Magee’s first full translation in English of Calcidius, together with his introduction and the notes, is a major contribution to the field of philosophy in late antiquity and will greatly enhance future research on Calcidius. The author accomplishes the considerable feat of both locating Calcidius in the context of ancient philosophy and addressing his influence on the Middle Ages. Traditionally, and since Waszink’s edition, Calcidius has been ranked among the Latin Christian Neoplatonists, but Magee’s introduction makes amply clear how careful one has to be with these labels. The precious few indications of Christian notions are not claimed by Calcidius in his own authorial voice, and most of the material from the commentary hearkens back to an earlier, pre-Plotinian phase of Platonism.
It should become clear from my brief remarks how significant Magee’s contribution is. His translation, introduction, and notes settle so many thorny issues in Calcidius’s rendering of Plato’s Timaeus and his commentary that one can finally move on to a richer understanding of all the complexities of this work that played such an important role in the tradition.