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Zoroaster And The Flying Egg: Psellos, Gerson And Ficino

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Chapter Summary

Ficino deals with levitation in Theologia platonica, XIII. 4 and in De vita, III. 26. This chapter describes how it is possible to identify precise sources for this doctrine. In the Theologia platonica, it is theurgical because Ficino embedded the Christian doctrine of prophetic levitation into the Chaldean frame provided by the Oracula chaldaica. The Oracles have widely been regarded as the Bible of the Neoplatonists. In the Quattrocento, the Byzantine philosopher Pletho dated the Oracles back to Zoroaster and his Magi, and Ficino followed him. The term currus presents a subtle compromise between two traditions, the biblical and the platonic. Ficino most probably read Gerson's Sermo de sancto spiritu in one of the three editions available in Florence through his and Pico's mutual friend, Domenico Benivieni.

Keywords: currus; Ficino; Jean Gerson; Oracula chaldaica; Psellos; Theologia platonica; Zoroaster



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