The editor: M.R. Wright has published numerous papers on
ancient philosophy. Her principal books are Empedocles: the Extant
Fragments; Cicero: On Stoic Good and Evil; and Cosmology in Antiquity.
Plato's Timaeus contains a powerful and influential myth, of the
construction of the universe by a divine craftsman. A god imposes
reason on necessity, to bring order from a primeval 'receptacle'
of disordered matter. There results the 'child' that is the cosmos
- a copy of an eternally-existing perfect model. Here eight new
essays from a distinguished international cast, explore aspects
of this challenging work: the principles of the mythical narrative,
how the world soul and human body are formed, implications for illness
- mental and physical, the importance of music and harmonious proportion.
Later developments are also treated: Aristotle's theory of generation,
the commentary of Proclus and elements of modern evolutionary theory.