting the young. In revulsion from political activity, Plato devoted his life to the pursuit of philosophy. Plato founded the Academy, an early ancestor of the modern university, devoted to philosophical and mathematical enquiry, and to the education of future rulers or 'philosopher-kings'. The Academy's most celebrated member was the young Aristotle (384-322), who studied there for the last twenty years of Plato's life. Their works mark the highest peak of philosophical achievement in antiquity, and both continue to rank among the greatest philosophers of all time.

Product Description

About the Author

, is the origin of the story of Atlantis, the lost empire defeated by ancient Athenians. This is the clearest translation yet of these crucial ancient texts.

'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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dave 5 July 2010
By Dave
This is my first exposure to Plato and I was pleasantly surprised. If like me, you were forced to study Shakespeare at school (rather than discover it for yourself in later life) it probably turned you off the idea of reading something by an ancient Greek philosopher. However, this modern translation is surprisingly down to Earth. Basically, the Timaeus and Critias are a couple a conversations between a few friends pondering on the origins of life the universe and the ancient Greek nation. Timaeus was finished (but still fairly short) and mentions Atlantis briefly. Critias was never finished (as far as we know) and describes Atlantis is considerable detail. Both were fun to read and I couldn't help looking at my Atlas trying to pinpoint where Atlantis may have been. An easy and fun, easy and exciting read for anyone wishing to "get into" Plato. Highly recommended.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not very exciting or engaging. 5 Sep 2011
Timaeus is quite laborious. Critias is unfinished. Critias would have been the better text, if it were finished.
Both texts are very detailed, but not tremendously engaging or exciting.

I'd far sooner recommend The Republic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best introduction to the Timaeus 24 Feb 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Sure, this is a translation of the Timaeus, but it actually could also be called an introduction to the Timaeus... because it's the best introductory Timaeus book I've seen. Why? First, the book has a clearly written, extensive introduction (48 pages!) that covers all the major themes of the Timaeus. It's like a mini-book in itself. Second, the book has a ton of explanatory notes (many of them extensive) that go along with the translation. Finally, Waterfield has tried as hard as he can to make the translation clear and readable -- the language is modern (but not anachronistic) and flows well (as well as it can, that is, given the content). If you're looking to learn about the Timaeus, I'd highly recommend getting this, and would definitely recommend reading the introduction first. Note: Cornford's "Plato's Cosmology"


is also helpful for learning about the Timaeus -- it basically gives a paragraph-by-paragraph commentary. But it's a bit more advanced than Waterfield and also analyzes EVERYTHING, which doesn't help if you're trying to figure out the main themes. I'd suggest looking at Cornford after reading Waterfield, or perhaps while reading Waterfield.
2.0 out of 5 stars bad notes 1 Aug 2014
By Luca - Published on Amazon.com
The notes to this edition are quite poor, many things wrong and misrepresented. Go with Kalkavage. Zeyl second. If you're serious you should also have the Loeb edition.
0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific Translation, wonderful reference 14 Mar 2013
By Pam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have been wanting to read this for as long as I can remember, and I'm trilled with this version. It's too bad this Plato guy isn't still writing - ha ha ha
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