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3 Man as a Co-Creator of His Harmonic Nature

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Chapter Summary

By 1462 Marsilio Ficino had already written the first version of his Compendium in Timaeum, but before turning to Plato again he began to study the Orphic hymns. Orpheus, Pythagoras, and Plato are believed to represent not only a supreme kind of human reason but also a kind of non-verbal 'musical' wisdom identical to the wisdom of Moses. The latter received the Ten Commandments directly from God to serve as principles of moral behaviour for the human race. They constitute a philosophy of life which is in accordance with the harmonic laws of Creation and which is claimed to be identical to ancient Greek philosophy. This chapter analyses Ficino's reasons for believing that Plato saw musical education as the mediating factor that might enable human beings to bridge the gap between the two entirely different kinds of music.

Keywords: ancient Greek philosophy; Compendium in Timaeum; harmonic laws; Marsilio Ficino; musical wisdom; Orphic hymns; Plato; Ten Commandments

10.1163/9789004281769_004
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