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2 The Universe as a Musical Creation

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Chapter Summary

In 1462 Cosimo selected Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), the son of his court physician, to chair the loosely organized group of scholars which later generations have referred to as the Platonic Academy. Ficino's vision of the cosmos as a musical creation belongs to a period in history in which many scholars still conceived of the world as a metaphysical or supernatural whole. This chapter focuses on Ficino's theory concerning the connection between cosmic order and music theory and his ideas about ultimate reality that is, on what he considered to be the components of reality. Ficino's lifelong endeavour to formulate a definitive theory of world harmony consists principally in revealing the ingredients of this ultimate reality and defining the interrelations between them. At first sight Ficino's Compendium seems to imitate the structure of Proclus's Timaeus commentary.

Keywords: Marsilio Ficino; musical creation; Platonic Academy; supernatural whole

10.1163/9789004281769_003
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