ISBN: 0140442618
ISBN 13: 9780140442618
By: Plato Desmond Lee

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Ancient Atlantis Classic Classics Currently Reading Mythology Non Fiction Nonfiction Philosophy To Read

Reader's Thoughts


The leading scientist of his time Plato gives it his all in a top-down attempt to explain the universe in his own unique cosmology.


Myth and math! Cosmology, biology, and Atlantis! Timaeus was extremely influential in medieval philosophical thought of all kinds, and holds value for the reader of today, as well. Timaeus and Critias (together or individually) can be a daunting read, but they express the same wonder at the cosmos as we do, and seek to answer the questions, "Where did we come from?" and "Why are we here?"

Karen Roddy



I'm doing research for a couple of projects on Atlantis and thought, why not start with the first known written record? I'm not really a fan of Plato in general, but so far these two dialogues haven't been too painful.

Daniel Wright

This is probably, to modern readers, the most bizarre, difficult and unusual of Plato's dialogues (although it's scarcely a dialogue). The fact that its ancient audience thought it his most important underlines the way expectations of what the work of a philosopher entails have changed, and is something to bear in mind and be wary of as we approach the interpretation of his other work.


Have never read any of Plato's writing and the only purpose for picking up "Timaeus and Critias" was simply because of the frequent reference to the book by authors writing about Atlantis. Am I glad I did, for apart from Critias and the description of the lost civilization of Atlantis, this classic in fact presents great many pleasant surprises especially within the dialogue of Timaeus, were he related how the Cosmos is likely to have come about and how the cosmic intelligence employs mathematics,geometry and harmony in the construction of the Universe. And how stars,sun, moon and planets move with regular circular motions, and that the elements of earth, water, air and fire are conceived of as having specific, ideals shapes, and the ultimate building blocks for all matter and creation.Though some of the facts in the text have now been proven inaccurate, it still offers an interesting read to find the many parallels in its understanding with certain ancient Indian Ayuvedic principles and for those familiar with the writing of Rudolf Steiner's "An Occult Physiology" will certainly enjoy and appreciate the depth of Plato's insight even more...


It's a bit unsettling how much information in this book was the basis for scientific thought for so long, and how powerful some of the ideas are vs. the fact that the only thing anyone seems to mention is Atlantis, which is alluded to in a relatively small portion of the book. Great follow-up to The Republic.

Valenfore Alestreneon

Two Classical Works form a Great Philosopher.

Carl Hruza

The author is a madman and should not be trusted.

Kevin Holden

wow wow wow


So glad I picked this up on the cheap. I was hoping these stories were Socratic dialogues, first off, and they are not. Each story is basically a monologue by the titular characters following a brief introductory dialogue. Timaeus gives a telling of the world's creation, which would later be reused and modified by Christians for the Bible. It's long-winded and only occasionally interesting, which led me to skip sections of it. Critias is an unfinished/abandoned work that was intended to tell the full tale of Atlantis. What Plato left us was a description of the layout and rituals of Atlantis, and then he stops before detailing the war between Atlantis and Athens and Atlantis' subsequent demise. Overall, I got more out of the editor's introductory notes and appendix on Atlantis than I did Plato's stories. The stories were a waste of my time.

Amy ♥♫

This was pretty good, I guess. Now that I have read the "original" text I can safely say that I do not believe Atlantis ever existed. The descriptions of the island continent proved to me that it could not have possibly existed, especially if it was situated between Europe and America. However, there is evidence that a city did in fact sink in a single day and night . . . on the island of Crete, which is off the coast of Greece. The stories from the survivors could have inspired Plato to write about one of the world's most well-known island, Atlantis. The same could be said for El Dorado in South America and for Shangri La in the Himalayas, they are merely fictional cities that have sparked our interests and imaginations.


To be honest, I only started this book because I wanted to know more about the stories of Atlantis. If that is all you are interested in, I recommend only reading Critias as that focuses on the topic of Atlantis while Timaeus only mentions it briefly. However, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I got out of Timaeus. Focusing primarily on cosmology, Timaeus gave me a much greater understanding of how the Ancient Greeks viewed the universe and their role in it. Furthermore, it was helpful to me as a medievalist to read how Plato's understanding of the universe influenced the medieval Church's cosmology. Because Plato (via the dialogue of Timaeus) spoke of a single cosmic God that created the universe and everything it in, the medieval Church regarded Plato as a pagan whose wisdom had led him to Christian truths, and therefore his writings on how the universe was organized was widely accepted in medieval Christian cosmology. So much so, that the Church had real trouble letting go of Platonic cosmology when Copernicus and others discovered mistakes in his universal model.




Anyone who's remotely interested in Atlantis should look no further and read this pair of dialogues. It offers probably the most detailed (and realistic) layout on what the legendary lost civilization was like, how it was run, and what ultimately befell of it's end days. Unlike modern depictions of Atlantis being a mythical, magic place, Plato lays it out like a legit civilization, advanced but not fantastical, and paints a number of beautiful images for your imagination. It's also short and sweet, which for this day and age can always be a plus.

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