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SECTION HEADINGS
Introduction
Saturn and Melancholy
Neoplatonic Influences
Geniture of Ficino
Hermetic Texts
Judicial Astrology
Criticisms of his work
Vacillations
Notes & References
About the Author




 

The Influence of Marsilio Ficino - by Sue Toohey




In the history of fifteenth century Renaissance thought the name Marsilio Ficino rarely springs to mind other than as translator of the works of philosophers more ancient and more celebrated than he. As translator of such philosophers as Plato and Plotinus, Ficino has often been overlooked as a philosopher in his own right. Yet his immeasurable contribution to the intellectual tradition of philosophy, astrology and theology cannot be disregarded. Not only did he bring the past into the present, he did so in a way that brought new consideration to what he understood to be the purpose of philosophy "an ascent of the mind from the lower regions to the highest, and from darkness to light". [1]


Born on 19th October, 1433, in Figline, Italy, little is known about Ficino's childhood until he was acknowledged by Cosimo de Medici as having immense potential as a scholar. Known to Cosimo through the young Ficino's father, (believed to have been physician to the Florentine ruler), he was offered patronage to translate many of the great works of antiquity into Latin. It was this patronage that gave Ficino the opportunity to become one of the most outstanding philosophers of Renaissance Italy.

Described as hunchbacked, lisping and prone to melancholy, Ficino was also a brilliant and charismatic person. He never tired of informing his readers that he was born under the influence of Saturn, a feature that was to infringe on his contentment throughout his entire life. Born at a time when Aquarius was on the ascendant, he estimates that he was born in the region of the 21st hour. No hour was recorded at his birth so Ficino was required to rely on the subsequent memory of his parents. In the 15th century, the hours were still calculated from day's end. The first hour was at sunset meaning that the 21st hour of the 19th was somewhere between the hours of 1pm and 2pm. Using information from his correspondence, the most common time given is 1:26 pm. [2]




Saturn and Melancholy


Ficino appears to be profoundly influenced by the fact that his ascendant is in Aquarius and Saturn, ruler of Aquarius, is rising at the time of his birth. He often laments what he sees as the regrettable reality that he is a casualty of the ill-fated and malefic planet Saturn and that this is to blame for his melancholic temperament. It is this characteristic that has conceivably been the single most important factor in the way in which Ficino viewed the world, or at least his position in it. He at times displayed the attitude of someone undoubtedly weighed down with bleak pessimism that often permeated his writings, both personal and philosophical, while at the same time proving himself to be a profound example of the conviction that the melancholic temperament produced scholars and philosophers of exceptional ability.

When Ficino complains that Saturn has impressed the seal of melancholy on him, he is referring to the fact that Saturn is the planet attributed to the melancholic temperament. The notion of melancholy is an ancient one and is derived from empirical medicine. The humours, of which melancholy is one of four, can be traced back to the influence of Pythagoras, which was taken up by Empedocles. The credit for developing the one system leading to the doctrine of humoralism is given to the writer of On the Nature of Man, written no later than 400BCE, and attributed by the ancients, according to Galen, either to Hippocrates or his son-in-law, Polybus.

In Timaeus, written in 360BCE, Plato explains that the diseases of the body are caused by a lack of balance between the four elements. It was these elements that Plato discusses at length (air, fire, earth, and water), that eventually became related to the four humours. Sanguine relates to air, choleric to fire, melancholy to earth and phlegmatic to water. Once these humours began to denote pathological states it gradually developed into a doctrine of four temperaments. They became signatures of the individual, each person having a temperament that dominated. It was when these temperaments were out of balance that the individual became unwell. Isadore explained it well when he said, 'the healthy are governed by these four humours, and the sick suffer from them.' [3]

It is not surprising that melancholy was the first temperament to transform into a clear differentiation between actual disease and mere predisposition. Melancholy had the most marked pathological connotation of the four humours and it became the one where a difference was most clearly discerned between pathological states and divergence of character. The complete system of the doctrine of the four temperaments, correlating habitual physical and mental qualities with the four humours, was not fully developed until at least 200CE or perhaps even later.

The major difference between melancholy and all other temperaments is that, unlike the other temperaments, which originally manifest as physical changes only, the disease known as 'melancholia' was one that was primarily characterised by mental changes. These changes included such things as depression and madness. Later, these changes came to be understood as a bodily illness with mental repercussions. It is at this time that the shift occurred from the doctrine of the four humours into a theory of character and mental types which became known as the four temperaments.

