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On Plato’s Timaeus (Hardcover) (Calcidius)

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"Few works of philosophy have enjoyed the prestige of the Timaeus, the dialogue in which Plato set out to provide a rational account, cast in the form of a cosmological "myth," of the universe and humankind. Calcidius translated and commented on Plato's Timaeus. Chronology does little to explain Calcidius' work, which so falls outside the scope of any developmental account of "Middle-" and "Neoplatonism." Calcidius' identification of the Platonic Receptacle with Aristotelian Matter and his various Stoicising impulses reflect traditions that had altered ancient perspectives on the Timaeus, but it is difficult to ascertain the degree to which his philosophical points of reference are Numenius, Alcinous, and Apuleius in the second century CE as opposed to Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus in the third to fourth. This may have contributed to the later fascination with Calcidius, especially during the "renaissance" of the twelfth century, when his translation and commentary presented themselves as a coalescence of ideas frozen outside of time and space. From Calcidius twelfth-century readers may have learned how ancient opinions on the World Soul, Fate, and Matter lined up conceptually, but they got from him no reliable means of disentangling the historical descent or intersections of those opinions. Yet Calcidius proved to be a fundamental source of inspiration for thinkers such as Bernardus Silvestris, William of Conches, and Alan of Lille, who set out to make new sense of the world, its architecture, the forces that animate it, and our place within it."--Provided by publisher.

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