The Letters of Marsilio Ficino: Volume 9

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More About This Title The Letters of Marsilio Ficino: Volume 9


Spanning from the end of 1489 to the spring of 1491, this compilation of letters by Marsilio Ficino—one of the most influential humanist philosophers of the early Italian Renaissance—dates to what is to become the final decade of his life. As they provide insight into how Ficino drew on Platonic philosophy and Christian theology to advise his correspondents on how to deal with the practical affairs of life, these letters are written to the likes of Lorenzo de Medici and well-established members of the ecclesiastical hierarchy who would be able to protect him from future action from the Curia—the Church had recently cleared him of the charges of involvement with magic and predictive astrology. Intriguing and enlightening, this volume exemplifies Ficino’s ability to rise above the limits of time, place, and individuality.


Arthur Farndell has been a member of the team of scholars at the School of Economic Science in London for more than 35 years. He is the translator of many of Marsilio Ficino’s commentaries on Plato’s Dialogues, which have been published in four volumes as All Things Natural, Evermore Shall Be So, Gardens of Philosophy, and When Philosophers Rule.


“From every point of view, it is a pleasure to read this perfect introduction to one of the most attractive and influential figures of the Italian Renaissance.”  —C. V. Wedgwood, Daily Telegraph

"All that we regard as the norm of Western European art, Botticelli's paintings, Monteverdi's music, Shakespeare's philosophical lovers . . . has flowered from Ficino's Florence."  —Kathleen Raine, Times

“Undoubtedly these letters comprise one of the “spiritual classics” of the past thousand years.”  —Christopher Booker, Spectator

“So well translated, so well annotated, and so beautifully produced that it is a pleasure to read and possess.”  —Heythrop Journal

“... these letters indicate that even an intellectual giant such as Marsilio Ficino had to be careful to secure his position in order to gain the freedom to finish his seminal translations of the Greek philosophers ... it is a fascinating book for historians.”  —Contact"There is no doubt that without Ficino, the Western World would not have the ready access to priceless, long abandoned works of Greek Philosophers. This is a fascinating book for historians and is an object lesson on how to live in the world and yet not be attached to it. There is a rather beautiful facsimile copy of the original text in Latin included."  —Peter Miodownik, The Study Society