Read Three Books on Life (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies) by Marsilio Ficino Free Online
Book Title: Three Books on Life (Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies)|
The author of the book: Marsilio Ficino
Date of issue: September 1st 1989
ISBN 13: 9780866980418
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 35.20 MB
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This a health text I read in Latin at the British Library; it includes some Salernitan medicine, proverbs which I studied for the paper I gave at the Villa Vergiliana Italian Medicine conference (largely on baths) at Cuma in 2001. In the intro Ficino talks of poets celebrating wine for health and salubrious outlook; when poets are melancholy, they've spent too much time studying, reasoning about the heavens.
Aristotle and Democritus agree men tend toward melancholy, though Democritus fought it with laughter. Avicenna disagrees that wine is salubrious: Quippe si vinum vl nimium vel nimis calidum vehemenque fuerit caput humoribus pessimisque fumis implebit. Too much wine, or too hot wine, both fill the head with the worst vapors and humors.
Shun melancholia--black bile, the humor responsible--by meat and sauce dijonaise (sinapis/white mustard).
For headache (dolor capitis): roses in oil-- “oleo rosaceo tunsis.”
For low energy ("phlegmatic" like Jeb Bush): aromatic roses "aromatico rosaceo vtere."
or upset stomach, honey mixed with cinnamon: "mixto melle rosaceo cum cinamo."
Sir Francis Bacon also wrote his own "Historia vitae et mortis" about two centuries after Ficino, observing in Intention #iv, "the things which conduce to health do not always conduce to longevity."
#xxv, "Of spirits retaining their youth": "The Turks use likewise [with opium] a kind of herb, called "coffee," which they dry, grind to a powder, and drink in warm water. They affirm that it gives no small vigor to their courage and their wit. Yet this to have in large quantities will excite and disturb the mind; which shows it to be of a similar nature to opiates."
#lxxviii: "Lettuce and violets and a glass of cold water at bedtime compse the spirits for sleep."
Bacon on hypnosis: "If voluntary trances--I know nothing certain…Of these make further inquiry."
On psychosoma, how "affectus mentis" effects "motus spiritus."
Nota bene: "Metus graviores vitam abbreviant." Great fears shorten life--though we may add, in the year of Trump, lengthen political careers.
Hope is the best for long life: "Admiratio, et levis contempliva," such as study of nature or rhetoric, yield longevity. Light contmplation, Bacon emphasizes, for subtle thought shortens life:
"inquisitio subtilis et acuta et acris vitam abbreviant; spiritum enim lassat et carpit." For such thought tires the spirit.
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