Taylor's Works of Plato, has two outstanding features which make it an essential component to the genuine philosophers 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 fulfils, 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 one similar to that which students are likely to 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."
Our 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 Staphanus line numbering - an important aid to serious study, as well as facilitating the use of existing indexes. If 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, our edition represents extremely good value.
Taylor's general introduction is a masterpiece in itself, and we include several extracts from it in our sample text.
Click here to go to the main extracts from Thomas Taylor’s Plato
Click here to go the Seventh Book of the Republic which includes the renowned story of the Cave
Click her to go the Epinomis
Return to TTS Catalogue
Return to home page