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Angelo Poliziano's Lamia: Neoplatonic Commentaries And The Plotinian Dichotomy Between The Philologist And The Philosopher

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Chapter Summary

This chapter takes the form of a loose commentary on the passage reported in the epigraph concerning philology and philosophy, Lamia. It first analyses chapter 4 of Angelo Poliziano's Miscellaneorum Centuria prima (1489) since it contains his famous statement describing philology's field of study as "encyclopedic". The chapter then addresses how the disciplinary relationship between philology and philosophy in late fifteenth-century Florence has been anthropomorphized in modern scholarship as a personal opposition between Poliziano and his contemporary Marsilio Ficino. Next, it explains how the famous statement from Poliziano's Praelectio de dialectica (1491) has been taken by many to be a programmatic statement condemning Ficino's theologized dialectic. Finally the chapter moves up the interpretative hierarchy to explain Poliziano's allegorical comment on Plotinus's philosophical message. Poliziano does in fact comment on Neoplatonic dialectic through his allegorical use of Penelope's weaving of the shroud of Laertes.

Keywords: Angelo Poliziano; Lamia; Marsilio Ficino; Neoplatonic dialectic; philology; philosophy; Plotinus



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