About this topic
Summary The Critias is an unfinished dialogue by Plato, although some people have doubted its authenticity. It is a sequel to the Timaeus, which featured Critias as a speaker who delivered a speech outlining an ancient conflict between an idealized Athens and imperial Atlantis and who promised to speak again after Timaeus' speech concerning the cosmos and the generation of living things. This dialogue begins with Timaeus thanking his audience for listening to him and then passing the torch to Critias, who continues his discussion of Atlantis, which ends mid-sentence. 
Key works See Rashed & Auffret 2017 for doubts about the authenticity of the Critias. For an overview of the whole Timaeus-Critias complex, see Johansen 2004. Much ink has been spilled on the myth of Atlantis. See Hackforth 1944 and Gill 1979, for instance. See Harvey 2023 for a treatment of the Critias' political philosophy.
Introductions See Gill 2017 for a landmark edition of the text, translation, and commentary on the Atlantis story as it appears in both the Timaeus and the Critias.
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  1. Divine Agency and Politics in Plato’s Myth of Atlantis.George Harvey - 2023 - Apeiron 56 (3):555-576.
    This paper approaches the Critias straightforwardly as a work of political philosophy but gives greater attention to Athens’ opponent, Atlantis, whose founding, political organization, and eventual decline each offer important lessons about the aims of legislation and political life. I begin by comparing the foundation of the two cities as presented in Critias’ myth, with a special focus on the role of divine persuasion (I). I then describe the political organization of Athens and Atlantis, showing how they reflect the different (...)
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  2. Proclus’ Theoretical Reconstructions on Plato’s Myth of Atlantis.Christos Terezis & Lydia Petridou - 2021 - Philotheos 21 (2):151-167.
    In this article, we present a proposal for a synthetic theoretical approach of the myth of Atlantis, firstly presented by Plato in his Timaeus, and, subsequently, systematically approached by Proclus. Τhis is first and foremost a literary subject which in Proclus’ texts, involves many disciplines and causes general interest for research. The main question to deal with since Plato’s era is whether this is a myth or a true story. In our view, Proclus’ comments on the Timaeus appear to be (...)
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  3. A Poética da Mímesis no Timeu-Crítias de Platão.Nelson De Aguiar Menezes Neto - 2020 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 30:e03016.
    O presente estudo consiste em uma análise do processo de composição do Timeu-Crítias de Platão, sob o ponto de vista da modelagem do discurso. Pretende-se mostrar que o diálogo é marcado por uma engenhosa articulação de técnicas de composição, que combinam os aspectos pictorial e dramático da mímesis poética. Estabelecendo as Panateneias como referência implícita, a obra apresenta a performance de uma sequência de narrativas, produzidas como verdadeiras imagens discursivas. A originalidade platônica revela-se no Timeu-Crítias, portanto, no desempenho de uma (...)
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  4. A Poética da Mímesis no Timeu-Crítias de Platão.Nelson de Aguiar Menezes Neto - 2020 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 30:03016-03016.
    The present study is an analysis of Plato’s _Timaeus-Critias_ composition process, from the point of view of discourse modeling. It intends to show that the dialogue is distinguished by an insightful articulation of composition techniques, which combine the pictorial and dramatic aspects of poetic _mimesis_. Establishing the Panateneias as an implicit reference, the work presents the performance of a sequence of narratives, produced as true discursive images. Platonic originality is revealed in _Timaeus-Critias_, therefore, as the accomplishment of a formal construction (...)
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  5. The Poetics of Mimesis in Plato’s Timaeus-Critias.Nelson de Aguiar Menezes Neto - 2020 - Archai: Revista de Estudos Sobre as Origens Do Pensamento Ocidental 30:03016-03016.
    The present study is an analysis of Plato’s _Timaeus-Critias_ composition process, from the point of view of discourse modeling. It intends to show that the dialogue is distinguished by an insightful articulation of composition techniques, which combine the pictorial and dramatic aspects of poetic _mimesis_. Establishing the Panateneias as an implicit reference, the work presents the performance of a sequence of narratives, produced as true discursive images. Platonic originality is revealed in _Timaeus-Critias_, therefore, as the accomplishment of a formal construction (...)
