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Marsilio Ficino, Circularity And Rebirth

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Chapter Summary

This chapter emphasizes the eternality of circular movement in relation to souls: Circular motion, as it recurs once, so it recurs twice, three times, four times, and for the same reason; and in the circuit the end and the beginning are the same. Indeed, the commentary on the Torah of Menahem Recanati, one of the most wide-spread kabbalistic sources in Italy of Ficino's day, explicitly takes up this matter. It could also be connected to the idea of the astral body which is made of the ethereal material of the heavenly hosts, an idea fully developed by Ficino, but also picked up on by thinkers like Abarbanel and integrated into the Jewish tradition. At the beginning of his explicit discussion of it in the Platonic Theology, for example, he is sure to state, &t;It is sometimes pleasant to play poetically with the ancients.

Keywords: Abarbanel; Circularity; Jewish tradition; Marsilio Ficino; Platonic Theology; Rebirth; Torah of Menahem Recanati

10.1163/ej.9789004177642.i-322.13
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