Ficino gave particular consideration to the melancholic temperament in his writings. This temperament had not always enjoyed a very high consideration among the older authors. Ficino cites such authors as Plato, Democritus and Aristotle,[4] to explain that all exceptional scholars have been melancholics. He says that these authors show that most intelligent people are prone to excitability or madness. Citing Plato, who says in Phaedrus that without madness one knocks at the doors of poetry in vain, Ficino explains that even though Plato perhaps intends divine madness to be understood, according to the physicians madness of this kind is never incited in anyone else but melancholics. [5]

It became even more difficult to find positive reports of melancholy when it became united with Saturn, a planet that had endured a long history of pessimistic consideration. However, Ficino assigns to melancholy a special aptitude for contemplation thereby attributing it to the temperament of intellectual people in general. Having assigned melancholy a positive influence he could now attribute to Saturn, considered to be the contributor of that temperament, a good and beneficent influence.

In the first book of De Vita, Ficino sets out the view that writers and philosophers are by nature of a melancholic temperament and are subject to the influence of Saturn. For Ficino, a man who does not recognise his miserable state becomes even more miserable by this very fact. The first step in overcoming one's own misery is a conscious knowledge of it.


Neoplatonic Influences


Positive evaluation of Saturn's influence was to a certain extent derived from features of the Saturnian myths. These can be traced partly to the myths of the Golden Age, perhaps including such instances as Saturn's trip to Latium described in Virgil's Aeneid. Saturn as a mythological creature was identified with the syncretism of Greek and Roman religion and known as Kronos. Even in its original identity, there were many positive and negative qualities to the god. Kronos assisted his mother, Gaia, overthrowing his father Ouranos. However, he later betrays his own wife, Rhea, eventually being overthrown by his son, Zeus. It was then that he became ruler of the Golden Age.

Nevertheless, it was the Neoplatonists who attempted to give the most positive picture to the planet Saturn. The essential positivity of Neoplatonist thought contrasted sharply with the negative astrological notions of Saturn that had previously been regarded. The objective of Neoplatonism was to find a metaphysical unity which could give meaning to all physical existence. There was no such thing as a planet with an essentially evil influence. Even the most malign of the planets was still nearer to the divine than anything in the material world. In De Vita, Ficino expresses a similar sentiment. Saturn, according to Ficino, "cannot easily signify the common quality and lot of the human race, but he signifies an individual set apart from others, divine or brutish, blessed or bowed down with the extreme of misery". [6]

The work of Manilius, rediscovered by the Florentine Poggio Bracciolini in 1416-17, appears to have been used extensively by Ficino, most notably in Commentary on Plato's Symposium where he sets out the twelve gods of the zodiac. This is clearly the same attribution that Manilius had given in Astronomica. However, in Platonic Theology, Ficino attributes the scheme to the Pythagoreans.

In the first sphere across the zodiac we see twelve sidereal animals. In each of these animals shines a principal star, like that animal's heart painted in the sky. The soul of the whole constellation lives life in that heart. This is where the Pythagoreans, accordingly, locate the twelve divine souls ... [7]

Interestingly, this scheme does not include Saturn at all but rather attributes Vesta to Capricorn and Juno to Aquarius.

It is unlikely Ficino has used intermediary sources for this information as Astronomica was virtually unknown in the Middle Ages and was not cited by anyone in antiquity. Apart from the alleged similarities of the fifth book of Astronomica by Firmicus Maternus,[8] incorporated into his own book Mathesis, there are very few references to this work. The first reference since Maternus, other than biographical, is from Ficino's use of it in the Commentary on Plato's Symposium.

It was Ficino, according to Klibansky, Panofsky and Saxl, the authors of Saturn and Melancholy, who gave shape to the idea of the melancholy man of genius and exposed it to the rest of Europe. Ficino's notion of Saturn and melancholy may have arisen from his personal psychological underpinning of having these features predominate in his own chart. Despite being influenced profoundly by Neoplatonic doctrine and therefore being very familiar with the more optimistic views on Saturn, he regarded it fundamentally as an ill-fated star and melancholy primarily as the most complex of temperaments.

Paradoxically, Ficino saw great potential in Saturn. While he attempted to avoid the harmful influences of the planet, he also saw that it was only by confronting Saturn and overcoming these harmful influences that he would be able to reach the power that Saturn has to offer. In a letter to Bernado Rucellai, Ficino declares that it is best to make peace with Fortune (ruler of fate) and adapt his will to hers so that she will not violently drag him in some unpleasant direction. Although he found the life of a melancholic essentially difficult, he felt it was better to go with it rather than fight against it.

