The Platonic Academy of Florence and Renaissance Historiography | james hankins - catchsomeair.us
This is not simply a study of the Platonic figures and their relationship with the elements; the author . "Le Marcionisme est une rcaction de la conscience chretienne STUDNICKA, F. K. Quelques notions fonda- (Historia y filosofia de la. Le scepticisme de Montaigne: nouvelles perspectives. . Studi di filosofia e scienze umane in onore di Umberto Galeazzi>, Orthotes editrice, Napoli , p. ma che tocca l'aspetto più profondo della sua filosofia: la costruzione dell'oriz- .. su cosa si fonda l'inclusione stessa della totalità non in quanto molteplice – ché .. In this paper we will look into the issue regarding the relationship bet- in the context of the philosophy that seeks in the Platonic tradition its source of.
The Platonic Academy of Florence was another invented tradition, like the twelfth-century School of Chartres, debunked in the s by Sir Richard Southern.
My argument was primarily a philological one. I am not trying to deny or belittle the historical significance of that movement.
It is perfectly true that Ficino had numerous disciples and followers, both professionals and amateur gentlemen, many of whom were important figures in the Florentine intellectual world. That designation Ficino reserved for the young men who were informally his pupils, his quasi discipuli, his academici, who were, most of them, also students at the Studio in Florence.
The term academici was applied to them the more easily as academia was the normal humanist word for university, and was commonly applied to the University of Florence. So the rest of this article will discharge that officium interpretis and constitute the last chapter in my studies of the myth of the Platonic Academy. The work was commissioned by Giovanni Tornabuoni, who was related to the Medici by marriage, and is a virtual portrait-gallery of the Medici circle.
They are depicted side-by-side as equals, two Platonists and two Aristotelians, one philosopher and three students of literature. Landino is perhaps the most prominent figure, Ficino the most marginal.
This appropriation of Ficino by the Mediceans is visible in the first biography of the great Platonist, by Giovanni Corsi, composed around Like other members of the first Orti Oricellari group which included several disciples of FicinoCorsi was hostile to the Soderini regime and felt it was vulnerable to criticism in the matter of its support for culture.
Surely a man who consorted on equal terms with great philosophers could not himself have lacked prudence and wisdom? In this, Corsi was merely continuing the practice of Cosimo il Vecchio and other Renaissance rulers who legitimated Medici rule by showing how the banker surrounded himself with the wise and virtuous, the finest lights of genius and learning. Ficino dedicated to him his Commentaria in Platonem of and a book of his letters.
The master theme Valori chose to bind all these themes together was the theme of Lorenzo the Platonic Philosopher-King. En hospes, hic est Marsilius Sophiae pater, Platonicum qui dogma, culpa temporum Situ obrutum, illustrans et Atticum decus Servans Latio dedit; fores primus sacras Divino aperiens mentis actus numine Vixit beatus ante, Cosmi munere Laurique Medicis, nunc revixit publico.
The erection of the portrait bust may, too, be in part a political statement linking Medici rule with Platonism: Ficino is shown playing his translation of Plato as though it were a lyre. The implicit message may be that Platonic philosophy, revived thanks to Medici patronage, is a source of harmony and concord. Varchi, a former opponent of the Medici who was restored to favor in the s, does not lose the opportunity to praise Cosimo il Vecchio and Lorenzo for their patronage of literary men.
So great was the supply of men learned in all the liberal arts and every discipline that at that time more cultivated, well trained and perfectly educated men could be found in one house than can be found today in the entire province. That age brought forth to omit others Ficinos, Polizianos, Crinitos, … Picos, Argyropouli, and many others at the same time, who filled the most flourishing academy of the Medici [academia Medicum], that is to say, the whole city.
This picture predominated as late aswhen, in an oration in praise of academies by Scipione Bargaglithe Medici academy is still not seen as specifically philosophical or Platonic. Ficino is, again, not given a place that would indicate his leadership of the group, though he is at least placed next to Lorenzo. Here again, Cosimo is flanked by artists and men of letters who belonged to his clientele, including Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Lorenzo Lippi, Argyropoulos, and Paolo Uccello, though Ficino and Donatello are here given pride of place in the foreground.
For it is inin a preface of Francesco Verino Secondo,16 that we get the first reference to an academy of Platonists founded by Cosimo il Vecchio. Both the year and the person are significant.
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Here we see all the elements of the mature myth of the Platonic Academy: On the books scattered below one can read the titles: Plotinus, Proclus, Chalcidius, Plato. Following the lapse of the Plato chair in and the condemnation of Galileo there had been a temporary reprise of Aristotelianism at the University of Pisa.
