Marsilio Ficino

Craig Kallendorf

in Renaissance and Reformation

ISBN: 9780195399301
Published online June 2011 | | DOI:
Marsilio Ficino

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)
  • Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy


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Marsilio Ficino (b. 1433–d. 1499) is probably best known today for his translation of the works of Plato, which gave decisive direction to the Renaissance revival of interest in this part of the Greek philosophical tradition, and for his commentary to Plato’s Symposium, which shaped ideas about love in many parts of early modern culture. Also important, however, are his Platonic Theology, a Christian corrective to Proclus’s work of the same name, and his monumental De Christiana religione (On Christian religion), which united the various intellectual traditions that interested him (hermeticism, orphism, Pythagoreanism, Neoplatonism) in a grand synthetic effort to show that the “ancient theology” of the past, particularly in its Platonic iteration, was compatible with the Christian church he served. Considering himself a doctor of the body as well as of the soul, Ficino joined an interest in medicine and astrology to his philosophical and religious studies, not as an ivory tower academic, but as a scholar connected in varying degrees of intimacy with a succession of Medici rulers in Florence, from which his influence spread throughout Renaissance Europe and into many different disciplines.

Article.  6881 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945) ; Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy

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