I have been delving deeper into Greek philosophy lately, and I must say, I am quite fond of C.D.C Reeve's translations. His interpretations of various philosophical texts have always resonated with me. However, I recently stumbled upon Plato's Laws, and while I'm eager to explore it, I am uncertain about which translation to choose.

If any of you have had the opportunity to read C.D.C Reeve's version of this work, I would particularly appreciate your insights. How does it compare to other well-known translations in terms of accuracy, clarity, and capturing the essence of Plato's ideas?

Plato's writings are profound and multilayered, so having a translation that does justice to his original text is crucial. I believe a good translation can make all the difference in understanding and interpreting the philosophical ideas presented in the Laws.

Of course, I am open to suggestions beyond Reeve's work. If you have found another translation that you feel truly captures the spirit of Plato's thoughts and provides a compelling reading experience, please do share!

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    If you already have identified a translator whose work you like, you will very likely be OK with Reeve's translation. I'm afraid I can't advise you beyond that.
    – Ludwig V
    Jul 26, 2023 at 8:46
  • It is a good idea to use two translations, useful for opaque passages. Reeve's translation - ISBN 10: 1647920469ISBN 13: 9781647920463 - along with Saunders' Penguin translation should convey a reliable impression of Plato's ideas and arguments in the Laws. I must record my impression, however, that Pangle's translation of the Laws, while slightly more literal than the other two, is highly scholarly and more accurate than Saunders. Pangle also has a valuably illuminating interpretative essay.
    – Geoffrey Thomas
    Mar 22 at 10:21

1 Answer 1


Trevor J. Saunders' translation for Penguin Classics is likely a very readable and accessible choice for most modern readers. The fact that it includes helpful supplementary material like an introduction, glossary, and index makes it a good option for those coming to The Republic for the first time. The Penguin Classics translations tend to prioritize smooth, contemporary language over literalness, so this should be an easy way into the text. I would recommend Saunders' translation for anyone looking for a translation of The Republic that emphasizes clarity and approachability.

On the other hand, Thomas L. Pangle's translation takes a more literal, technical approach. This translation stays extremely close to Plato's original ancient Greek, even if that makes it less fluent in English. So while it may be challenging for readers unfamiliar with classical texts, this translation will appeal to serious scholars looking to analyze Plato's precise philosophic arguments and reasoning. For those willing to grapple with the literal style, Pangle's rigor and precision could provide insight into the nuances of Plato's original language and ideas.

  • Welcome to SE. This is a really good answer, obviously based on detailed knowledge. However, I'm afraid there is a snag. The question asks specifically about translations of the "Laws" and the "Republic" is a different book. If Saunders and Pangle have translated the "Laws" as well, your answer would still be some help, so perhaps you could clarify that.
    – Ludwig V
    Jul 26, 2023 at 8:54

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