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Plato Bilingual Anthology : THE WORLD IS A LIVING BEING

from Timaeus, * 30c-31b, 32b-34b, 92c, translated by B. Jowett

Greek Fonts / Plato Complete works / Plato Concept


ELPENOR EDITIONS IN PRINT
Page 3

And he gave to the world the figure which was suitable and also natural. Now to the animal which was to comprehend all animals, that figure was suitable which comprehends within itself all other figures. Wherefore he made the world in the form of a globe, round as from a lathe, having its extremes in every direction equidistant from the centre, the most perfect and the most like itself of all figures; for he considered that the like is infinitely fairer than the unlike. This he finished off, making the surface smooth all around for many reasons; in the first place, because the living being had no need of eyes when there was nothing remaining outside him to be seen; nor of ears when there was nothing to be heard; and there was no surrounding atmosphere to be breathed; nor would there have been any use of organs by the help of which he might receive his food or get rid of what he had already digested, since there was nothing which went from him or came into him: for there was nothing beside him. Of design he was created thus, his own waste providing his own food, and all that he did or suffered taking place in and by himself. For the Creator conceived that a being which was self-sufficient would be far more excellent than one which lacked anything; σχῆμα δὲ ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ τὸ πρέπον καὶ τὸ συγγενές. τῷ δὲ τὰ πάντα ἐν αὑτῷ ζῷα περιέχειν μέλλοντι ζῴῳ πρέπον ἂν εἴη σχῆμα τὸ περιειληφὸς ἐν αὑτῷ πάντα ὁπόσα σχήματα· διὸ καὶ σφαιροειδές͵ ἐκ μέσου πάντῃ πρὸς τὰς τελευτὰς ἴσον ἀπέχον͵ κυκλοτερὲς αὐτὸ ἐτορνεύσατο͵ πάντων τελεώτατον ὁμοιότατόν τε αὐτὸ ἑαυτῷ σχημάτων͵ νομίσας μυρίῳ κάλλιον ὅμοιον ἀνομοίου. λεῖον δὲ δὴ κύκλῳ πᾶν ἔξωθεν αὐτὸ ἀπηκριβοῦτο πολλῶν χάριν. ὀμμάτων τε γὰρ ἐπεδεῖτο οὐδέν͵ ὁρατὸν γὰρ οὐδὲν ὑπελείπετο ἔξωθεν͵ οὐδ΄ ἀκοῆς͵ οὐδὲ γὰρ ἀκουστόν· πνεῦμά τε οὐκ ἦν περιεστὸς δεόμενον ἀναπνοῆς͵ οὐδ΄ αὖ τινος ἐπιδεὲς ἦν ὀργάνου σχεῖν ᾧ τὴν μὲν εἰς ἑαυτὸ τροφὴν δέξοιτο͵ τὴν δὲ πρότερον ἐξικμασμένην ἀποπέμψοι πάλιν. ἀπῄει τε γὰρ οὐδὲν οὐδὲ προσῄειν αὐτῷ ποθενοὐδὲ γὰρ ἦναὐτὸ γὰρ ἑαυτῷ τροφὴν τὴν ἑαυτοῦ φθίσιν παρέχον καὶ πάντα ἐν ἑαυτῷ καὶ ὑφ΄ ἑαυτοῦ πάσχον καὶ δρῶν ἐκ τέχνης γέγονεν· ἡγήσατο γὰρ αὐτὸ ὁ συνθεὶς αὔταρκες ὂν ἄμεινον ἔσεσθαι μᾶλλον ἢ προσδεὲς ἄλλων.
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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-greece/plato-living-being.asp?pg=3