Friend to Mankind: Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499)
As leader of the Platonic Academy in France, Ficino inspired leading statesmen, scholars and churchmen throughout Europe. The Academy renewed the Platonic tradition with its insistence on the reality of the spiritual world and the possibility of human transformation. This work attests to the influence of the academy and its ideas. The ideas they discussed appeared again and again in the works of literature and art that followed: in Spenser, Shakespeare and Donne, in Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Durer and many more. The power of these ideas to inspire lives on in areas as diverse as music, medicine, psychotherapy, astrology, Shakespeare studies, philosophy and art.
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