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  6. Narrative Order and the Cosmo-Political Representations of the Characters in the Timaeus.Daniel Alejandro Restrepo - 2020 - Méthexis 1 (32):86-109.
    In this essay, I argue that the ordering of the speeches in Plato’s Timaeus indicates two things. First, each speech represents one of the three genera or principles Timaeus discusses. Socrates’ summary represents the forms, Critias’ Atlantis story embodies Becoming, and Timaeus’ cosmology serves as χώρα. Second, Timaeus responds to the other speakers in the order in which they were presented before beginning again with χώρα. Once Timaeus introduces χώρα, one of his tasks is laying the groundwork for Critias’ war (...)
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  7. Drama and politics in the Atlantis story.Vilius Bartninkas - 2019 - Literatūra 3 (61):22-31.
    This paper explores the prevailing readings of the Atlantis story. The purpose of this paper is to show how interpretative judgements on the narrator’s intentions, the objectives of the characters, and the genre and the development of the story prepares the grounds for the political understanding of Athens and Atlantis. In this way, I will show how the dramatic framework influences the expression of political thought. I argue that the most important dramatic feature of the story is Critias’ interaction with (...)
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  8. The Secret of Plato's Atlantis [in the Critias].John Francis Arundell - 2018 - Franklin Classics.
    This work has been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it. This work is in the public domain in the United States of America, and possibly other nations. Within the United States, you may freely copy and distribute this work, as no entity (individual or corporate) has a copyright on the body of the work. Scholars believe, and we concur, that this work is important enough to be (...)
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  9. The Atlantis Story in Plato. C. Gill Plato's Atlantis Story. Text, Translation and Commentary. Pp. X + 222, ills. Liverpool: Liverpool university press, 2017. Paper, £19.95 . Isbn: 978-1-78694-015-5. [REVIEW]Lloyd P. Gerson - 2018 - The Classical Review 68 (1):37-38.
  10. Studies on the text of Plato's Timaeus and Critias - Jonkers the textual tradition of Plato's Timaeus and Critias. Pp. XVIII + 548. Leiden and boston: Brill, 2017. Cased, €180, us$202. Isbn: 978-90-04-32591-3. [REVIEW]Colin Guthrie King - 2018 - The Classical Review 68 (2):363-365.
  11. Plato’s Atlantis Story. Text, Translation and Commentary (2nd edition).Christopher Gill - 2017 - Liverpool: Liverpool University Press.
    This book aims to bring together all the evidence relevant for understanding Plato's Atlantis Story, providing the Greek text of the relevant Platonic texts (the start of Plato's Timaeus and the incomplete Critias), together with a commentary on language and content, and a full vocabulary of Greek words. This essential work also offers a new translation of these texts and a full introduction. The book has two special objectives. The introduction offers a full-scale interpretative reading of the Atlantis story, focused (...)
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  12. The textual tradition of Plato's Timaeus and Critias.Gijsbert Jonkers - 2017 - Boston: Brill.
    In The Textual Tradition of Plato's Timaeus and Critias, Gijsbert Jonkers presents a new examination of the medieval manuscripts of both Platonic dialogues, an overview of the ancient tradition and a vast collection of ancient testimonia.
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  13. On the Inauthenticity of the Critias.Marwan Rashed & Thomas Auffret - 2017 - Phronesis 62 (3):237-254.
    In this paper, we highlight a number of difficulties concerning the relationship between the Critias and theT imaeus, notably a contradiction between Timaeus 27a-b and Critias 108a-c. On this basis we argue that the Critias must be considered spurious.
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  14. Remembering Atlantis.Casey Stegman - 2017 - Political Theory 45 (2):240-260.
    There has been much scholarly disagreement concerning Plato’s participation in the mid-fourth century debates over Athens’s ancestral constitution. This disunity stems from contrasting views about the relationship between philosophy and Athenian politics in Plato’s writings. Recently, several political theorists have reoriented our general understanding about Plato’s complex involvement with Athenian politics. However, these discussions do not discuss Plato’s specific relationship with patrios politeia. In order to bridge this gap, I turn to two dialogues within the later Platonic corpus: Timaeus and (...)
