The cosmology of these writers was one of astrology. The magic of the Hermetica: This contained treatises on alchemy, astrology, and the occult powers of plants, animals, and stones. Particular emphasis is placed on talismans. These are cookbooks for the magician allowing him to cure disease, live a long life, defeat an enemy, or make someone love you. This was a spiritual magic attempting to contact higher spiritual powers than the natural powers of the cosmos.
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This attempts to invoke angles and God himself. The belief was that Cabalistic teachings was a secret doctrine that Moses imparted to some of his disciples. Man could control his destiny by using Cabala to act upon the world. He divided the world into three parts elemental, celestial, and intellectual. Each world receives influences by the one above it. The magician tries to draw on this power of the upper world by manipulating the lower world.
What was the role that Renaissance magic played? The Greeks never took the step from their rational thought to apply their knowledge. Why not? They did not want to operate. Mechanical operations were a degeneration from pure rational thought. The Middle Ages carried on this belief that theological contemplation was the true end of man.
Renaissance magic changed all of that and made it dignified for man to operate. It was not contrary to God that his great miracle should want to use his powers. There were theological and humanistic objections to Renaissance magic. A religious Hermeticism emerged largely in France without the magic. Giordana Bruno 1. Paris: Bruno made his first visit to Paris in It was in the art of memory that he revealed himself as a magician.
The 2 strands converge--mnemonic art and Hermetical magic. The classical art of memory was to imagine a place or a building with each object inside reminding the orator of something. As he spoke he imagined himself walking through this building. This was changed in the Renaissance by replacing building images with magical or talismatic images.
He was sent by Henry III into England--this changed his life from a wandering magician into a strange kind of missionary. This philosophical dialog he later translates in terms of Copernican philosophy. By placing him in this context Bruno is at last placed among the movements of his century. His Spaccio may have been the beginning of Elizabethan Renaissance. Bruno in England and his Hermetic Philosophy: In this philosophy Copernicus was believed to have made a beginning, but since he was only a mathematician he could not uncover the meaning of his discovery.
Study of his love poetry to express philosophical or mystical aims. A spiritual record of a man struggling to become divine. Love and the planet Venus. He returns to Paris a second time. The Mordente compass controversy. Mordente develops a new compass, Bruno publishes for him in Latin. Bruno calls him a triumphant idiot for not realizing the true implications of his work.
The compass measures divine powers. He then goes to Germany. He lectured at the Wittenberg University. His last published work was De imaginum. The purpose is to show how it is possible for the individual to concentrate on magical images, to become a Solar, Jovial, or Veneral Magus and lead a magical reformation.
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This book may be an important key to the way in which the Renaissance composed and used images. Returns to Italy. He had no fear of Catholic action against him.
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He did not believe himself to be anti-Catholic. Instead he wanted to reform the church. The Inquisition questioned him. There is not enough evidence to reconstruct his trial and condemnation. Galileo lived in a different world one of mathematics and not Pythagorean intentions and Hermetic seals. Bruno was not burned at the stake for his philosophical views. Rather he was burned for his religious view for his philosophy was his religion.
He dies in Hermes Trismegistus was dated by Isaac Casaubon in as not coming from an Egyptian priest but written in post-Christian times. This is a watershed that separates the Renaissance from the modern world This was an incredible read. Clear, logically-developed scholarship of the most rigorous kind, it's practically a blueprint for how good scholarship should be conducted.
As someone with an interest in the intellectual history of the time, I'd been wanting to read this book for a while. Yates's now classic study shed way more light than I was expecting. From Ficino and Mirandola to Agrippa to Bruno, Fludd, and even Shakespeare, she illuminates elements of these figures' thought that was unheard o This was an incredible read. From Ficino and Mirandola to Agrippa to Bruno, Fludd, and even Shakespeare, she illuminates elements of these figures' thought that was unheard of at the time of writing and is still often neglected.
Shelves: religion-mythology-spirituality , philosophy , esotericism. Yates' classic study of the 'Renaissance magus' Giordano Bruno left me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, the book is full of relevant information and insights into the world of esoteric thought in the Renaissance, and this makes it an essential read for students of hermeticism in the premodern period. At the same time, I felt the work wavered a bit too much between being an introduction in hermetic thought from Ficino to Fludd and beyond, and being a biography of Bruno himself.
I found the fo Yates' classic study of the 'Renaissance magus' Giordano Bruno left me with mixed feelings. I found the former tendencies of the book much more satisfying, because, despite an extensive series of chapters on Bruno, the true nature of his thought didn't come across convincingly.
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Yates has been criticised in more recent scholarship for trying to force Bruno into a 'grand narrative' of renaissance magical philosophy, and this is also the impression I sometimes got while reading the parts about Bruno. For some reason, I felt Yates' story lacked argumentation, or at least that it did not communicate it clearly enough. Regardless, the book is indeed valuable as an overview of hermetic and esoteric thinking, and its status as a classic work that would challenge scholarship of religion and history stands to this day.
Yates may not have been right about everything, but she certainly stimulated a new generation of scholars to look at things from a fresh perspective. This was a difficult book to read without having any previous knowledge of Bruno or Renaissance magic. I had expected it to be a straight biography, but it is not. I know Frances Yates has an excellent reputation for scholarship, but I found the book to be a bit of a slog, which may have been because I did not have sufficient knowledge of the background of the subject rather than because her writing was truly difficult.
At any rate, this is not an introductory book to the subject of Renaissance m This was a difficult book to read without having any previous knowledge of Bruno or Renaissance magic. At any rate, this is not an introductory book to the subject of Renaissance magic, Hermeticism, or Giordano Bruno, and it's not a breezy evening read.
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