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Citatsektionen | Humanistiske citater

Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499)

Udvalgt af Rune Engelbreth Larsen Udprint

MARSILIO FICINO: »Indeed, my dearest Peregrino, when I consider your age and those things which come from you every day, I not only rejoice but much marvel at such great gifts in a friend. I do not know which of the ancients whose memory we respect, not to mention men of our own time, achieved so much at your age. This I ascribe not just to study and technique, but much more to divine frenzy. Without this, say Democritus and Plato, no man has ever been great. The powerful emotion and burning desire which your writings express prove, as I have said, that you are inspired and inwardly possessed by that frenzy; and this power, which is manifested in external movements, the ancient philosophers maintained was the most potent proof that the divine force dwelt in our souls.«


MARSILIO FICINO: »According to the followers of Plato, divine music is twofold. One kind, they say, exists entirely in the eternal mind of God. The second is in the motions and order of the heavens, by which the heavenly spheres and their orbits make a marvellous harmony. In both of these our soul took part before it was imprisoned in our bodies. But it uses the ears as messengers, as though they were chinks in this darkness. By the ears, as I have already said, the soul receives the echoes of that incomparable music, by which it is led back to the deep and silent memory of the harmony which it previously enjoyed. The whole soul then kindles with desire to fly back to its rightful home, so that it may enjoy that true music again. It reaches that as long as it is enclosed in the dark abode of the body it can in no way reach that music. It therefore strives wholeheartedly to imitate it, because it cannot here enjoy its possession. Now with men this imitation is twofold. Some imitate the celestial music by harmony of voice and the sounds of various instruments, and these we call superficial and vulgar musicians. But some, who imitate the divine and heavenly harmony with deeper and sounder judgement, render a sense of its inner reason and knowledge into verse, feet and numbers. It is these who, inspired by the divine spirit, give forth with full voice the most solemn and glorious song. Plato calls this solemn music and poetry the most effective imitation of the celestial harmony. For the more superficial kind which I have just mentioned does no more than soothe with the sweetness of the voice, but poetry does what is also proper to divine harmony. It expresses with fire the most profound and, as a poet would say, prophetic meanings, in the numbers of voice and movement. Thus not only does it delight the ear, but brings to the mind the finest nourishment, most like the food of the gods; and so seems to come very close to God. In Plato's view, this poetic frenzy springs from the Muses; but he considers both the man and his poetry worthless who approaches the doors of poetry without the call of the Muses, in the hope that he will become a good poet by technique. He thinks that those poets who are possessed by divine inspiration and power often utter such supreme words when inspired by the Muses, that afterwards, when the rapture has left them, they themselves scarcely understand what they have uttered. (...) Therefore, poetry springs from divine frenzy, frenzy from the Muses, and the Muses from Jove.«

Fra DE DIVINO FURORE (On divine frenzy; Letter 7), 1457
(Oversat af medlemmer af Language Dept., School of Economic Science, London)


MARSILIO FICINO: »The [Man] is the greatest wonder in nature. All other things under God are always in themselves of one certain kind of being; this [human] essence is at once all of them. It possesses in itself images of the divine things upon which it depends. It also possesses the reasons and models of the inferior things which it in a sense brings forth. Since it is the mean of all things, it possesses the powers of all; hence it transforms itself into all things. And because it is itself the true bond of the universe, in passing into some things it does not forsake the others, but enters into individual things, and at the same time preserves all things. Therefore it can with justice be called the center of nature, the middle point of all that is, the chain of the world, the face of al, and the knot and bond of the universe.«

Fra THEOLOGIA PLATONICA, 1469-74
(Oversat af Josephine L. Borroughs)