Nuptial Arithmetic: Marsilio Ficino's Commentary on the by Michæl J. B. Allen

By Michæl J. B. Allen

The most modern of Michael Allen's exclusive experiences of the Renaissance Neoplatonist, Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), offers a tricky, interesting textual content. overdue in his occupation, Ficino wrote a statement at the intractable passage in booklet VIII of Plato's Republic that issues the mysterious geometric or "fatal" quantity. He was once hence the 1st glossy interpreter of this well-known passage, and Allen is the 1st in our period to translate and elucidate his amazing commentary.

Allen's serious translation of Ficino's research of the deadly quantity passage exhibits the way it develops philosophical, mental, numerological, astrological, and prophetic issues that had a selected resonance on the finish of the 15th century.

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Additional info for Nuptial Arithmetic: Marsilio Ficino's Commentary on the Fatal Number in Book VIII of Plato's Republic

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41. Kristeller Supplementum 1:cxviicxxiii, clv; Marcel, Marsile Ficin, pp. 521533; Gentile in Mostra, pp. 155156 (no. 120). For Ficino's admiration in general for, and indebtedness to, the Valori family (Filippo, Niccolò's older brother who died in 1494, had been the financier of the 1484 Plato edition), see the Commentaria's proem to Niccolò, f. lv (= Opera, p. 2). We know from a letter to Uranius of 18 Jan. 1493 that Ficino composed his De Sole in the course of the summer of 1492 and followed it with the De Lumine.

It contains some suggested emendations to the Hoche edition on pp. 158166 and on pp. 3743 a tabular comparison of Nicomachus's work with Theon's. , 1916). 75. In De Artibus ac Disciplinis Liberalium Litterarum, chapter 4, De Arithmetica. 1208B. 76. Ed. Hermenegildus Pistelli (Leipzig, 1894), rev. Udalricus Klein (Stuttgart, 1975). For a summary, see Robbins in D'Ooge, Nicomachus, pp. 126131. 77. See Robbins and Karpinski in D'Ooge, Nicomachus, pp. 132142; also Bertier, Nicomaque, p. 9. 78. The De Institutione Arithmetica and the De Institutione Musica were edited together by Gottfried Friedlein (Leipzig, 1867).

99. The mention of Plotinus and Proclus at the conclusion of chapter 7 already cited above is Ficino's only allusion in the De Numero Fatali to the problem of the Platonic mathematicals and their status vis-à-vis the Ideas. We should recall that for the Greeks in general the unit is outside the number series, Aristotle defining number as "a plurality of units" or alternatively as a "limited plural(footnote continued on the next page) < previous page page_41 next page > < previous page page_42 next page > Page 42 In short, having found no guidance earlier in the Platonic tradition, and having wandered earnestly in the "delightful meadows" of the first twelve treatises of Proclus's Republic Commentary that had come to his attention as late as 1492 and still found nothing, Ficino must have gradually concluded that he would have to attempt an independent explication of the geometric number.

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