Plato's "Timaeus" contains a powerful and influential myth, of the construction of the universe by a divine craftsman. A god imposed reason on necessity, to bring order from a primeval 'receptacle' of disordered matter. There results the 'child' that is the cosmos - a copy of an externally-existing perfect model. Here eight new essays, from an international cast of scholars, explore aspects of this challenging work: the principles of the mythical narrative, how the world soul and human body are formed, implications for illness - mental and physical - and the importance of music and harmonious proportion. Later developments are also treated: Aristotles' theory of generation, the commentary of Proclus and elements of modern evolutionary theory.
Publisher: Classical Press of Wales