This volume consists of 21 essays on Marsilio Ficino (1433-99), the great Florentine scholar, philosopher and priest who was the architect of Renaissance Platonism and whose long-lasting influence on philosophy, love and music theory, medicine and magic extended across Europe. Grouped into three sections, they cover such topics as priesthood, the influence of Hermetic monism, Plotinus and Augustine, Jewish transmission of the prisca theologia, the 15th c. Plato-Aristotle controversy, the soul and its afterlife, the primacy of the will, theriac and musical therapy, the notions of matter, seeds, mirrors and clocks, and other fascinating philosophical and theological issues. Also considered are Ficino’s critics, his relationship to the Camaldolese Order, his letters to princes, his influence on art, on Copernicus, on Chapman, and the nature of the Platonic Academy.
Contributors include: Tamara Albertini, Michael J. B. Allen, Francis Ames-Lewis, Donald Beecher, Christopher S. Celenza, Stephen Clucas, Arthur Field, Hiroshi Hirai, Moshe Idel, Dilwyn Knox, Sergius Kodera, Jill Kraye, Dennis F. Lackner, Jörg Lauster, Anthony Levi, John Monfasani, Valery Rees, Clement Salaman, Peter Serracino-Inglott, M. Stéphane Toussaint, and Angela Voss.
Michael J.B. Allen, DLitt (Oxon), Ph.D. (Michigan) is Professor of English at UCLA, and an Editor of Renaissance Quarterly. His books include The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino (1984), Icastes (1989), Nuptial Arithmetic (1994), Plato’s Third Eye (1995) and Synoptic Art (1998).
Valery Rees, MA (Cantab) has been a member of the translation team working on Ficino’s Letters at the School of Economic Science, London since 1975 and is currently researching Ficino’s relationship with the court of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary.
List of Illustrations
Introduction, Michael J. B. Allen
1. Ficino the Priest, Peter Serracino-Inglott 2. The Camaldolese Academy: Ambrogio Traversari, Marsilio Ficino and the Christian Platonic Tradition, Dennis F. Lackner 3. Marsilio Ficino as a Christian Thinker: Theological Aspects of his Platonism, Jörg Lauster 4. Late Antiquity and Florentine Platonism: The ‘Post-Plotinian’ Ficino, Christopher S. Celenza 5. Ficino, Augustine and the Pagans, Anthony Levi 6. Echoes of Egypt in Hermes and Ficino, Clement Salaman 7. Prisca Theologia in Marsilio Ficino and in Some Jewish Treatments, Moshe Idel 8. Life as a Dead Platonist, Michael J. B. Allen
9. Marsilio Ficino and the Plato-Aristotle Controversy, John Monfasani 10. Intellect and Will in Marsilio Ficino: Two Correlatives of a Renaissance Concept of the Mind, Tamara Albertini 11. Orpheus redivivus: The Musical Magic of Marsilio Ficino, Angela Voss 12. Ficino, Theriaca and the Stars, Donald Beecher 13. Concepts of Seeds and Nature in the Work of Marsilio Ficino, Hiroshi Hirai 14. Narcissus, Divine Gazes and Bloody Mirrors: the Concept of Matter in Ficino, Sergius Kodera 15. Ficino, Archimedes and the Celestial Arts, Stéphane Toussaint
16. Neoplatonism and the Visual Arts at the Time of Marsilio Ficino, Francis Ames-Lewis 17. Ficino’s Advice to Princes, Valery Rees 18. The Platonic Academy of Florence, Arthur Field 19. Ficino in the Firing Line: A Renaissance Neoplatonist and His Critics, Jill Kraye 20. Ficino and Copernicus, Dilwyn Knox 21. ‘To rauish and refine an earthly soule’: Ficino and the Poetry of George Chapman, Stephen Clucas
List of Contributors
All those interested in intellectual history, the Renaissance, Platonism; history and philosophy of religion (Christian and Jewish), history of art, political theory, literature, early science, medicine and music.