The Mythological & Ritualistic Background of Plato’s Timaeus

Rodney Blackhirst

The fact that modern scholars attribute to this work “more intellectual evil than any text except the Revelation of John” is an indication of its significance to traditional ideas in Western civilization; it was pivotal to the premodern world-view. In medieval Christendom it was received as an inspired commentary on the Book of Genesis and regarded as all but scripture.

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Click here for an English translation (HTML) of the complete Timaeus at MIT Classics, or click here for a French translation (PDF) at the Bibliothèque électronique du Québec. The original Greek is available from Tuft’s Perseus among other sources; follow this link for bilingual reading online.

This article is based on Dr Blackhirst’s PhD dissertation, entitled “Myth in the Timaeus: the Mythological Underpinnings of Plato’s Cosmology”, and it is republished here with warm thanks.