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Quo Vertam Oculos Ut Te Laudem? Aspects Of Praise In Ficino’s Writing

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines three particular aspects of praise in Ficino's writings that have some bearing on this: first, his use of praise as encouragement at the personal level; secondly, how he negotiates the dangerously fluid boundary between praise and outright flattery; and thirdly, his use of a blend of love and praise of the divine that becomes a potent source of creative energy. The Praise of Love of 1485, despite its rather grandiose title, is not an oration but a personal letter, expressing praise of Barbaro. For the creative use of praise may represent for Ficino not just a question of manner and style but a spiritual discipline that he took upon himself. From Hermes, Ficino could draw two important notions: first, that reverence for the divine is man's prime duty in life; secondly, that praise is an expression of that reverence, to be engaged in at every important step.

Keywords: Ficino's writings; Hermes; spiritual discipline



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