Cover image for Symposium of Plato = [Platōnos Symposion]
Symposium of Plato = [Platōnos Symposion]
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Symposium. English & Greek
Publication Information:
Berkeley : University of California Press, 1989.
Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
Translation of: Symposium.

Greek text and English translation on facing pages.

Greek title appears on the t.p. in Greek characters.

Reprint. Originally published: Marlborough, Wiltshire, England : Libanus Press, 1986.
Personal Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
B385.A5 G68 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A superb example of the bookmaker's and translator's art, this new edition of Plato's "Symposium" exhibits aesthetic, literary, and intellectual excellences rarely found together in a single volume.Tom Griffith's translation of this foundation work of Western culture is unsurpassed for the balance it achieves between readability and fidelity to Plato's Greek. For felicity of phrasing, freshness, care to match the sense of the Greek rather than its wording, and for its idiomatic rendering of the spoken word, it has no peer.Originally published in a limited edition with facing Greek and color wood engravings, Griffith's translation is here presented in reduced format that retains the aesthetic quality of the original version at an affordable price.

Author Notes

Plato was born c. 427 B.C. in Athens, Greece, to an aristocratic family very much involved in political government. Pericles, famous ruler of Athens during its golden age, was Plato's stepfather. Plato was well educated and studied under Socrates, with whom he developed a close friendship. When Socrates was publically executed in 399 B.C., Plato finally distanced himself from a career in Athenian politics, instead becoming one of the greatest philosophers of Western civilization. Plato extended Socrates's inquiries to his students, one of the most famous being Aristotle.

Plato's The Republic is an enduring work, discussing justice, the importance of education, and the qualities needed for rulers to succeed. Plato felt governors must be philosophers so they may govern wisely and effectively. Plato founded the Academy, an educational institution dedicated to pursuing philosophic truth. The Academy lasted well into the 6th century A.D., and is the model for all western universities. Its formation is along the lines Plato laid out in The Republic.

Many of Plato's essays and writings survive to this day. Plato died in 347 B.C. at the age of 80.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This edition of Plato's Symposium is a photolithographic reproduction of the Libanus Press limited edition of 1986. The book is bilingual, with Greek and English on facing pages, interspersed with intriguing engravings by Peter Forster. The translation by Tom Griffith is so readable and clear that it makes the Symposium breathe with life. In sum, this edition with its exquisite printing, aesthetically sensitive translation, and fine engravings is a work of art--a wonderfully fitting way to render the Symposium with its themes of eros and beauty. Lovers of Plato (of which this reviewer is one) must have a copy of this edition; it should also grace the shelves of all libraries interested in luring students to the wonders of Plato. All levels. -J. H. Riker, The Colorado College