978-0-87328-063-1 / 9780873280631

Touches of Sweet Harmony: Pythagorean Mythology and Renaissance Poetics


Publisher:Huntington Library Pr



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Excerpt from the preface: "The method I have prepared for, however, approaches literature from the opposite direction. I have sought to reconstruct a doctrine which was prominent in the renaissance - indeed, as it was expressed in cosmology, it was the most forceful orthodox determinant of renaissance thought. The notion of a divinely ordered universe is one of our most ancient propositions, having emanated from the school of Pythagoras as early as the sixth century B.C. It was assimilated by Plato and thence by the Church Fathers, and after that it was a basic premise, stated or unstated, in most Western philosophy, religion, and science until the seventeenth century. The early renaissance humanists, and later the scientists, enthusiastically reaffirmed it. My effort has been to reconstruct the Pythagorean doctrine in all its ramifications. To this end, I have gathered a great deal of information from a wide variety of renaissance sources and have organized it under a few headings in Part II.

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