The recognition of astrological fate did not indicate that Ficino was foregoing self-determination. Although at times it appears that Ficino is renouncing his will to the destiny of the stars, he always maintained the belief that he has free will. According to Ficino, we cannot choose our star. Therefore, we are unable to choose our physical and moral nature as well as our temperament. Nonetheless, we are free to exercise our choice within the limits of what is prescribed by the star under which we were born. Although every star contains a diversity of different, even paradoxical, possibilities it leaves the final choice open to the will. Saturn, for example, is not only the demon of inertia and of unproductive self-indulgent melancholy; he is also the genius of scholarly observation and consideration, of intelligence and contemplation. This binary opposition, which is to be found in the stars themselves, discovers its identification and its clearest and most visible expression within the scheme of astrology. It is this recognition that clears the way for free will.

Throughout his life, Ficino attempted to counteract the negative effects of Saturn and melancholy in himself and in others by means of medicine and Neoplatonic astral magic. It was in De Vita, in particular the third book, that Ficino clearly sets out his ideas about using astrology with medicine. In the introduction, he tells his readers to pass over this section if the content displeases them. He even goes so far as to say that he is not so much approving of, but reporting the information.

Finally, if you do not approve of astronomical images, albeit invented for the health of mortals - which even I do not so much approve of as report - dismiss them with my complete permission and even, if you will, by my advice.[9]

It appears by these words that Ficino is attempting to assuage any potential repercussions this book may cause. By proposing that he is not so much advocating the use of astrology in medicine but merely reporting it for those who wish to use it, he is deflecting the blame from himself and back onto astrology.

Ficino frequently protested about the wretched influence the planets were having on his life. True to the melancholic temperament, he would find fault with his situation without a clear understanding of his dissatisfaction.

At present I do not really know what I want; it may be that I do not really want what I know and want that which I do not know ... [10]

- writes Ficino in an undated letter to his good friend Giovanni Cavalcanti. He explains that Jupiter is progressing in Pisces, bringing good fortune to his friend, and Saturn is retrogressing in Leo, which indicates to Ficino that things are not so fortunate for him. He does not explain why things are not so fortunate for him and appears to attribute it solely to the fact that Saturn is retrogressing in Leo.

The aforementioned letter was in response to a letter in which Cavalcanti took the philosopher to task for complaining about the malign influence of Saturn retrogressing in Leo. Cavalcanti berated the philosopher for giving so much consideration to the influence of the stars.

So, my Marsilio, you will not complain to me of Saturn's malice any more. By Hercules, the stars can do us no harm, they cannot, I say, because they do not wish to. Moreover, for heavenly beings, to wish is to be able ... Reply to me, I beg. Whence that wonderful intelligence, by which you know what Saturn is, who completes his course in thirty years? You know what effects he causes on earth by his position in relation to this or that place; and you do not ignore them. [11]

He proceeds to tell Ficino all of the positive things that Saturn has given him including the fact that he has "made his way by disused and overgrown paths through the whole of Greece, even penetrating into Egypt, to bring the most wise men of old to the knowledge of current wisdom". [12] Cavalcanti sees this as a bold undertaking that has left posterity owing him so much that it will be difficult to repay.

…through you, this age has looked deeply into those whom Italy had never seen. All these things were given to you by that same star… Will you therefore accuse Saturn, he who purposed that you should rise above other men as far as he himself rises above other planets? Wherefore, believe me, a hymn of recantation is necessary which, if you are wise, you will sing without delay. [13]




Geniture of Ficino


Some scholars argue that Ficino's own personal ominous horoscope accounts not only for his peculiar adaptations of astrology but also for his occasional rejection of astrology.

A person with a bad horoscope could hardly be casual and lukewarm towards astrology: he would have to either reinterpret it to give him some hope or else he would have to deny it outright. [14]

However, it is also possible that it was for this reason Ficino continued to return to astrology after having previously rejected it. It is unlikely that he was the sort of person to dismiss things because they were too difficult. In fact, it is more likely that he would persist with something until he understood it. Ficino was a man of contemplation who sought to understand the deeper meaning behind all he studied. His personal circumstances would have been no exception.

