The aim of this paper is to identify the grounds, forms and goals of Middle Platonic exegesis of Plato. Firstly, the author emphasises its general features: exegesis is the fundamental element in Middle Platonic writings; Plato’s Timaeus is its principal object; sources strongly suggest that Middle Platonic commentaries were usually Spezialkommentare, or at least did not have the form of standard running commentaries. Secondly, Middle Platonic interpretations of Plato’s cosmogony are taken into account in order to indicate the strategies which were canonically applied by exegetes: on the one hand, they considered specific lexeis, emending them or applying an exegesis kata lexin; on the other, they dealt with contents from a more general point of view by applying specific methods. Finally, the author emphasises the ideological grounds of Middle Platonic exegesis: from Middle Platonists’ perspective, exegesis was only supposed to explain and clarify Plato’s text, which is already perfect, in as much as they considered it as including a complete and consistent system of doctrines.
Keywords: Middle Platonic exegesis, exegetical methods, Plato’s Timaeus, Platonem ex Platone, Auctoritas, Platonic System