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Ficino, Marsilio

(1433-1499). Italian philosopher and scholar who was born on October 19, 1433, at Figline near Florence and was ordained as a priest in 1473. The content of some of his writing exhibits similarity to certain theosophical principles. He believed that the whole universe interacted and that the human soul reached down through the “sphere of qualities” (Planes in Nature?) to the body and up through the sphere of the world soul to God. His view of the world as an animated entity unified by a dynamic unity might be regarded as a precursor of the biological force fields hypothesized by Rupert Sheldrake (A New Science of Life, 1982). Of particular interest to theosophists is his concept of the “triangle of love”; Ficino maintained that true love between individuals never occurs in isolation, but is always a triangle with God as its apex. His numerous translations from Greek into Latin include the Hermetic Corpus (1463, printed in 1471) and most importantly, the complete works of PLOTINUS and PLATO.

Ficino was an exponent of Platonism and Neoplatonism in the 15th century that led to a Platonic renaissance in Italy and which influenced European thought for several centuries. He died on October 1, 1499.

Reference: The Philosophy of Marsilio Ficino, P. O. Kristeller, 1953.


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