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  15. Plato’s Unfinished Trilogy: Timaeus–Critias–Hermocrates.Gabriele Cornelli - 2015 - In Plato's Styles and Characters: Between Literature and Philosophy. De Gruyter. pp. 33-46.
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  16. Plato as City Planner: The Ideal city of Atlantis.Paul Friedlander - 2015 - In Plato: An Introduction. Princeton University Press. pp. 314-322.
  17. The use and abuse of critias: Conflicting portraits in Plato and xenophon.Gabriel Danzig - 2014 - Classical Quarterly 64 (2):507-524.
    This paper aims to explain the very sharp contrast between the portraits of Critias found in Plato and Xenophon. While depicted as a monster in Xenophon'sHellenica, Critias is described with at most mild criticism in Plato's writings. Each of these portraits is eccentric in its own way, and these eccentricities can be explained by considering the apologetic and polemic aims each author pursued. In doing so, I hope to shed light not only on the relations between these portraits and the (...)
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  18. The Missing Speech of the Absent Fourth: Reader Response and Plato’s Timaeus-Critias.William H. F. Altman - 2013 - Plato Journal 13:7-26.
    Recent Plato scholarship has grown increasingly comfortable with the notion that Plato’s art of writing brings his readers into the dialogue, challenging them to respond to deliberate errors or lacunae in the text. Drawing inspiration from Stanley Fish’s seminal reading of Satan’s speeches in Paradise Lost, this paper considers the narrative of Timaeus as deliberately unreliable, and argues that the actively critical reader is “the missing fourth” with which the dialogue famously begins. By continuing Timaeus with Critias—a dialogue that ends (...)
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  19. Truth and Story in the Timaeus-Critias.Sarah Broadie - 2013 - In G. Boys-Stones, C. Gill & D. El-Murr (eds.), The Platonic Art of philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
  20. El Timeo-Critias, una geografía imaginaria entre la escatología y la historia.Tomás Morales Caturla - 2013 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 38 (2):149-168.
    The geography of the Timaeus-Critias is the final stage of a process through different eschatological myths around the concept of justice . The geography conditions the configuration of three political models (atlantean, athenian, egyptian ) ; and their interplay raises the question of mimesis against dialectics. Any relation with the environment is one of two things: either a mimesis of human acts and the environment that serves as their stage; or a dialectics between the subject and the possibility of achievieng (...)
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  21. El Timeo-Critias, una geografía imaginaria entre la escatología y la historia.Tomás Morales Caturla - 2013 - Revista de Filosofía (Madrid) 38 (2).
  22. The Atlantis poem in the Timaeus-Critias.Mauro Tulli - 2013 - In G. Boys-Stones, C. Gill & D. El-Murr (eds.), The Platonic Art of philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
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  23. Sophistic Ethics, Old Atheism, and "Critias" on Religion.Patrick O'Sullivan - 2012 - Classical World: A Quarterly Journal on Antiquity 105 (2):167-185.
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  24. The Sophists Pradeau Les Sophistes. Écrits complets. Tome 1. Protagoras, Gorgias, Antiphon, Xéniade, Lycophron, Prodicos, L'Anonyme de Jamblique, Critias. Pp. 562. Paris: Flammarion, 2009. Paper, €11 . ISBN: 978-2-0812-0713-4 . Pradeau Les Sophistes. Écrits complets. Tome 2. Thrasymaque, Hippias, Euthydème et Dionysodore, Alcidamas, Discours doubles. Pp. 308. Paris: Flammarion, 2009. Paper, €10 . ISBN: 978-2-0812-2990-7. [REVIEW]Patrick O'Sullivan - 2012 - The Classical Review 62 (2):392-394.
  25. Prosperidad y Caída de la Atlántida. Influencias de Heródoto En El Relato Platónico de la Corrupción de la Pólis.Ivana Costa - 2011 - Praxis Filosófica 28:77-97.
    A partir de un análisis del tratamiento que hace Heródoto del problema de laprosperidad y la caída en su historia de Creso, este trabajo traza algunaslíneas de contacto entre este relato y el relato platónico sobre el ascenso ycaída de la Atlántida, fábula ejemplar acerca de la decadencia de la comunidadpolítica, para intentar mostrar en qué medida la causa de la caída de lapoderosa isla desaparecida es el alejamiento de sus habitantes de la phrónesis.Al hacerlo, habremos contribuido también –como un (...)
