The Brahman of India were advisors in both natural things and in the purification of the soul. Oh people of our celestial homeland and citizens and inhabitants of earth I beg you, if we can then let us liberate philosophy, the sacred gift of God, from impiety whenever we can. , and if you can't find the answer there, please In Egypt mathematicians and philosophers engaged in both the priesthood and kingship. date: 27 November 2020. Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. All rights reserved. It then shows how Ficino creates this space by means of his Neoplatonic, Augustinian theology. contact us , The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino: A Study of his Phaedrus Commentary, its Sources and Genesis, Berkeley, 1984 Baker , Patrick , Italian Renaissance Humanism in the Mirror , Cambridge, 2015 Baxandall , Michael , Giotto and the Orators: Humanist Observers of Painting in Italy and the Discovery of Pictorial Composition, 1350–1450 , Oxford , 1971 A note of caution to the reader: Ficino’s knowledge of history, though on the cutting edge for his day, is not always accurate. Priests, however, [I exhort] to apply themselves diligently to the study of legitimate wisdom. Much of the details of Marsilio Ficino’s life have come from Giovanni Corsi’s “ The Life of Marsilio Ficino” which was written seven years after Ficino’s death in 1506 and from the twelve volumes of letters he sent to his friends and leaders all over Europe and England that Ficino meticulously copied and saved. Keywords: Oh very unhappy age, when at last the miserable separation and divorce of Palladis and Themidis (that is wisdom and virtue) befalls it. I exhort everyone and I entreat philosophers specifically, therefore, to either thoroughly take up [the subject of] religion or to touch upon it [in their writings]. It is for this reason that they investigate the works of the first causes of things and that they diligently administer sacrifices to the highest causes of things and [for this reason lovers of wisdom] exist among all of the heathen philosophers and priests. The “Platonic Academy” of Florence, scholars now believe, was not an official program of Platonic education but rather a gathering, a convivium Platonicorum if you will, of both clergymen (Ficino et alia), professional scholars (esp. Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) was ordained a priest in 1473, and from the center of cultural life in Florence he attempted to draw people to Christ through Platonism. To troubleshoot, please check our You could not be signed in, please check and try again. I have proved, nevertheless, and I shall not cease to prove that I have not confided in my own abilities but in the mercies of both God and men. Would that I never were nor am found wanting, seeing that the favor and help of God himself and of the Medici has never been found wanting. 3 One may achieve this goal, Ficino believed, not only by returning to the texts of the Platonists, but also by returning to the original Greek text of the New Testament, and also by setting aside the Medieval textual “authorities” such as the Glossa ordinaria, Peter Lombard’s sentences and the individual texts of the church fathers. Recently you have ordained, so far as you are able, to combine in me the study of philosophy with the pious office, as has been your custom with several others. How long shall we prop up this wretched and unbending fortune of the iron age? His current work focuses on Marsilio Ficino, culminating in his recent monograph, Plato’s Persona: Marsilio Ficino, Renaissance Humanism, and Platonic Traditions. Denis J.-J. And finally, is anyone unaware of the teachings, so great and so true, of the early Christian bishops and presbyters? FAQs For a great education has been taken from its place and transferred to the profane, from whom malicious things must now be taught rather than knowledge, resulting in a multitude of iniquity and a means to lasciviousness. He was an astrologer, a reviver of Neoplatonism in touch with the major academics of his day and the first translator of Plato's complete extant works into Latin. Ficino not only spearheaded the project for a revitalized Platonic Christianity in his multi-volume argument for the immortality of the soul – the Platonic Theology (1469-1474) – but he also wrote what Edelheit refers to as the “manifesto” for the new humanist theology, his De Christiana Religione written between 1473 and 1474. How much I have accomplished or will have accomplished in this matter, I do not know. All Rights Reserved. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter. How you have preserved intact this divine link between wisdom and religion, especially among Jews and Christians. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Laurenzo de’ Medici, protector of our native land, Between wisdom and religion exists the greatest relationship. Moreover, in order that I might better consult divine favor for myself, that it might not be found lacking in me when I was first initiated into the sacred priesthood, and in order that I might give thanks to you, I have composed the book “de Christiana religione,” which I have decided to dedicate, in truth, to you the supporter of this confession of mine and particularly to the disciples of wisdom and to the caretakers of piety. By wedding theology to philosophy in the Platonic way, Ficino also proposed to bring the secular political leaders into closer connection with religion and church authorities so that the whole commonwealth might work together to promote the full range of the virtues, theological and political, for the sake of both civility and piety. The seeming endlessness of the Medieval commentaries only act to obscure rather than unveil the true source of wisdom. Marsilio Ficino was an Italian scholar and Catholic priest who was one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance. The philosophers from Persia were called “magi” (that is “priests”) because they were in charge of the sacred rites. Marsilio Ficino is perhaps the paragon of Renaissance philosophical humanism – Renaissance “humanism,” as Kristeller thoroughly demonstrated, properly refers to the promotion of the “humanities” or liberal arts. He is currently the principal investigator of a project aimed at providing critical editions and studies of Ficino’s Latin translations of Iamblichus’s De secta pythagorica and Theon of Smyrna’s Mathematica . Ficino drew from the religious texts of the ancient pagans in order to give evidence for his assertion that the immortality of the soul is and always has been a doctrine that is fundamental to human society and that this doctrine, as it is found in prisca theologia, finds its culmination in Christ, since he is the true and complete “realization of the notion of divinity in human beings.” 4 The following is my translation of Ficino’s “proem” to his De Christiana Religione, which has never been translated into English perhaps due to the bias in scholarship toward Ficino’s philosophy.
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