We should not be fooled into thinking that Ficino's astrological chart was as ominous as others have claimed. It is true that he often complained to friends about the influence of Saturn, also writing extensively in his philosophical works about the harmful aspects of having a strong Saturn influence. In a letter to Cavalcanti, Ficino states:

Saturn seems to have impressed the seal of melancholy on me from the beginning; set, as it is, almost in the midst of my ascendant Aquarius, it is influenced by Mars, also in Aquarius, and the Moon in Capricorn. It is in square aspect to the Sun and Mercury in Scorpio, which occupy the ninth house. But Venus in Libra and Jupiter in Cancer have, perhaps, offered some resistance to this melancholy nature. [15]

Ficino lays out his personal astrological details in this letter, enabling us to construct his chart as correctly as possible. Unfortunately, Ficino himself is mistaken in some of the details he provides. Venus, more precisely, was in Virgo and Jupiter was in Leo at the time of his birth. Ficino later realises his error, stating this in a letter to Martinus Uranius Preninger. Had this been true, that is, had Venus been in Libra and Jupiter been in Cancer, it would have given Ficino good reason to feel that these were saving influences to an otherwise difficult chart.

Horoscope for Marsilio Ficino


What Ficino does not appear to have realised is that Mars is not yet in Aquarius at the time of his birth as he believed but was in fact still in Capricorn. Mars is in exaltation in Capricorn, a position of strength for this planet. This may have accounted for his reputed quick temper, which would just as quickly dissipate. It is probable that Ficino would have been aware of other helpful influences in his chart. For example, Mercury is on his Midheaven, a traditional sign of a successful career as a writer. His Sun, which is in Scorpio, is placed in the 9th house, the house of the philosopher. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that the positive influences in Ficino's chart receive scant attention from him while the more difficult influences are continually at the forefront of his attempts to better understand his life. It was by understanding his weaknesses that Ficino sought the strength to be offered through Saturn.


Hermetic Texts


The hermetic texts were a constant point of reference for Ficino. Although Church Fathers such as Augustine and Lactantius refer to these texts constantly in their work they did not approve of astrology and probably would not have approved of Ficino's dedication to it. However, he saw no conflict with his Christian beliefs and those of the hermetic texts, seeking to reconcile the two philosophies into a single doctrine of faith. Ficino found in these hermetic texts an astrology that was completely in keeping with not only the Christian tradition but also his vision of humanity, its dignity and its central position in the cosmos. The significance of the hermetic texts for Ficino is best demonstrated in his willingness to set aside the works of Plato to concentrate on the new translations. Ficino places Hermes Trismegistus, believed to be author of these ancient texts, as head of the hierarchy of greatest philosophers, believing him to be the greatest philosopher, the greatest priest and the greatest king. It is perhaps this ancient authority that Ficino looked to most of all to gain a greater appreciation of the ancient wisdom he sought to understand.


Judicial Astrology


Some scholars believe that Ficino suffered from a constant inner tension as a result of his ambiguous intellectual and moral position towards astrology, and that it was this tension that resulted in his vacillations. There are suggestions that Ficino bows to the Christian-ecclesiastical point of view whereby he stresses that the heavenly bodies may indeed exercise power over the bodies of men but that they can exert no pressure on the mind or on the will. Although Ficino's dedication to Christianity is correctly emphasised, the significant influence that Ficino's translation of the hermetic texts had on his views of astrology should never be underestimated.

There have been many claims that Ficino fought against any attempt to predict the future by means of astrology and that he did not approve of the use of judicial astrology. However, there are several letters where Ficino has done just that. In a letter to Lorenzo de Medici, Ficino warns of some upcoming aspects which may cause difficulties for the Florentine ruler.

Lorenzo, today and also tomorrow, be on your guard; for Mars, passing into Capricorn, your ascendant, is seen to look with square aspect, today at Saturn and tomorrow at the Sun. Beside this, Saturn himself, the lord of your ascendant, has still not quite passed through the rays of the Sun. [16]

Ficino continues that he too must be aware for the very reason that Saturn is also lord of his own ascendant. In the same letter, Ficino informs Lorenzo that he was coming to him the other day to warn him of these upcoming transits when it occurred to him that it was best to wait until closer to the time. "For by our predictions we often anticipate evils that are in the far distant future, or sometimes imagine evils that will never come to pass".[17] Ficino is not questioning the validity of judicial astrology, but rather the application of prediction.

