The Book of the Sun (De Sole) Marsilio Ficino (1494)
Translated by Geoffrey Cornelius, Darby Costello, Graeme Tobyn, Angela Voss and Vernon Wells
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The Book of the Sun represents the culmination of Ficino’s life and work. Published in 1494, five years before his death, it is a supreme example of the very synthesis of astrology, religion and philosophy for which Ficino strived all his life and illustrates his ability to convey the deepest mystical experience within a lucid, authoritative prose. In the ‘Dedication’ to Piero de’ Medici, Ficino tells us that the origin of this work is the metaphor of the Sun in Plato’s Republic, and that he was inspired by Pseudo-Dionysius on the same subject. Ficino’s new reading of the Republic passage was destined for the third edition of his Plato translation, patronised by Piero.
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Read an accompanying paper by Geoffrey Cornelius: ‘Astrology’s Hidden Light: Reflections on Marsilio Ficino’s De Sole’