Ficino in Spain
As the first translator of Plato’s complete works into Latin, the Florentine writer Marsilio Ficino (1433–99) and his blend of Neoplatonic and Hermetic philosophy were fundamental to the intellectual atmosphere of the Renaissance. In Spain, his works were regularly read, quoted, and referenced, at least until the nineteenth century, when literary critics and philosophers wrote him out of the history of early modern Spain.
In Ficino in Spain, Susan Byrne uses textual and bibliographic evidence to show the pervasive impact of Ficino’s writings and translations on the Spanish Renaissance. Cataloguing everything from specific mentions of his name in major texts to glossed volumes of his works in Spanish libraries, Byrne shows that Spanish writers such as Miguel de Cervantes, Lope de Vega, Bartolomé de las Casas, and Garcilaso de la Vega all responded to Ficino and adapted his imagery for their own works. An important contribution to the study of Spanish literature and culture from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries, Ficino in Spain recovers the role that Hermetic and Neoplatonic thought played in the world of Spanish literature.
- Series: Toronto Iberic
- World Rights
- Page Count: 384 pages
- Illustrations: 20
- Dimensions: 6.5in x 1.2in x 9.4in
‘Susan Byrne’s Ficino in Spain is a book that was waiting to be written… Byrne’s book on Ficino will serve as an evidence of the many intellectual exchanges between Spain, Italy, and the rest of Europe during the Renaissance and early modern periods.’
Frederick A. De. Armas
Renaissance Quarterly vol 69:02:2016
‘Byrne should be commended for her scrupulous study and cogent analysis of relevant literary texts…. She has unquestionably lent a signal service to students and scholars alike in their efforts to understand better the depth and breadth of Ficino’s creative genius.’
Modern Philology vol 114:01:2016
‘Excellent study, richly annotated and carefully argued.’
Michael J.B. Allen
Cervantes vol 37:02:2017
"Byrne’s book, with its own methodology that draws from the history of ideas, literary studies, and comparative literature, emerges as an important contribution for those who are interested in the cultural history of esotericism in Spain, and indeed in Western Europe between the fifteenth and eighteenth centuries more generally."
“Ficino in Spain is an important contribution to the study of early modern Spanish literature and culture, particularly of Italo-Spanish relationships and the development of humanism during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Byrne convincingly demonstrates in text after text how writers of poetry, fiction (such as Cervantes), drama, and many discursive genres mentioned, quoted, or disagreed with Ficino’s dicta and theories.”
Lia Schwartz, Distinguished Professor of Spanish and Comparative Literature, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
“Ficino in Spain sets out to correct an egregious error in the historiography of the Renaissance in Spain that has undervalued the part played by Italian Neoplatonism of the late fifteenth century. Byrne achieves that aim through persuasive arguments based on sound scholarship and a broad range of examples.”
Valery Rees, School of Economic Science
Author InformationSusan Byrne is an associate professor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Yale University.
Table of contents
Introduction: Ficino and the pia philosophia in Spain
1. Ficino in Spanish Libraries
2. Ficino as Authority in Sixteenth-Century Spanish Letters
3. Ficino as Hermes
4. Persistence and Adaptation of Hermetic-Neoplatonic Imagery
5. Ficino as Plato
6. Persistence of Political-Economic Platonism
Subjects and Courses