An even clearer indication that Ficino sometimes practiced the art of judicial astrology can be seen in a letter to Zenobio Romano entitled A reply concerning a horoscope: judgement may be very faulty. In this letter, Ficino responded to what appears to be a request for a horoscope:

Although I do not have here with me at the moment the instruments normally used for examining and measuring the heavens accurately, let me with my dull intellect produce something for the time being. That configuration of the heavens does not seem good to me in which Mars occupies the mid-heaven, Saturn is in the sixth house, Jupiter is combust and the Sun is square to the Moon. [18]

While he proceeds to warn that it does not help to predict evils or to place much trust in these things, his reasons for doing so, again, appear to be that judgement is often faulty rather than any scepticism towards the validity of astrology. It is not astrological knowledge that Ficino is showing doubts about but rather the application of this knowledge. It may even be that Ficino is displaying some doubts about his own abilities as an astrologer.


Criticisms of his work


As indicated by his statements in the introduction to the third book of De Vita, Ficino often expected to encounter some opposition to his involvement in astrology. He acknowledges in a letter to Rinaldo Orsini, Archbishop of Florence, that many people might find it curious for a priest to be interested in such matters.

People will perhaps laugh at a priest who heeds astronomy. But I, relying on the authority of the Persians, Egyptians, and Chaldeans, considered that while earthly matters were indeed the concern of others, heavenly matters in truth were the sole concern of the priest; so that while human affairs might be left to human counsel, matters for supreme authority should be referred to the ruler of heaven. [19]

Ficino's defence of astrology drew criticism from Burckhardt, the famous 19th century Renaissance historian. Belief in astrology is a delusion, according to Burckhardt and he sees it as a miserable feature in life at that time. He draws particular attention to the fact that Ficino drew the horoscopes of the children of Lorenzo de Medici, promising the young Giovanni that he would one day become pope. Even the fact that Ficino was correct in his assessment did not stop Burckhardt from his derisive tone. Indeed, as Ficino had predicted years before, the young Giovanni grew up to become the somewhat infamous Pope Leo X.

Burckhardt was quick to praise Pico della Mirandola for his refutation of astrology. According to this Renaissance scholar, the main achievement of Pico was to set forth a positive Christian doctrine of the freedom of the will and the government of the universe. However, Pico's refutations of astrology are seldom overtly religious. Nevertheless, Burckhardt credits Pico with the virtual dissolution of astrology. "The first result of his book was that the astrologers ceased to publish their doctrines, and those who had already printed them were more or less ashamed of what they had done".[20] Since Pico died in 1494, and astrologers continued to publish their work long after this time, the recognition attributed to Pico by Burckhardt for discrediting and destroying astrology seems unwarranted.


Vacillations


Although Ficino's astrological practices have been given reasonable consideration by Renaissance scholars, these practices have been criticised for their apparent inconsistencies. In his writings, Ficino would articulate his views on astrology only to express something quite different in subsequent writings. He would later revert to the previously expressed view, leaving commentators to accuse the philosopher of vacillation. However, if we approach Ficino's attitude to astrology as a whole rather than as a series of disparate writings, we may find that it is his denials rather than his acceptance of astrology that demonstrate his inconsistencies, and that his most consistent attitude throughout his life was one of deep reverence for the art of astrology.

A more likely reason for the vacillations of Ficino in his attitude towards astrology can be seen in the political and religious events in Florence at the time. These events are most closely related to Girolamo Savonarola, Dominican priest and, briefly, ruler of Florence. Scholars have proposed Ficino's attitude towards Savonarola as a possible explanation for Ficino's refutation of astrology followed by his clear turnaround. Savonarola often used anti-astrological polemic to support his political agenda in Florence. He and his followers would cite claims in Disputations, written by Pico, that astrology and all natural forms of prophecy were inspired by evil demons, who hoped to undercut the supernatural prophecy that lay behind Savonarola's claims to political power.

Ficino, by his own admission, was originally a follower of Savonarola and it is possible that he found it difficult to be open about his astrological beliefs while supporting this political leader. It is also possible that he was inclined towards support of Savonarola by the support that his friends Pico and Cavalcanti displayed for the Dominican priest. It is at least partly due to the instigation of Savonarola that Pico came out so strongly against astrology and it is quite possible that Ficino followed suit. After Pico died at the age of 32, Disputations remained unpublished. It was Savonarola and Pico's nephew who edited the work and published it. It is believed by some scholars that this work was changed substantially and that it is difficult to determine just how vehemently opposed to astrology Pico really was.

However, it cannot be argued that the influence of Savonarola is solely responsible for Ficino's attack on astrology. In a letter to Poliziano dated August 20, 1494, Ficino assures his friend that he has always entertained doubts about astrology. Many years earlier, Ficino showed his first outright denial of astrology in an unfinished and unpublished work Disputatio contra iudicium astrologorum. However, less than two years later he wrote a medical treatise, Consiglio contro la pestilenza, ascribing the plague to the stars and employing a talisman as a prophylactic.

