Timaeus/Critias

Timaeus/Critias

Taking the form of dialogues between Socrates, Timaeus, Critias and Hermocrates, these two works are among Plato's final writings. In Timaeus, he gives a thorough account of the world in which we live, describing a cosmos composed of four elements earth, air, fire and water which combine to give existence to all things. An exploration of the origins of the universe, life a...

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Title:Timaeus/Critias
Author:Plato
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Edition Language:English

Timaeus/Critias Reviews

  • George

    This is a great cosmogonical journey through our earth. Plato is God's "philosophical Moses", if you will. This great couplet of stories is inspiring and thought-provoking

    . I was annotating almost every page. Sometimes eerie the "allusions" Plato makes to Christian cosmogonical ideas are, although Christianity did not reach Greece by this time, let alone did it exist. Timaeus is the precursor to the modern thought on cosmology, cosmogony, and astrology. Critias is a great work as we

    This is a great cosmogonical journey through our earth. Plato is God's "philosophical Moses", if you will. This great couplet of stories is inspiring and thought-provoking

    . I was annotating almost every page. Sometimes eerie the "allusions" Plato makes to Christian cosmogonical ideas are, although Christianity did not reach Greece by this time, let alone did it exist. Timaeus is the precursor to the modern thought on cosmology, cosmogony, and astrology. Critias is a great work as well; it is quite interesting how Plato explains how Atlantis ("the place of Atlas") was at first a great nation but then eventually tread to its downfall in morals, values, social stature, etc. I would recommend these two works to anybody whose mind is perplexed and tingled by the abstruseness of Mother Nature and Her birth and growth.

  • Constantina Maud

    I don't believe there are words that can do justice to any of Plato's writings. I'll say one thing, though: the platonic dialogue of Timaeus and its story about Atlantis was one of the most pivotal nudges I got towards becoming a novelist.

    If you're not into philosophy and Greek philosophy at that, it will be hard to enjoy this book.

    Otherwise, I cannot recommend it enough. ***

  • Quiver

    This is how the world began according to Plato.

    Out of Chaos rose the stars and planets, rose man and the four elements—fire, air, water, and earth—based on four of the five convex regular polyhedra (the Platonic solids). All was created by a Demiurge looking to an eternal, perfect model. We hear how the senses function (for example, how we see: by sending out our own fire through our eyes and having it react with the fire reflected off objects), and how the human body was purposefully designed

    This is how the world began according to Plato.

    Out of Chaos rose the stars and planets, rose man and the four elements—fire, air, water, and earth—based on four of the five convex regular polyhedra (the Platonic solids). All was created by a Demiurge looking to an eternal, perfect model. We hear how the senses function (for example, how we see: by sending out our own fire through our eyes and having it react with the fire reflected off objects), and how the human body was purposefully designed (the head, which contains the purest part of the soul, is separated off from other, viler parts). It is worth reading

    just for the creativity and historical importance of Plato's imaginative explanations.

    The book is in traditional dialogic form and it is unfinished. Four characters are present: Socrates, Timaeus, Critias, and another. Socrates takes on a minor role at the beginning, questioning the group about their intended stories, but then Timaeus proceeds to give Plato's cosmogony in a virtually unbroken monologue. Critias follows up with a story of the legendary Atlantis, but only manages to get started before the text is cut off.

    The introduction and editor's notes offer indispensable contextual information.

  • Jen

    I enjoy Plato, and this was the first of his works that I really got familiar with. The story of Atlantis is fascinating. Of course, being Plato, some patience is required while reading this, but it is rewarding I think and well worth the struggles and rereading that is sometimes required. Just a heads up, you will have "what the hell did I just read?" moments. Sorry, that's just part of Plato.

  • Adrian

    Done, phew !!

    Well this was a tough read and no mistake for such a small book. I had hoped there was more Greek myths in the content, especially given that part of it was supposed to be about Atlantis. Unfortunately there was little mythology involved. Whether it was unfinished on purpose or else part of the book has been lost over the years (centuries) who knows, but the end result is that of the 3 monologues this book was intending to show case, only the first survives in its entirety.

    This fir

    Done, phew !!

    Well this was a tough read and no mistake for such a small book. I had hoped there was more Greek myths in the content, especially given that part of it was supposed to be about Atlantis. Unfortunately there was little mythology involved. Whether it was unfinished on purpose or else part of the book has been lost over the years (centuries) who knows, but the end result is that of the 3 monologues this book was intending to show case, only the first survives in its entirety.

    This first monologue of almost 90 pages is Timaeus' contribution to this book. At times this monologue was, shall we say a little boring, at others it was remarkably modern thinking regarding the composition of matter, for a book written almost 2500 years old.

    The second part, to be a monologue by Critias, regarding the Fall of Atlantis (to me probably the most interesting) only lasts a few pages and then that's it, just as it's about to get interesting, doh !

    A Platonic text that influenced and continues to influence Western thought and doctrine, hmmm maybe, a difficult book to read with some interesting ideas, well yes. Am I pleased I read it, I think that has to be a yes as well.

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