The Symposium is a complex piece which is perhaps as widely read as any of Plato’s works apart from the Republic. However, the existing standard commentaries in English do not offer much by way of help to any reader except the classicist who knows Greek; and they also tend to be light on the dialogue as a work of philosophy. This edition aims to fill both gaps. As well as providing a new and accurate translation facing the Greek text, it includes a substantial commentary, keyed mainly to the translation, which takes into account the needs of those without (or with little) Greek. It also treats the Symposium not just as a piece of literature that includes some philosophy, but as the product of a serious philosopher who is simultaneously a writer of the first order. Among the particular concerns of the commentary is the elucidation of the underlying structure and argument of the dialogue. The outcome is not a synthesis of previous scholarship, but what is in many respects a fresh reading of a central and influential Platonic text. Greek text with facing-page English translation, introduction and commentary.
C. J. Rowe is Emeritus Professor in the Department of Classics and Ancient at Durham University. His major publications include Plato: Theaetetus and Sophist (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and Plato and the Art of Philosophical Writing (CUP, 2007), and he has edited and translated Plato’s Phaedrus and Statesman in the Aris & Phillips Classical Texts series.
Parallel-text edition of Plato’s Symposium. Greek text, with facing-page English translation, introduction, notes and commentary.