The final turn away from Savonarola, and the turn back towards astrology came when the leader violently opposed the return of the Medici family in 1497. By 1498, Ficino was once again using astrology to support his arguments, ironically against the person believed to have previously turned him away from astrology. In an unsent and unpublished letter Apologia to the College of Cardinals, Ficino invokes astrological and Platonic arguments to prove Savonarola to be possessed of a devil. It was in this year, on the 23rd May, that Savonarola was hanged and burned on the very spot where he had previously conducted the infamous Bonfire of the Vanities.

Ficino's contributions went far beyond those he gave directly to astrology. Judicial astrology was not a primary focus for Ficino. He was principally a theologian and most of his work centred on the desire to live a life that would lead to God. He spent a lifetime in an attempt to show that, rather than being anathema, the vast inheritance of Hermetic writings was the perfect companion to the Christian religion. He left us little in the way of judicial astrology and what he did leave was often inaccurate or dubious. While De Vita is a remarkable achievement, much of it remains questionable and somewhat different from the findings of later authors such as Lilly and Culpeper. However, this book is rich in the symbolism of the early Renaissance period. De Vita, along with any of Ficino's books, is required reading for any astrologer who values tradition and is able to truly appreciate the legacy of this astonishing man.




***









Notes & References:
  1 ] Marsilio Ficino, Epistolae - the Letters of Marsilio Ficino, trans. London Language Department of the School of Economic Science, 6 vols. (London: Shepheard-Walwyn, 1975-1999), vol 3, letter 18.
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  2 ] Charles Boer, in his translation of Ficino's work, The Book of Life, states in the introduction that Ficino was born at 9pm when Saturn was on the ascendant. This is not possible and is clearly an error. It seems likely that Boer took the 21st hour to mean 9pm.
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  3 ] Klibansky, Panofsky, and Saxl, Saturn and Melancholy, p.12.
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  4 ] Ficino is referring to Problems, a text now attributed to Pseudo-Aristotle.
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  5 ] Ficino, Three Books on Life, p.117. In a footnote to this statement, Kaske says that this particular assertion is unique to Ficino.
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  6 ] Ibid., p.251.
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  7 ] Marsilio Ficino, Platonic Theology, ed. James Hankins, trans. Michael J.B. Allen, vol.1 (Cambridge, Mass.: The I Tatti Renaissance Library, 2001)., book 4, chapter 1:16
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  8 ] G.P. Goold, in his Loeb translation of Astronomica says that Maternus quite certainly had a copy of the fifth book open before him when writing his eighth book of Mathesis, p.xiv
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  9 ] Ficino, Three Books on Life, p.239.
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  10 ] Ficino, Epistolae - the Letters of Marsilio Ficino., vol 2, letter 22. Scholars have said that this correspondence cannot be dated with certainty but that it was among a group of letters from around 1474-1476. A study of the ephemeris would find that the most likely date for this letter is sometime in mid March, 1476, one of only two times that fits the astrological criteria expressed by Ficino. The other possibility is February, 1477 but it seems clear from the order in which the letters are published that this letter is from March, 1476.
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  11 ] Ibid., letter 24.
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  12 ] Ibid., letter 24.
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  13 ] Ibid., letter 24.
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  14 ] Kaske, "Ficino's Shifting Attitude Towards Astrology in the De Vita Coelitus Comparanda, the Letter to Poliziano, and the Apologia to the Cardinals," p.372.
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  15 ] Ficino, Epistolae - the Letters of Marsilio Ficino, vol 2, letter 24.
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  16 ] Ficino, Epistolae - the Letters of Marsilio Ficino, vol 5, letter 37.
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  17 ] Ibid., vol 5, letter 37.
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  18 ] Ibid., vol 6, letter 28.
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  19 ] Ibid., vol 2, letter 10.
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  20 ] Burckhardt, The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, p.328.
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Sue TooheySue Toohey is an Australian astrologer with a degree in history and philosophy. She is currently enrolled in a Masters degree, researching the history of astrology and religious thought. Sue also has a Homoeopathy degree, using awareness of all these areas to further her understanding of astrology. Her main areas of interest lie in traditional astrology and philosophy, seeking to understand how they contribute to our current appreciation of these disciplines.
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© Sue Toohey, October 2005


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