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Know Thyself: Plato's First Alcibiades and Commentary

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Translated by Floyer Sydenham and Thomas Taylor.

Plato's First Alcibiades was the standard introduction to the dialogues of Plato in late antiquity, because it addresses the important question of the nature of the self.  Only by discovering this can we understand the perspective from which we view the rest of reality. It was also considered as a necessary first step in our pursuit of happiness, for unless we know what we are we cannot know what will bring about our fulfilment—and without the fulfilment of our true nature we cannot be happy.  As a key to human understanding and happiness, the dialogue is as important today as it was in antiquity.

Added to this dialogue, in the form of additional notes and an introduction, is much of Proclus' Commentary, written on the understanding that "it will be found by those who are deeply skilled in the philosophy of Plato, that each of his dialogues contains that which the universe contains."  The Commentary reveals to the thoughtful student the depths of this important dialogue, its universal form, and its living heart—which is the quickening of the soul by the touch of divine vision.

In addition, this Prometheus Trust Students' Edition also includes:

  • Plotinus' treatise On the Descent of the Soul (Ennead IV, 8).
  • Three modern essays, written with the newcomer in mind: A Survey of the Soul and Socrates as the Symbolic Daemon of the Alcibiades by Tim Addey, and Possibilities of Self by Guy Wyndham-Jones.

176 pages. Paperback.

ISBN 9781898910961.

  • About the Series

    The Prometheus Trust publishes a number of books under their "Students’ Edition Series," which are designed to act as introductions to various aspects of Platonism. These inexpensive paperbacks serve to make the living tradition of Platonism available to the widest array of readers.

    See all Students' Editions