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Ficino, Marsilio (1433–99)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-C015-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved April 19, 2024, from

Article Summary

With Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Marsilio Ficino was the most important philosopher working under the patronage of Lorenzo de’Medici, ‘Il Magnifico’, in the Florence of the High Renaissance. Ficino’s main contribution was as a translator of Platonic philosophy from Greek into Latin: he produced the first complete Latin version of the works of Plato (1484) and Plotinus (1492) as well as renderings of a number of minor Platonists. He supplied many of his translations with philosophical commentaries, and these came to exercise great influence on the interpretation of Platonic philosophy in the Renaissance and early modern periods. Ficino’s most important philosophical work, the Theologia platonica de immortalitate animae (Platonic Theology, On the Immortality of the Soul) (1474) aimed to use Platonic arguments to combat the Averroists, ‘impious’ scholastic philosophers who denied that the immortality of the soul could be proven by reason. The most famous concept associated with his name is that of ‘Platonic love’.

Citing this article:
Hankins, James. Ficino, Marsilio (1433–99), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-C015-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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