Ancient philosophy has a large and rich tradition, beginning in the sixth century bc and lasting until the end of the Western Roman Empire and the fall of the Byzantine Empire. How has the reception of ancient philosophy changed over time? ‘Why do we read Plato's Republic?’ focuses on some of the factors which separate us as inhabitants of a different time and culture from ancient philosophical texts and issues. Studying ancient philosophy means we see authors's work in fragments and through later interpretations. By recognizing the factors that separate us from the ancients, and that make the ‘canon’ of texts that we study so changeable, we bring philosophical discussion with the ancients closer, not further away.