Platonis Philosophi

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by Plato

Platonis Philosophi

Title page from Platonis Philosophi, George Wythe Collection, Wolf Law Library, College of William & Mary.

Author Plato
Editor Marsilio Ficino
Translator Marco Polo
Published Biponti (Zweibrücken): Ex typographia Societatis
Date 1781-1787
Language {{{lang}}}
Volumes 11 volume set
Pages 1013
Desc. {{{desc}}}
Location [[Shelf {{{shelf}}}]]
  [[Shelf {{{shelf2}}}]]

Plato (429–347 B.C.E.) was the philosophical student of Socrates, and subsequently a massive influence on western thought in his own right. Plato's work touches on all aspects of life and philosophy. His philosophy of the Forms, the ideal embodiment of any being or concept, leads people to question the world they see before themselves and to constantly strive for a better and more virtuous state of being.[2] His work in Republic, where Plato attempts with the help of two students to form the perfect city, would certainly have been on the minds of many during the eighteenth century.[3]

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Listed in the Jefferson Inventory of Wythe's Library as Plato. Gr. Lat. 12.v 8vo. and given by Thomas Jefferson to his grandson Thomas Jefferson Randolph. The Brown Bibliography[4] lists the 1781-1787 edition of Platonis Philosophi based on the existence of that title and edition in Jefferson's library.[5] George Wythe's Library[6] on LibraryThing concurs that Platonis Philosophi was the "probable" title in Wythe's Library but no specific edition is listed. One possible problem with the identification of the 1781-1787 edition Platonis Philosophi as the title in Jefferson's inventory is the fact that Jefferson lists "12.v." and this edition only has 11 volumes. However, many copies of this edition, including Jefferson's at the Library of Congress, appear to have been accompanied by Dialogorum Platonis Argumenta Exposita et Illustrata, a Diet (Tiedemann: Biponti, 1786) bound as volume 12.

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in mottled calf with gilt lining on boards and hilt decoration to spines. Has title labels inset on black morocco and copper engraved title vignettes. Contains bookplate of Frances Mary Richardson Currer. Purchased from K Books Ltd.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.

External Links

Google Books


  1. Full title: Platonis Philosophi Quae Extant Graece ad Editionem Henrici Stephani Accurate Expressa cum Marsilii Ficini Interpretatione; Praemittitur 1. III Laertii De Vita Et Dogm. Plat. cum Notitia Literaria. Accedit Varietas Lectionis. Studiis Societatis Bipontinae.
  2. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, sv. "Plato", last modified September 21, 2013,
  3. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, s.v. “American Philosophy”, last modified July 21 2005,
  4. Bennie Brown, "The Library of George Wythe of Williamsburg and Richmond," (unpublished manuscript, May, 2012) Microsoft Word file. Earlier edition available at:
  5. E. Millicent Sowerby, ""Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson 2nd ed. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1983), 2:33-34 (no.1311).
  6. LibraryThing, s. v. "Member: George Wythe," accessed on April 21, 2013,