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However, it is important to be aware of the causal chain that connects modern readers to Greek authors of Plato’s time.

To survive until the era of printing, an ancient author’s words had to be copied by hand, and the copies had to be copied, and so on over the course of centuries—by which time the original would have long perished.

The copying process inevitably resulted in some corruption, which is often shown by disagreement between rival manuscript traditions.

Even if some Platonic “urtext” had survived, however, it would not be anything like what is published in a modern edition of Plato’s works.

His own literary and philosophical gifts ensure that something of Plato will live on for as long as readers engage with his works. But the ordering of Thrasyllus makes no sense for a reader today.