Today, the Republic is often considered to be Plato's best known and most influential work. Some even consider it as one of the best known and most influential works of all of philosophy; at least it is a contender for this populist view.
However, during the Medieval ages, it was largely lost to Western Europe, and part of the Timaeus was the only Platonic work available before the 12th century (when the Meno and the Phaedo were translated, but not widely read). Except for this, Plato's works were unavailable to the Latindom until the Renaissance when Marsilio Ficino translated the complete works of Plato in the late 15th century (see also note ).
When they re-emerged, did the Republic become Plato's most popular work right away, or is that a more recent development? How long was it until it could be considered a contender in the public's eye or among philosophers as one of the most influential or famous works of philosophy?
Finally, I put "(re-)" in the title, is that appropriate? Was the Republic considered to be Plato's most popular work in antiquity (say during the Hellenistic period, when many schools formed as descendants of Socrates as told by Plato; see note ), or did the ancients prefer a different text of his?
After translating the works, it seems that Ficino commented on several dialogues like Parmenides, Sophist, Philebus, Timaeus, Phaedrus and (only) part of the Republic (the confusing numerology from 546a-e). Although he also uses some imagery from the Republic, like the cave, it seems to be mostly coming through engaging with Plotinus and not Plato's Republic directly.
It would seem that the Republic was at-least mildly important for the ancients, given that people like Zeno (founder of Stoicism) wrote book-length responses. However, I don't know how much response other dialogues by Plato had garnered, so this is not convincing evidence for me.
I am not as interested in if the work was actually influential or widely read, but if it was considered to be influential and widely read. However, knowledge of the first can inform the second.