Ficino’s commentary on Plato’s Timaeus offers the English reader, for the first time, an opportunity to share the insights of this highly influential Renaissance philosopher into one of Plato’s most important and controversial works. Here are discussed the perennial questions which affect us all: What is the nature of the universe? How did it begin? Does it have a cause outside itself? What is our place in it? What is the nature of mind, soul, matter and time?

The central portion of the work, focusing on number, harmony, and music, has exerted a strong influence on the history of Western musical theory. Ficino added an appendix which amplifies and elucidates Plato’s meanings and reveals fascinating detail about Ficino himself.

This volume provides rich source material for all who are interested in philosophy, the history of cosmic theory, and Platonic and Renaissance studies.

This completes the four-volume series, including Gardens of Philosophy, Evermore Shall Be So and When Philosophers Rule, which contain all Ficino’s commentaries not previously translated into English.


Author Details
Arthur Farndell is one of the world’s leading translators of Renaissance philosophy, having worked for many years on the translations of The Letters of Marsilio Ficino, ten volumes of which have been published by Shepheard-Walwyn to date.

You can read more about Arthur Farndell on his author page.


‘”All Things Natural is not a new translation of the Timaeus, but a commentary on it. Surprisingly, this is the first time it has been translated into English and Arthur Farndell has to be congratulated on offering the reader a rare chance to see how the Timaeus was viewed at the time of the Renaissance.” Contact

“…like previous volumes, it is gracefully translated so that one has an impression of the refined quality of Ficino’s mind … [he] was concerned to align the wisdom of Plato with Christian revelation … That Ficino was a Christian Platonist is a major reason why he was so influential among the philosophers, theologians and artists of his time. This also situates him in the long tradition of Christian mysticism that has always drawn upon aspects of Platonism …

“Not only does Ficino easily reconcile Platonism with Christianity here, he indicates the proper manner in which the Timaeus is to be read. It is an elaboration of the divine nature of the cosmos, of how the devout mind perceives it. It is not a description of the universe in the modern scientific sense …

“This book is, without question, a major contribution to Renaissance scholarship and in particular to Ficino scholarship. At the same time, as is typical of Ficino, it is delightful to read and is imbued with a lofty love of wisdom and a dedication to divine truth that are inspiring.”
Temenos Academy Review

“It fills a need, since these Ficinian works have never been translated into English before. Even those Anglophone scholars who know Latin still need a translation in order to read quickly through a large body of material.”
Carol V. Kaske, Cornell University in Renaissance Quarterly