Proclus: Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato: Containing a Treasury of Pythagoric and Platonic Physiology [two volumes in one]

Proclus: Commentary on the Timaeus of Plato: Containing a Treasury of Pythagoric and Platonic Physiology [two volumes in one]

by Thomas Taylor


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The present volume is a reprint of Thomas Taylor's 1820 translation of Proclus' Commentaries on the Timæus of Plato, which remains to this day arguably the most important and insightful commentary on any of Plato's dialogues. Proclus' commentary provides us with, as Hegel says, the "culmination of Neo-Platonic thought." Combined with Proclus' "On the Theology of Plato," we are provided with a solid foundation in the Platonic tradition, and are able to trace several of the most fundamental points of doctrine more clearly and systematically than is to be found from just about any other source. || Students looking for an introduction to the theological elements described in this volume are encouraged to also read Taylor's General Introduction to the Philosophy and Writings of Plato along with his translations of the complete Works of Plato. For more on the mathematical elements, one may look to Taylor's translation of The Philosophical and Mathematical Commentaries of Proclus on the First Book of Euclid's Elements. As Proclus grounds much of his thought in the Chaldean system, one will also benefit from the fragments of the Chaldean Oracles collected and translated also by Taylor. For more on the Pythagorean ideas, see Taylor's edition of The Life of Pythagoras, and for more on the Orphic system see The Hymns of Orpheus. These (and other available works) combine to present the student with a much greater and more profound context for the ideas examined by Proclus in the present work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781973844983
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 07/24/2017
Pages: 800
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.59(d)

About the Author

Thomas Taylor (1758-1835) was an English Platonist and translator of Greek philosophic texts. He was the first to translate into English the complete works of Plato and Aristotle. His voluminous translations, original writings and articles represent the single most complete rendering of the ancient western philosophy and theology into English.

A full collection of his works (original scans, paperbacks and ebooks) can be found online at: ||

Proclus is one of the most famous Platonic philosophers, referred to as the "Platonic Successor". He wrote voluminously on varied subjects of Greek philosophy, metaphysics, theology, etc., though the majority of his works were destroyed and are no longer extant. Of the works that remain extant, the most popular are his commentary on the Timaeus of Plato, "On the Theology of Plato" and his "Elements of Theology" (see biography by Marinus, and Thomas Taylor's summary "On the Writings of Proclus") ||

Plato is the most famous of the Greek philosophers. He "was born in the 87th Olympiad, and 430 years before Christ. He also died on his birthday, after having lived exactly 81 years." Plato was a student of Socrates, teacher of Aristotle, and the inspirer of countless "lovers of truth" over the centuries. He was classically educated in Athens, but, like Pythagoras before him, extended his education far beyond this. As with that other great sage, "Plato likewise went into Egypt for the purpose of conversing with the priests of that country, and from them learned whatever pertains to sacred rites. ... he went to Phœnicia, and, meeting with the Magi of that country, he was instructed by them in magic." etc. (see biography by Olympiodorus)

When he return to Athens he established "the Academy", a school whose renown would echo through the ages. There he gathered students and instructed them in philosophy, virtue and all that pertains to the life of a true philosopher.

He wrote many works, almost solely in the form of dialogues, most of which come to us today relatively unspoiled. These were later commented upon by several of the later platonists (neoplatonists). This body of wisdom was then collected, as much as possible, and translated into English by Thomas Taylor, the greatest English Platonist. His translations of Plato can be found here:

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