Plato’s Timaeus & the Foundations of Cosmology in
Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages & Renaissance
[In English & German]

Edited By Thomas Leinkauf & Carlos Steel
Ancient & Medieval Philosophy De Wulf-Mansion Centre, Series 1, XXXIV
December 2005
Leuven University Press
ISBN: 9058675068
518 pages, Illustrated, 6 ¾” x 9 ¾”
$157.50 Hardcover

In Raphael’s celebrated “School of Athens”, Plato takes the central position holding in his hand one book, the Timaeus. For centuries the conception of Platonic philosophy has been mainly determined by reading and interpreting this particular dialogue. In the Timaeus, Plato offers a “likely account” of the generation of the world. This world is a living organism produced by a divine Maker as an image of an eternal intelligible paradigm in a “receptacle.” The world is thus the product of intelligent design for the best possible outcome.

The Demiurge composes the bodily structure of the universe and the soul governing it. But he delegates the production of the mortal human animals to the celestial or lower gods, after having made the immortal rational soul. These inferior demiurges frame the human body and locate in it the different parts of the mortal soul with their respective desires and passions. The final section of the dialogue deals with the diseases of body and soul and their therapy. Using for his exposition a mythical narrative, Plato nevertheless attempts to offer a rational explanation of the most diverse physical and biological phenomena, exploiting all scientific knowledge available to him at that time.


Thomas Leinkauf - Carlos Steel

Thomas Leinkauf

I. Spätantike

Franco Ferrari (Salerno)
Interpretare il Timeo

Christoph Helmig (Leuven)
Die Weltentstehung des Timaios - zum kosmologischen Hintergrund von Plutarchs De sera numinis vindicta 550 D-E

Walter Mesch (Heidelberg)
Plotins Deutung der platonischen Weltseele. Zur antiken Rezeptionsgeschichte von Timaios 35 A

Jan Opsomer (Köln)
A craftsman and his handmaiden. Demiurgy according to Plotinus

Alain Lernould (Lille)
En quoi la physique du Timée est-elle encore selon Proclus un 'eikos logos'?

Carlos Steel (Leuven)
Proclus' defence of the Timaeus against Aristotle's abjections. A reconstruction of a lost polemical treatise

Guy Guldentops (Leuven)
Plato's Timaeus in Simplicius' In de caelo. A confrontation with Alexander

II. Mittelalter

Andreas Speer (Köln)
Lectio physica. Anmerkungen zur Timaios-Rezeption im Mittelalter

Theo Kobusch (Bonn)
Der Timaios in Chartres

Edouard Jeauneau (Paris)
Du désordre à l'ordre (Timée 30 A)

Alexander Fidora (Frankfurt/M)
Die Ursachenlehre des Isaak von Stella im Anschluss and Platons Timaios

Ada Neschke-Hentschke (Lausanne)
Die iustitia naturalis gemäss Platos Timaios in den Deutungen der Dekretisten des XII. Jahrhunderts. Ein Beitrag zur Archäologie der Menschenrechte

Paul Edward Dutton (Burnady)
Holding women in common. A particular Platonic problem for the twelfth century

Henryk Anzulewicz (Bonn)
Die Timaios-Rezeption bei Albertus Magnus

III. Renaissance/Frühe Neuzeit

Thomas Leinkauf (Münster)
Aspekte und Perspektiven der Präsenz des Timaios in Renaissance und Früher Neuzeit

James Hankins (Harvard)
Plato's psychogony in the later Renaissance: changing attitudes to the christianization of pagan philosophy

Mischa Von Perger (Neusäss)
Paolo Benis Timaios-Kommentar - eine christliche Kritik an aristotelischen und neuplatonischen Interpretationen

Karin Hartbecke (Halle)
Der Timaios in der französischen Aufklärung




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