The Works of Plato, volume II (Thomas Taylor Series, volume X)
This second volume of Thomas Taylor's Works of Plato includes:
- The Laws, to which Taylor has added an account of the Festivals of the Ancients, excerpted from The Descriptions of Libanius.
- The Timaeus, with excerpts from Proclus' Commentary on the Timaeus as additional notes.
- The Critias.
About the Thomas Taylor Plato
Taylor's Works of Plato has two outstanding features which make it an essential component to the genuine philosopher's library:
Firstly, Taylor himself translates Plato's Dialogues from within the ancient Greek tradition. No English translator, before or since, has been so completely at one with the Greek philosophical and religious world view: Taylor fulfills, to the highest degree, the first requirement of the art of translation, that of making the original writer's thought-patterns his own. Although Thomas Taylor lived in eighteenth and nineteenth century London, his spirit breathed the purer airs of an Athens of long ago, his soul worshipped in her temples, and his eyes beheld these things by the clearer light of her sun. To the student of the present day, he delivers the breadth and depth of Platonism remarkably free of the distortions which had darkened the millennium between the closure of the Academy in Athens and his own time.
Secondly, Taylor adds to Plato's Dialogues, many of the surviving commentaries of the later Platonists (e.g., Olympiodorus, Damascius, Hermias, and especially Proclus), as footnotes and endnotes. In this way, Taylor transforms the presentation of Plato's philosophy from that of mere faithful reproduction, as remarkable as that may be in itself, to something akin to what students would likely have received during the later period of Plato's Academy.
This Philosophy, writes Taylor, "May be compared to a luminous pyramid, terminating in Deity, and having for its basis the rational soul of man and its spontaneous unperverted conceptions ... it is the greatest good which man can participate: for it purifies us from the defilements of the passions and assimilates us to Divinity, it confers on us the proper felicity of our nature."
The Prometheus Trust edition of this five volume work adds to the original, articles written by Taylor in the years after 1804 on the advances in Platonic scholarship. It also gives the now-standard Stephanus line numbering—an important aid to serious study, as well as facilitating the use of existing indexes.
Compared with what the student would need to spend in order to obtain both the various editions of the Dialogues, as well as the ancient commentaries, the Prometheus Trust edition represents an extremely good value.
About the Thomas Taylor SeriesSee all individual volumes
The Prometheus Trust Thomas Taylor Series reprints the complete philosophical works of Thomas Taylor, the "English Platonist," in a complete and uniform edition, spanning 33 hardcover volumes.
The Complete Thomas Taylor SeriesMore information
The Thomas Taylor Series is also available is a complete set, at a substantial discount over buying each volume individually.