Read The Great Books

A Curated Guide for Autodidacts

Timaeus, Critias

by Plato

One of the writings of Plato, Timaeus and Critias are a pair in a series of the authors own thoughts. Written as conversations between him and other intellectuals he was involved with, they often discuss a variety of different subject that intrigued Plato in his life.

This specific book includes thoughts on the world we live in. A very interesting read from a philosophic standpoint, a good amount of Plato’s ideas on the physical as well as human beings is present here. Concepts of what the universe is, what souls are, and what makes up physical matter are also discussed. While incredibly interesting, some of the subject matter is quite detailed for a reader who isn’t accustomed to ancient texts or philosophical notions. With that being said, a good edition with some additional context would be recommended for any reader.

Penguin Classic and Oxford World Classics are powerhouses in translations of ancient works and that’s no different here. Penguin’s edition offers a nice summary before each work, along with the texts are notations and illustrations which is great for all readers. However, Oxford’s edition comes out slightly on top. It is just a smidge newer, and thicker as well. It’s translation is great for readability and it offers a veritable horde of notations and extra reading for those interested in the subject matter. Waterfield’s translation isn’t diluted by this though, and his history with other translations of Plato are apparent here.