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  26. The Mythical Voice in the Timaeus-Critias: Stylometric Indicators.Harold Tarrant, Eugenio E. Benitez & Terry Roberts - 2011 - Ancient Philosophy 31 (1):95-120.
    This article presents evidence over which we stumbled while investigating a completely different part of the Platonic Corpus. While examining the ordinary working vocabulary of the doubtful dialogues and of those undisputed dialogues most readily compared with them, it seemed essential to have a representative sample of Plato's allegedly 'middle' and 'late' dialogues also. The real surprise came when the Critias was included, showing some frequencies not previously observed in Platonic dialogues. This prompted treatment of the Timaeus also, some of (...)
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  27. Socrates and Timaeus.Catherine Zuckert - 2011 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 15 (2):331-360.
    Plato’s Timaeus is usually taken to be a sequel to the Republic which shows the cosmological basis of Plato’s politics. In this article I challenge the traditional understanding by arguing that neither Critias’s nor Timaeus’s speech performs the assigned function. The contrast between Timaeus’s monologue and the silently listening Socrates dramatizes the philosophical differences between investigations of “the human things,” like those conducted by Socrates, and attempts to demonstrate the intelligible, mathematically calculable order of the sensible natural world, like that (...)
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  28. John Michell: from Atlantis to Avalon.Paul Screeton - 2010 - Market Harborough: Alternative Albion.
    A celebration of John Michel's insights and far-reaching influence, revealing his pivotal role in alternative culture over the last five decades.
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  29. Plato's Hesiod and the Will of Zeus: Philosophical Rhapsody in the Timaeus and the Critias.Andrea Capra - 2009 - In G. R. Boys-Stones & J. H. Haubold (eds.), Plato and Hesiod. Oxford University Press.
  30. Timaeus and Critias.Plato . (ed.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press UK.
    'The god wanted everything to be good, marred by as little imperfection as possible.'Timaeus, one of Plato's acknowledged masterpieces, is an attempt to construct the universe and explain its contents by means of as few axioms as possible. The result is a brilliant, bizarre, and surreal cosmos - the product of the rational thinking of a creator god and his astral assistants, and of purely mechanistic causes based on the behaviour of the four elements. At times dazzlingly clear, at times (...)
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  31. La noción de “hybris” en el Critias de Platón.Javier Picón Casas - 2008 - Areté. Revista de Filosofía 20 (1):75-110.
    Se justifican tres tesis. Primera, el sentido mítico-religioso tradicional de la justicia como castigo de la [palabra en griego] quedó desacreditado durante la Guerra del Peloponeso, como bien lo muestra Tucídides. Segunda, en tiempos de Aristóteles, tal sentido ya habría desaparecido en favor de un nuevo paradigma basado en el concepto de [palabra en griego]. Tercera, la obra de Platón constituye uno de los últimos intentosde recuperar ese sentido mítico-religioso tradicional tratando de interpretar la Guerra del Peloponeso a través del (...)
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  32. Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias. [REVIEW]Daryn Lehoux - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Science 41 (1):129-130.
  33. T. K. Johansen, Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004. Pp. vi+218. ISBN 0-521-79067-0. £45.00 . Monte Ransome Johnson, Aristotle on Teleology. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. Pp. xi+339. ISBN 0-19-928530-6. £45.00. [REVIEW]Daryn Lehoux - 2008 - British Journal for the History of Science 41 (1).
  34. Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias. [REVIEW]Catherine Osborne - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (4):610-614.
  35. War, Gods and Mankind in the Timaeus–Critias.Karel Thein - 2008 - Rhizai. A Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 5:49-107.
    Plato’s Timaeus–Critias juxtaposes a long description of our universe in the making with a discourse on human nature. The latter, confined to Critias, flanks Timaeus’ full-blown cosmogony without clearly articulating how, if at all, do the apparently so different stories fit together. By contrast to many precedent efforts at articulating their relation, the article tries to take seriously Timaeus’ distinction between the two kinds of divinities, whereby he opposes celestial bodies together with the ensouled physical universe to the traditional gods. (...)
