Ficino: On a Healthy Life

Marsilio Ficino (1433–1499)

Some salutary advice for scholars, from the unique perspective of the famous Italian scholar who translated Plato’s works into Latin in the 15th century.

An expert craftsman takes most diligent care of his instruments—a painter his pencils, a coppersmith his hammers and anvils, a soldier his horses and arms, a hunter his dogs and birds, a lute-player his lute (…) but only the priests of the Muses, only the hunters after the highest good and truth, are so negligent (oh shame!) and so unfortunate, that they seem wholly to neglect that instrument with which they are able in a way to measure and grasp the whole world. This instrument is the spirit…

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Originally published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies in their Renaissance Text Series.