Meditations on the Soul: Selected Letters of Marsilio Ficino

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The problems that taxed the minds of people during the Renaissance were much the same as those confronting us today. In their perplexity, many deep-thinking people sought the advice of Marsilio Ficino (1433-99), the leader of the Platonic Academy in Florence, a magnet for the most brilliant scholars of 15th-century Europe.

In devoting his life to the study and translation of the great dialogues of Plato and the Neoplatonists, Ficino and his colleagues were midwives to the birth ...

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Overview

The problems that taxed the minds of people during the Renaissance were much the same as those confronting us today. In their perplexity, many deep-thinking people sought the advice of Marsilio Ficino (1433-99), the leader of the Platonic Academy in Florence, a magnet for the most brilliant scholars of 15th-century Europe.

In devoting his life to the study and translation of the great dialogues of Plato and the Neoplatonists, Ficino and his colleagues were midwives to the birth of the modern world. Ficino was fearless in expressing what he knew to be true. Covering the widest range of topics, his letters offer a profound glimpse into the soul of the Renaissance.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Ficino (1433-99), a philosopher, translator, and commentator on Plato and founder of the Platonic Academy of Florence, was one of the most influential thinkers of the Renaissance. Artists such as Michelangelo and Raphael, writers such as Spenser and Milton, and rulers such as the Medici were influenced by Ficino's neoplatonic theology of love. Despite that, little of his work is easily available for modern readers. This selection of Ficino's letters, edited by British instructor Salaman, goes a long way toward making him more accessible. The letters, ranging in topics from virtue, the soul, and love and friendship to astrology, are really miniature essays summarizing Ficino's views. Also included are textual notes and biographies of the correspondents. This book is a profound service both to the student of Renaissance culture and to those interested in spirituality.- Thomas L. Cooksey, Armstrong State Coll., Savannah, Ga.
The New Humanity
Whoever owns this volume will have a rare treasure in his or her library. It is a veritable feast of literary quality and profundity of wisdom. . . . What an inexplicable joy to read these letters of five hundred years ago; they are fresh and lively as if written yesterday.
From the Publisher
"This book is a profound service to the student of Renaissance culture and to those interested in spirituality."

"Certainly among the most important philosophers of European history, Marsilio Ficino represents the reinterpretation of platonism and, in concert with this, is a central figure in what has come to be known as the Renaissance."

"Marsilio Ficino was at the very fountainhead of some of the most characteristic and influential aspects of the Italian Renaissance."

Times Literary Supplement
"Marsilio Ficino was at the very fountainhead of some of the most characteristic and influential aspects of the Italian Renaissance."
Parabola
"Certainly among the most important philosophers of European history, Marsilio Ficino represents the reinterpretation of platonism and, in concert with this, is a central figure in what has come to be known as the Renaissance."
Time Magazines Literary Supplement
"Marsilio Ficino was at the very fountainhead of some of the most characteristic and influential aspects of the Italian Renaissance."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780892815678
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear & Company
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Pages: 275
  • Product dimensions: 5.73 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Meet the Author

 Marsilio Ficino (1433-99) was a leading thinker in Florence, a magnet for the most brilliant scholars of fifteenth-century Europe, where the Italian Renaissance derived its impulse and direction, and where the West was awakened to a new realization about itself. In devoting most of his life to the study and translation of the great dialogues of Plato and the Neoplatonists, Ficino and his colleagues were midwives to the birth of the modern world. 

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Table of Contents


Introduction

Translators' Note

The Letters 
   Truth and Virtue
   Human Nature
   The Soul
   Music, Harmony, and Divine Frenzy
   Knowledge and Philosophy
   Fortune, Fate, and Happiness
   Divine Providence and the Good
   The Planets and Astrology
   Love, Friendship, and Marriage
   Worldly Things and Civic Duty

Notes on the Letters

Notes on Ficino's Correspondents

Bibliography

Index

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