Timaeus (dialogue)

TimaeusTimæuscreateddialogue TimaeusPlato's ''TimaeusPlato's TimaeusstatedTimaeus.TimaiosTimeaus
Timaeus is one of Plato's dialogues, mostly in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c.wikipedia
239 Related Articles

Timaeus of Locri

Timaeus
Timaeus is one of Plato's dialogues, mostly in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c. 360 BC.
Timaeus of Locri (Timaeus Locrus) is a character in two of Plato's dialogues, Timaeus and Critias.

Critias (dialogue)

CritiasCleitoMneseus
The work puts forward speculation on the nature of the physical world and human beings and is followed by the dialogue Critias.
Critias is the second of a projected trilogy of dialogues, preceded by Timaeus and followed by Hermocrates.

Atlantis

AtlanteanAtlanteansAtlantian
Critias proceeds to tell the story of Solon's journey to Egypt where he hears the story of Atlantis, and how Athens used to be an ideal state that subsequently waged war against Atlantis (25a).
Atlantis (, "island of Atlas") is a fictional island mentioned within an allegory on the hubris of nations in Plato's works Timaeus and Critias, where it represents the antagonist naval power that besieges "Ancient Athens", the pseudo-historic embodiment of Plato's ideal state in The Republic.

Pythagoras

PythagoreanPythagoras of SamosPythagoreans
It has been suggested from some traditions (Diogenes Laertius (VIII 85) from Hermippus (3rd century B.C.) and Timon (320 – 230 B.C.)) that Timaeus was influenced by a book about Pythagoras, written by Philolaus, although this assertion is generally considered false.
Pythagoras influenced Plato, whose dialogues, especially his Timaeus, exhibit Pythagorean teachings.

Hermocrates

Hermocrates of Syracuse
Participants in the dialogue include Socrates, Timaeus, Hermocrates, and Critias.
He is also remembered as a character in the Timaeus and Critias dialogues of Plato.

Plato

Plato's dialoguesDialogues of PlatoPlatonic dialogues
Timaeus is one of Plato's dialogues, mostly in the form of a long monologue given by the title character Timaeus of Locri, written c. 360 BC.
In the dialogue Timaeus Plato associated each of the four classical elements (earth, air, water, and fire) with a regular solid (cube, octahedron, icosahedron, and tetrahedron respectively) due to their shape, the so-called Platonic solids.

Demiurge

YaldabaothIaldabaothdemiurgic
Timaeus suggests that since nothing "becomes or changes" without cause, then the cause of the universe must be a demiurge or a god, a figure Timaeus refers to as the father and maker of the universe.
The philosophical usage and the proper noun derive from Plato's Timaeus, written c.

Solon

Solon of AthensSolonianSólon
Critias proceeds to tell the story of Solon's journey to Egypt where he hears the story of Atlantis, and how Athens used to be an ideal state that subsequently waged war against Atlantis (25a).
According to Plato's dialogues, Timaeus and Critias, he visited Neith's temple at Sais and received from the priests there an account of the history of Atlantis.

Phaethon

PhaëtonPhaetonPhaëthon
Critias also cites the Egyptian priest in Sais about long term factors on the fate of mankind: "There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story that even you [Greeks] have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals."
In Plato's Timaeus, Critias tells the story of Atlantis as recounted to Solon by an Egyptian priest, who prefaced the story by saying: ''"There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story that even you [Greeks] have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals."

Critias

Dropidas
Participants in the dialogue include Socrates, Timaeus, Hermocrates, and Critias.
Critias gave an account of his ancestry which was later recorded in Plato's Timaeus.

Earth (classical element)

earthEarth elementclassical element
Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion.
Plato (427 – 347 BCE) believed the elements were geometric forms (the platonic solids) and he assigned the cube to the element of earth in his dialogue Timaeus.

Sais, Egypt

SaisSaiteSaïs
Critias also cites the Egyptian priest in Sais about long term factors on the fate of mankind: "There have been, and will be again, many destructions of mankind arising out of many causes; the greatest have been brought about by the agencies of fire and water, and other lesser ones by innumerable other causes. There is a story that even you [Greeks] have preserved, that once upon a time, Phaethon, the son of Helios, having yoked the steeds in his father's chariot, because he was not able to drive them in the path of his father, burnt up all that was upon the earth, and was himself destroyed by a thunderbolt. Now this has the form of a myth, but really signifies a declination of the bodies moving in the heavens around the earth, and a great conflagration of things upon the earth, which recurs after long intervals."
In Plato's Timaeus and Critias (around 395 BC, 200 years after the visit by the Greek legislator Solon), Sais is the city in which Solon receives the story of Atlantis, its military aggression against Greece and Egypt, its eventual defeat and destruction by gods-punishing catastrophe, from an Egyptian priest.

