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Three Books on Life (Anglais) Relié – 1 janvier 1989

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63 internautes sur 63 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Note from an earlier translator of this book 13 mai 2007
Par Charles Boer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I am the author of the earlier translation of this book, and I heartily recommend that you buy the Kaske-Clark translation instead of my own, which was done at the request of some friends who were desperate for any elucidation of this important book at a time when there had been nothing else available. The Kaske-Clark translation is indeed far superior to my own feeble effort and I congratulate them on a work well done.
70 internautes sur 74 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Key Work by Renaissance Mage 9 juillet 2000
Par Christopher Warnock - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Marsilio Ficino, born in Florence in 1433, was one of the greatest exemplars of the Renaissance as a rebirth of classical learning. Ficino was the leader of the Florentine Platonic Academy and translator of many neo-Platonic and Hermetic works, including at the urging of Cosimo de Medici, the Corpus Hermeticum.
Three Books on Life is not a translation, but an original work by Ficino written for the benefit of scholars and intellectuals, who being under the dominion of Saturn and Mercury, suffer melancholy and related health concerns.
The third book, is however, the most interesting as it details Ficino's world view and gives his methods of astrological magic. Ficino, a priest and devout Christian, saw no real contradiction between the teachings of ancient philosophy and Christianity. He therefore felt free to use astrological magic particularly for healing and other medicinal purposes.
What is most significant about Three Books on Life is Ficino's ability to provide a theoretical framework for astrology and magic as well as practical examples of how to practice astrological magic.
Kaske and Clarke have done an excellent job in the MRTS edition of Three Books on Life. Their introduction is good, despite a few errors only noticeable to an expert on traditional astrology and the text with the Latin original facing the English translation is quite useable. This translation is much better than the Charles Boer's edition.
For those interested in Neo-platonic and Hermetic thought, astrology and magic in the Renaissance this is an essential primary source.
39 internautes sur 40 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Ian Myles Slater on: A Difficult Job Done Well 7 octobre 2003
Par Ian M. Slater - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
In the second half of the twentieth century, readers of English who were interested in the Renaissance had their attention drawn to Ficino's "Three Books on Life" (known by various titles, such as "Liber de Vita" and "De Vita Triplici") by several influential books. Chief among them were D.P. Walker's "Spiritual and Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella" and Frances A. Yates' "Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition." The many readers of Robert Burton's seventeenth-century masterpiece "The Anatomy of Melancholy" had already encountered frequent citations of "Ficinus" on melancholy, its causes and cure. Any attempt to find an English translation, or even a good text of the Latin original, however, came up with nothing.

For a moment it seemed that Charles Boer had provided one with "The Book of Life," originally published in 1980, and currently in print. It was an attractively printed and extremely readable translation. Unfortunately, it was not only based on unreliable versions of the Latin, but it paid little if any attention to the vast scholarship needed to understand Ficino. Since Boer was dismissive of the existing Ficino scholarship, hostile reviews were perhaps to be expected, but I can testify from experience that Boer's work was more frustrating than useful.

Fortunately, a far superior translation, along with a carefully edited Latin text, useful introduction and helpful notes, and glossarial indexes, was already in progress. It appeared about a decade later, and, like Boer's, has been reprinted several times. It is an impressive accomplishment, providing a rich source of information on Ficino's theological, philosophical, medical, astrological, and magical readings and world-view, and how they interact.

Ficino, famous in his day and in histories of philosophy as the pioneering translator of Plato and the Neo-Platonists (a distinction made long after his time), was the son of a physician, which in those days meant an astrologer. He was trained in his father's profession, but also as a priest, and read the Aristotle of the late Scholastics as well as Plato and his followers, and his supposed source, the books attributed to the Egyptian sage, Hermes Trismegistus. Bits and pieces of all of these interests, and others, appear in the "Books on Life," which are in large measure an attempt to avoid the negative implications of Ficino's own horoscope, which was dominated by the influence of Saturn, seeming to doom him to lethargy and sickness.

In the process, he worked a minor revolution in European thought, which is still with us today. He did this by finding good aspects to melancholy, which in the tradition he had inherited was a disease, combining aspects of depression and mania. He argued that it was also a producer of scholarship and wisdom, helping to launch both the modern idea of "genius" and the suspicion that it has some connection with insanity.

Ficino also argued for special diets to control the negative aspects (lots of sugar and cinnamon), and, in a controversial final section, for astrological talismans to concentrate good forces and repel bad ones. This was dangerous ground, obviously shading into magic, and protesting that he was vindicating Free Will against astrological determinism was not much of a cover.

Although a very high proportion of the thousands of websites mentioning Ficino seem interested mainly in Ficino the Great Astrologer or Ficino the Renaissance Platonist, he was a lot more complicated, as Kaske and Clark make clear. Nothing will make ""Three Books on Life" easy reading, but they have done everything possible to make it intelligible to modern readers.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Charles Boer- classy guy 3 janvier 2011
Par Jonathan M. Stone - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Just a note to say I think it's very classy of Charles Boer to show up here and recommend this book over his own translation. It's true, Boer's translation is no scholarly affair- no critical apparatus or explication but it did convey to me a lasting sense of Marsilio's playfulness & even humor. It is hard for us in our era of "free speech" to appreciate the dangers of too-free speculation on religious/psychological matters that existed in Ficino's day. Consider that Giordano Bruno lost his life 100 years later for being only a slightly bolder "occultist" than Ficino was. Ficino's subtle prevarications provide an object lesson in "taqqiyah", or "permissible dissimulation", the Shi'ite art of pulling the wool over the eyes of the religious authorities. Marsilio's gifts are abundant, and I am glad that for those years between Boer's publication and this "proper scholarly" edition, we had Boer's admittedly "defective" translation, because I think he portrayed not only Ficino's humor but his advocacy of a balanced way of life, embracing and enhancing the beauty of the natural world, in a playful and sensual way. Ficino's impression of kindliness and his aesthetic values are the more impressive when you realize that these qualities were nurtured in the context of a life wracked by melancholy. I believe Marsilio once almost starved to death in a melancholy fit. Ficino is arguably a more important cultural figure than many more famous figures from the Renaissance. Many dishes have been served from the banquet he presented to the world. Anyway, beg, borrow or steal- this book shouldn't be allowed to go out of print, if only to deter people from trying to charge you the laughable price of $1000!
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