But there were also various attempts to free Pisan science from Aristotle in the s. It is not easy to say why Gaudenzi introduced this theme into his oration. Perhaps he wanted to intimidate the Aristotelians by giving the impression that the opposition now had Prince Leopold on their side. It is also the first place where the villa of Careggi is characterized as the site of the Platonic Academy. This interpretation was given further currency by J. Schelhorn, the first modern biographer of Ficino,25 who was followed, for example, by F.
Mencken, the author of an important early study of Poliziano. Protettori delle lettere e delle belle arti, ragionamenti istorici was, as the title suggests, written to glorify the Medici Grand Dukes. Brucker, as is well known, saw Renaissance humanism and Platonism as proto-Enlightenment movements which had the salutary effect of freeing Europe from the dark night of scholasticism.
Brucker adds following Schelhorn that Ficino also taught at the University of Florence, but took relaxation and studied at villas in the countryside — not just Careggi, but also villas at Maiano, Celano and Rignano. This plan was put into effect by his grandson, Lorenzo, who personally chose as his academicians certain learned men from his retinue who were particularly addicted to Plato. Lorenzo put Landino, Ficino, and Pico to work translating and commenting on Plato. Poets, orators and others who cultivated the liberal arts were invited to join.
Landino, surprisingly, is identified as the first head of the Academy, who was succeeded by Ficino.
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He is also the first to propose that the famous meetings sponsored by Bernardo Rucellai in the Orti Oricellari were a continuation of the meetings of the Platonic Academy. Bandini admits that this later Academy rather lost sight of Platonism: It is not clear why Bianchini and Bandini revived the late Renaissance myth of the Platonic Academy during the s, but one possible explanation is that it was connected with efforts by a wealthy nobleman, Dante Antonino Catellini Filitieri da Castiglione, Marchese di Cavacurta, to revive the old Platonic academies of the age of Lorenzo.
They are said to take place annually, and to last five hours. Only the banquets of andhowever, are attested. Compositions in Latin and Italian are read beneath a bust of Plato. Twenty-six learned men attended the meeting, all leading literary men of Florence, six of them members of the Accademia Colombaria. At least there is no figure who is easily identifiable as Ficino; the real leader here is Lorenzo. It is no wonder that the idea of a Platonic Academy of Florence, founded by Lorenzo, the enlightened prince, to dispel scholastic mists and medieval darkness, appealed to the historians of the Age of Reason.
Bandini and Fabroni are in turn followed by Girolamo Tiraboschi and William Roscoeboth standard authorities for nineteenth-century Renaissance scholarship. Their support for the Platonic Academy, like their other forms of cultural patronage, showed that the Medici had refined tastes despite their merchant background and were eager to civilize and elevate the taste of their fellow citizens. Roscoe, who made his fortune in the commercial boom of Liverpool and who later founded a number of learned institutes, clearly approved of this aspect of Medici activity.
Some writers add still more details to the myth: This view of the Academy and Ficino seems to have particularly attractive to the historical painters of the Ottocento, several of whom present Ficino in a heroic light as a kind of fifteenth-century Mazzini. He challenges the Medici circle to a life of contemplation and action, while Lorenzo sits dourly, hand on hip, in a non-committal attitude. Ficino is now a young, idealistic guru of bourgeois Florentines on holiday in the country; there is even a peasant woman who seems absorbed in what he is saying.
The first chapter is an attempt to reconstruct the thought of Arcesilaus accordingly to topics named in the subchapters: Thus, one needs to confine oneself to testimonies that have us believe either that Arcesilaus did not have any positive philosophy that could be attributed to him—in this case, he would only have been reacting dialectically to the arguments of other philosophers mainly Zeno of Citium, the Stoicby trying to lead their arguments to a reductio ad absurdum; or, on the other hand, and even if Arcesilaus had argued dialectically, that by this very approach he was advancing his own views on the subjects under examination.
Vezzoli begins his discussion of epistemology with opinion.
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The third subchapter of the first chapter of the book is divided in two sections. On the other hand, concerning moral practice p. The second chapter of the first part of the book is dedicated to the problem of the Platonism of Arcesilaus. Starting with this issue the unity of the Academythe first subchapter of the second chapter is divided in two sections. But in ancient philosophy, following the trail is never a job without any risks and questions.
Thus, Vezzoli finds himself at a crossroads and has to give answers to those old questions: Was Arcesilaus a Pyrrhonist and to what extant?