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  36. Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the 'Timaeus–Critias' – Thomas Kjeller Johansen.Scott Carson - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):131-133.
  37. Atlantis: Myths, Ancient and Modern.Harold Tarrant - 2007 - The European Legacy 12 (2):159-172.
    In this paper I show that the story of Atlantis, first sketched in Plato's Timaeus and Critias, has been artificially shrouded in mystery since antiquity. While it has been thought from Proclus to the close of the twentieth century that Plato's immediate followers were divided on the issue of whether the story was meant to be historically true, this results from a simple misunderstanding of what historia had meant when the early Academic Crantor was first being cited as an exponent (...)
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  38. rec.: T.K. Johansen, Plato's Natural Philosophy. A Stdy of the TImaeus-Critias (Cambridge 2005).Mauro Bonazzi - 2006 - Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 61:1062-1065.
  39. Plato’s Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]John Dillon - 2006 - Ancient Philosophy 26 (2):408-411.
  40. Plato’s Natural Philosophy. [REVIEW]John Dillon - 2006 - Ancient Philosophy 26 (2):408-411.
  41. Plato's Natural Philosophy. A Study of the Timaeus–Critias. [REVIEW]James G. Lennox - 2006 - The Classical Review 56 (1):57-59.
  42. Militant Polis.Dorota Zygmuntowicz - 2006 - Archiwum Historii Filozofii I Myśli Społecznej 50.
    The author asks two questions. The first, is war really the best action of a polis how the introductory conversation of the Timaeus suggests. The second, has been the Sokrates’ desire to see his ideal polis in action fulfilled in the Timaeus-Critias sequence. The approach to the problems seems to be found in the Laws, where these two questions are turned to this one: might war be the pattern for a lawgiver.
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  43. Review of Thomas kjeller Johansen, Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias[REVIEW]Andrea Falcon - 2005 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2005 (3).
  44. Plato's Natural Philosophy: A Study of the Timaeus-Critias.Thomas Kjeller Johansen - 2004 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
    Plato's dialogue the Timaeus-Critias presents two connected accounts, that of the story of Atlantis and its defeat by ancient Athens and that of the creation of the cosmos by a divine craftsman. This book offers a unified reading of the dialogue. It tackles a wide range of interpretative and philosophical issues. Topics discussed include the function of the famous Atlantis story, the notion of cosmology as 'myth' and as 'likely', and the role of God in Platonic cosmology. Other areas commented (...)
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  45. Plato’s Atlantis and the Exploding Planet. [REVIEW]Diskin Clay - 2003 - The Classical Review 53 (01):56-.
  46. Plato’s Atlantis and The Exploding Planet. [REVIEW]Diskin Clay - 2003 - The Classical Review 53 (1):56-58.
  47. Atlantis Destroyed.Rodney Castleden - 2002 - Routledge.
    Plato's legend of Atlantis has become notorious among scholars as the absurdest lie in literature. Atlantis Destroyed explores the possibility that the account given by Plato is historically true. Rodney Castleden first considers the location of Atlantis re-examining two suggestions put forward in the early twentieth century; Minoan Crete and Minoan Thera. He outlines the latest research findings on Knossos and Bronze Age Thera, discussing the material culture, trade empire and agricultural system, writing and wall paintings, art, religion and society (...)
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  48. Creation and Procreation in Plato's Cosmology: A Reading of the "Timaeus".Julie Beth Sadoff - 2002 - Dissertation, State University of New York at Stony Brook
    "Creation and Procreation in Plato's Cosmology: A Reading of the Timaeus," shows that the maternal feminine principle is at once systematically excluded and yet logically necessary, that it is demeaned as female and then positively and metaphorically appropriated as male, thus giving the maternal feminine an uncanny presence in Plato's philosophy. This strategic maneuver is exposed in Plato's work at three levels: cosmic, human, and mythic; the cosmic sets the standard which the human strives to imitate and which the mythic (...)
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  49. Critias.William Morison - 2001 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  50. L'Atlantide de Platon, l'utopie vraie.Jean-François Pradeau - 2001 - Elenchos: Rivista di Studi Sul Pensiero Antico 22 (1):75-98.
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