Platonism in the Renaissance

Platonism underwent a revival in the Renaissance, as part of a general revival of interest in Classical antiquity. Interest in Platonism was especially strong in Florence under the Medici.

During the sessions at Florence of the John Argyropoulos was lecturing on Greek language and literature at Florence, and Marsilio Ficino became his pupil. When Cosimo decided to refound Plato's Academy at Florence, his choice to head it was Ficino, who made the classic translation of Plato from Greek to Latin (published in 1484), as well as a translation of a collection of Hellenistic Greek documents of the Hermetic Corpus,[1] and the writings of many of the Neoplatonists, for example Porphyry, Iamblichus, Plotinus, et al.. Following suggestions laid out by Gemistos Plethon, Ficino tried to synthesize Christianity and Platonism.

Ficino's student Giovanni Pico della Mirandola also based his ideas chiefly on Plato, but Pico retained a deep respect for Aristotle. Although he was a product of the studia humanitatis, Pico was constitutionally an eclectic, and in some respects he represented a reaction against the exaggerations of pure humanism, defending what he believed to be the best of the medieval and Islamic commentators (see Averroes, Avicenna) on Aristotle in a famous long letter to Ermolao Barbaro in 1485. It was always Pico’s aim to reconcile the schools of Plato and Aristotle, since he believed they both used different words to express the same concepts. It was perhaps for this reason his friends called him "Princeps Concordiae, or "Prince of Harmony" (a pun on Prince of Concordia, one of his family’s holdings.[2]) Similarly, Pico believed an educated person should also study the Hebrew and Talmudic sources, and the Hermetics, because he believed they represented the same view seen in the Old Testament, in different words, of God.

The writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus had played an important role in the Renaissance Neoplatonic revival.[3]

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Yates, Frances A. (1964) Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. University of Chicago Press 1991 edition: ISBN 0-226-95007-7
  2. ^ Paul Oskar Kristeller, Eight Philosophers of the Italian Renaissance. Stanford University Press (Stanford, California, 1964.) P. 62.
  3. ^ Heiser, James D., Prisci Theologi and the Hermetic Reformation in the Fifteenth Century, Malone, TX: Repristination Press, 2011. ISBN 978-1-4610-9382-4.

External links

  • Christian Platonists and Neoplatonists


This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.