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  • Cited by 2
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
September 2020
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Book description

This is the first study to assess in its entirety the fourth-century Latin commentary on Plato's Timaeus by the otherwise unknown Calcidius, also addressing features of his Latin translation. The first part examines the authorial voice of the commentator and the overall purpose of the work; the second part provides an overview of the key themes; and the third part reassesses the commentary's relation to Stoicism, Aristotle, potential sources, and the Christian tradition. This commentary was one of the main channels through which the legacy of Plato and Greek philosophy was passed on to the Christian Latin West. The text, which also establishes a connection between Plato's cosmology and Genesis, thus represents a distinctive cultural encounter between the Greek and the Roman philosophical traditions, and between non-Christian and Christian currents of thought.


'We have been waiting a long time for a full study of this important witness to the Platonist tradition, and Prof. Reydams-Schils has made the wait worth while. Her work resurrects Calcidius as an intelligent guide through the complex layers of philosophical debate that his commentary was meant to negotiate, and brings a new breadth of understanding to fourth-century philosophy.'

George Boys-Stones - Professor of Classics and Philosophy, University of Toronto

'Gretchen Reydams-Schils provides a superb and comprehensive study on Calcidius' translation and commentary on Plato's Timaeus with many innovative analyses and well-balanced insights, written in a clear attitude and elegant style. This book is an important contribution to late antique Platonism, an impressive masterpiece.'

Irmgard Männlein-Robert - Professor of Greek Philology, Eberhard-Karls-Universität Tübingen

'Reydams-Schils’ analysis is brilliantly structured and thoroughly compelling, and demonstrates the remarkable originality and subtlety of Calcidius’ commentary.'

John Magee - Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy, University of Toronto

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