Among other things, this timeline shows the distance between the original thinkers and some of the doxographers and commentators who reported their views and preserved fragments of their work. But although distance is likely to increase distortion, it must not be thought that a straightforward linear progression of distortion is necessarily the case: Plato was scarcely writing as a historian of philosophy, while Simplicius had many original works by his elbow as he wrote. All dates represent approximate floruits. Scholiasts and most pseudepigrapha are obviously undatable with much certainty. The most important sources are in bold type.