Unfortunately, while Plato’s importance has been largely accepted since the twelfth-century revival of Platonic thought, it was not until Raymond Klibansky reexamined the continuity of the Platonic tradition before its revival that Calcidius’s importance began to emerge. Since then, contemporary scholarship has continued to be limited to those who had command of Greek and Latin, and thus the academy has been slow to dispel the misconception that Calcidius was merely a transmitter of Greek philosophical concepts. With this first-ever English translation of Calcidius’s On Plato’s Timaeus, John Magee opens up the possibility of new gains in scholarship by making Calcidius available to a new generation of readers.
Magee produces an edition here that demonstrates his mastery of history, language, and philosophy, and as much as he brings the text to novice readers, he also offers them an example of tremendous scholarship. In this way, the book welcomes the amateur as well as the advanced scholar, and so should be thought of as an essential addition to the library of anyone interested in Plato, the Timaeus, Calcidius, or the transmission of thought across the Middle Ages and into the Renaissance.
Colin David Pears
Review of Metaphysics