Learned People and Melancholy

Jennifer Radden

in The Nature of Melancholy

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195151657
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849253 | DOI:
Learned People and Melancholy

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This chapter presents Marsilio Ficino's discussion of melancholy. The son of a doctor, Ficino was born in Italy in 1433 and died in 1499. He lived to be a renowned figure of the Italian Renaissance, a Neoplatonist humanist, a translator of Greek philosophical writing, and the most influential exponent of Platonism in Italy in the 15th century. The passages in this chapter were taken from Three Books on Life, a work not on philosophy but on health, in particular the health hazards associated with the intellectual life. Here Ficino offers the learned causes, cures, and particular warnings concerning their health and well-being. The passages are taken from the very beginning of this set of three books. Ficino draws the link between the black bile of melancholy and the inspiration and exalted moods and achievements of genius.

Keywords: Marsilio Ficino; melancholy; Three Books on Life; genius; black bile

Chapter.  3126 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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