Air (classical element)

airWindAerial Calamity
Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion.
In the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with air is the octahedron which is formed from eight equilateral triangles.

Platonic solid

Platonic solidsPlatonicregular polyhedra
Timaeus claims that the minute particle of each element had a special geometric shape: tetrahedron (fire), octahedron (air), icosahedron (water), and cube (earth).
They are named for the ancient Greek philosopher Plato who hypothesized in his dialogue, the Timaeus, that the classical elements were made of these regular solids.

Water (classical element)

waterwater elementelement of water
Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion.
In the Timaeus, his major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid associated with water is the icosahedron which is formed from twenty equilateral triangles.

Fire (classical element)

fireclassical element of fireelemental fire
Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion.
In the Timaeus, Plato's major cosmological dialogue, the Platonic solid he associated with fire was the tetrahedron which is formed from four triangles and contains the least volume with the greatest surface area.

Philolaus

Philolaus of CrotonOn Nature'' (Philolaus)
It has been suggested from some traditions (Diogenes Laertius (VIII 85) from Hermippus (3rd century B.C.) and Timon (320 – 230 B.C.)) that Timaeus was influenced by a book about Pythagoras, written by Philolaus, although this assertion is generally considered false.
Plato is said to have procured a copy of his book from which, it was later claimed, Plato composed much of his Timaeus.

Classical element

four elementsclassical elementselements
Timaeus describes the substance as a lack of homogeneity or balance, in which the four elements (earth, air, fire and water) were shapeless, mixed and in constant motion.
These five elements have been associated since Plato's Timaeus with the five platonic solids.

Ananke

NecessitasNecessityanancist
The ananke, often translated as 'necessity', was the only other co-existent element or presence in Plato's cosmogony.
In the Timaeus, Plato has the speaker Timaeus (and not Socrates) argue that in the creation of the universe, there is a uniting of opposing elements, intellect (nous) and necessity (ananke), as elsewhere Plato blends abstraction with his own myth making: "For this ordered world (cosmos) is of a mixed birth: it is the offspring of a union of Necessity and Intellect. Intellect prevailing over Necessity by persuading (from Peitho, goddess of persuasion) it to direct most of the things that come to be toward what is best, and the result of this subjugation of Necessity to wise persuasion is the initial formation of the universe" (48a, trans.

Calcidius

Chalcidius
The Timaeus was translated into Latin first by Marcus Tullius Cicero around 45 B.C. (sections 27d–47b), and later by Calcidius in the 4th century A.D. (up to section 53c).
Calcidius (or Chalcidius) was a 4th-century philosopher (and possibly a Christian) who translated the first part (to 53c) of Plato's Timaeus from Greek into Latin around the year 321 and provided with it an extensive commentary.

Chi (letter)

chiΧChi (X)
He then divided following precise mathematical proportions, cutting the compound lengthways, fixed the resulting two bands in their middle, like in the letter Χ (chi), and connected them at their ends, to have two crossing circles.
In Plato's Timaeus, it is explained that the two bands that form the soul of the world cross each other like the letter Χ.

Reincarnation

reincarnatedrebirthpast lives
The extensive final part of the dialogue addresses the creation of humans, including the soul, anatomy, perception, and transmigration of the soul.
There are myths and theories to the same effect in other dialogues, in the Chariot allegory of the Phaedrus, in the Meno, Timaeus and Laws.

Great Year

Platonic yearEtruscan Great Yearperfect year
The complicated pattern of these movements is bound to be repeated again after a period called a 'complete' or 'perfect' year (39d).
Plato's description of the perfect year is found in his dialogue Timaeus

Theory of forms

formsIdeasform
Hence, using the eternal and perfect world of "forms" or ideals as a template, he set about creating our world, which formerly only existed in a state of disorder.

Ex nihilo

creatio ex nihilocreation ex nihilocreation
Calcidius' more extensive translation of the Timaeus had a strong influence on medieval Neoplatonic cosmology and was commented on particularly by 12th century Christian philosophers of the Chartres School, such as Thierry of Chartres and William of Conches, who, interpreting it in the light of the Christian faith, understood the dialogue to refer to a creatio ex nihilo.
The atoms, being objects, could not be called gods, and the "No Thing" void could not be called immortal, which opened up new possibilities for rational theology: thus Plato in his dialogue Timaeus has an extramundane intelligence constructing atom-like entities as the building-blocks of the cosmos, while others such as Democritus approached even closer to atheism.