By Brian P. Copenhaver
The tale of the ideals and practices known as 'magic' starts off in historic Iran, Greece, and Rome, earlier than getting into its the most important Christian part within the heart a long time. Centering at the Renaissance and Marsilio Ficino - whose paintings on magic was once the main influential account written in premodern instances - this groundbreaking e-book treats magic as a classical culture with foundations that have been tremendously philosophical. in addition to Ficino, the premodern tale of magic additionally good points Plotinus, Iamblichus, Proclus, Aquinas, Agrippa, Pomponazzi, Porta, Bruno, Campanella, Descartes, Boyle, Leibniz, and Newton, to call just a couple of of the favourite thinkers mentioned during this ebook. simply because images play a key function within the tale of magic, this booklet is richly illustrated.
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Additional info for Magic in Western Culture: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment
He wrote books, a lot of them facing theological wisdom, and in them he asserts the majesty of the ultimate and singular God. 163 Hermetica in other places Lactantius the sayings of this pious Egyptian with Sibylline predictions so that it will make the case for an historical pagan theology: he was once the 1st to attach the Sibyls with Hermes in this way. 12 the place his topic is Christology, Lactantius refers to a airtight excellent Discourse that speaks in Greek about the grasp and maker of all issues, whom we now have judged it correct to name God, in view that he made the second one god, noticeable and perceptible. . . . given that he made this one first and simply and special, he stumbled on it a good sight, thoroughly filled with all good stuff; he trendy and enjoyed it greatly as his own child. This passage is without doubt one of the few continues to be of the Greek textual content at the back of the Asclepius, which differently exists basically in a Latin translation, most likely of the later fourth century, and in a wide Coptic fragment. the complete context of the Latin model exhibits that the “second god” is the cosmos. but if Lactantius and one other fourth-century Christian cite this passage, they're taking into account Christ because the Son of God. in line with the trendy textual content of the Asclepius, the grasp and shaper of all issues, whom rightly we name God, while he made a god subsequent after himself who could be noticeable and sensed, . . . then, having made this god as his first construction and moment after himself, it appeared appealing to him because it used to be solely packed with the goodness of every little thing, and he enjoyed it because the progeny of his personal divinity. In his Epitome of the Institutes, Lactantius provides a special Latin rendering of a part of the same text: The grasp and maker of the universe, whom we've inspiration to name God, made a moment noticeable and perceptible god, . . . after which considering he had made this one first – simply and unique – it seemed most sensible to him and totally jam-packed with all great things. This model is particularly with regards to the Greek yet no longer as with regards to the Asclepius. Augustine doesn't cite this passage, and he calls Hermes an idolater – not like Lactantius. He additionally makes different choices from the Asclepius which are much less flattering to Hermes, and his Latin quotations fit the fashionable textual content. scholars of the Hermetica have famous the discrepancy on the way to date the Asclepius because it is now read – and used to be learn through Ficino – after the Institutes (304–311) yet ahead of the town of God (413–426). thirteen changes one of the unique Greco-Egyptian Hermes, the Lactantian theologian, and the Augustinian idolater have been nonetheless obvious to admirers of Trismegistus within the Renaissance. one in every of 3 texts at the 164 Hermes the Theologian determine forty four. Hermes at the ground of Siena’s Cathedral, Giovanni di Stefano, 1487–9. (Art source) Hermes panel in Siena is typically traced – incorrectly – to the 1st Greek discourse, the Poimandres: it comes from definitely the right Discourse and is toward the Latin and Greek of Lactantius than to the Asclepius as Ficino knew it. the opposite texts usually are not quotations from any Hermetica.