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Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews

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  • John Uebersax
    A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino s Florentine circle. It didn t take long
    Message 1 of 11 , Nov 1, 2009
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      A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino's Florentine circle. It didn't take long before the list expanded to an unmanageable level. There were Platonists all over the place, beyond counting. And this was probably true in other historical periods as well. We know about the famous figures. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. We like to think it's the famous figures who define the history of philosophy. That's one view. An alternative is that it's the zeitgeist that evolves, and that the famous figures are markers, indicators of the zeitgeist -- or maybe catalysts -- but not the same as the zeitgeist itself. It's arguably the greater numbers of students and scholars quietly studying Platonism on their own that are the defining element.

      John Uebersax
    • leslie greenhill
      John   Would you place Leonardo da Vinci in that circle?  I have made a study of his version of Vitruvian Man and certain aspects of his notebooks.  I have
      Message 2 of 11 , Nov 1, 2009
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        John
         
        Would you place Leonardo da Vinci in that circle?  I have made a study of his version of Vitruvian Man and certain aspects of his notebooks.  I have a strong view that he had Platonic and Pythagorean leanings.  And in my hometown, Melbourne, like a few new world cities, our early architecture (via Freemasonry) has been extensively influenced by Platonic and Pythagorean ideas.  A preliminary examination of one of our most significant structures suggests that key aspects of Plato's design for Atlantis has been ingeniously incorporated.  
         
        Les
         
        P.O. Box 314
        Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
        Email: neoplatonist2000@...

        --- On Sun, 1/11/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...> wrote:


        From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>
        Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
        To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
        Received: Sunday, 1 November, 2009, 6:03 PM


         



        A while back I tried to compile a list of Platonists in the Italian Renaissance, beginning with Marsilio Ficino's Florentine circle. It didn't take long before the list expanded to an unmanageable level. There were Platonists all over the place, beyond counting. And this was probably true in other historical periods as well. We know about the famous figures. But they were just the tip of the iceberg. We like to think it's the famous figures who define the history of philosophy. That's one view. An alternative is that it's the zeitgeist that evolves, and that the famous figures are markers, indicators of the zeitgeist -- or maybe catalysts -- but not the same as the zeitgeist itself. It's arguably the greater numbers of students and scholars quietly studying Platonism on their own that are the defining element.

        John Uebersax

















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      • John Uebersax
        Les, I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino s Platonic circle, but don t recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy
        Message 3 of 11 , Nov 2, 2009
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          Les,

          I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino's Platonic circle, but don't recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy question for anybody who had any expertise in the subject). Certainly da Vinci was not far removed, in any case; he knew Botticelli, and Lorenzo de Medici was his patron for many years (both in Ficino's circle), and owned at least one of Ficino's books.

          Ficino was by no means the first or only Florentine intellectual stimulating interest in Plato, Pythagoras and Hermeticism, so its hard to imagine Leonardo not having ample opportunity to explore such subjects.

          John
        • leslie greenhill
          Certainly.  I am especially interested in Leonardo s relationships with Donato Bramante and, in particular, with Cesar Cesariano, who also published a
          Message 4 of 11 , Nov 2, 2009
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            Certainly.  I am especially interested in Leonardo's relationships with Donato Bramante and, in particular, with Cesar Cesariano, who also published a version of Vitruvius's "The Ten Books on Architecture" in 1521.  If I ever get anywhere with my work, Cesariano, may well turn out to be one of the most significant Platonic/Pythagorean characters in history.  From some findings I have made, he seems to have a profound understanding of the "mysteries".
             
            Les

            P.O. Box 314
            Mentone, Victoria 3194 Australia
            Email: neoplatonist2000@...

            --- On Tue, 3/11/09, John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...> wrote:


            From: John Uebersax <john.uebersax@...>
            Subject: Re: [neoplatonism] Neoplatonism book reviews
            To: neoplatonism@yahoogroups.com
            Received: Tuesday, 3 November, 2009, 2:07 AM


             



            Les,

            I looked into possible direct connection between da Vinci and Ficino's Platonic circle, but don't recall what I concluded (though this would be an easy question for anybody who had any expertise in the subject). Certainly da Vinci was not far removed, in any case; he knew Botticelli, and Lorenzo de Medici was his patron for many years (both in Ficino's circle), and owned at least one of Ficino's books.

            Ficino was by no means the first or only Florentine intellectual stimulating interest in Plato, Pythagoras and Hermeticism, so its hard to imagine Leonardo not having ample opportunity to explore such subjects.

            John















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