I am joined by Dan Attrell, the massive mind behind the Modern Hermeticist YouTube channel, which includes the vast and ever-growing Encyclopedia Hermetica. He is currently working on his PhD in Renaissance history at the University of Waterloo. He has gone out of his way to share tons of his knowledge and learning with his impressive audience, and is also known for translating some amazing materials from Latin.
In this episode, we discuss Marsilio Ficino, and in particular Dan’s translation of Ficino’s De Christiana Religione, On the Christian Religion. We discuss many topics and themes in Ficino’s life, including the highest goal of mankind, the immortality of the soul, the nature of reason, the supercelestial world, and the question of whether or not there even was a Platonic academy in Florence. We also attempt to make some sense of the tangled historical events unfolding around Ficino’s life.
The Intermission and Beyond
We ran into a really bad recording problem in this episode. About 25 minutes in or so, Dan’s Canadian internet connection gave out on us! We had to pick up the conversation the next day. I filled in the gap with a reading from De Christiana Religione that Dan was kind enough to provide.
The background music during Dan’s reading is “But We Shall All Be Changed” by Matt Anthony. Thank you, Matt!
In part two, Dan and I begin by talking about Aristotle and Plato and their reception in Medeival and Renaissance Europe, but then we get a few tangents, and then we spend time with our favorite mad monk, Savonarola!
Notes and Things to Look Up
- Averroes (AKA Ibn Rushd)
- Marsilio Ficino
- Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (also see my conversation with Ted Hand about Pico)
- Girolamo Savonarola
- Pietro’s Pizza