Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Setting Plato StraightTranslating Ancient Sexuality in the Renaissance$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Todd W. Reeser

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780226307008

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226307145.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Ficino and the Theory of Purging Same-Sex Sexuality

Ficino and the Theory of Purging Same-Sex Sexuality

(p.87) Chapter Three Ficino and the Theory of Purging Same-Sex Sexuality
Setting Plato Straight

Todd W. Reeser

University of Chicago Press

Although Ficino becomes the most important reader of Plato in early modern Europe, he never provides any kind of explicit reading strategy or methodology to follow for dealing with sexuality. But at the same time, Ficino does not entirely ignore the question of hermeneutics either. Rather, he employs his own Neoplatonic philosophical apparatus as a kind of hermeneutic model, and the process of the ascent of the soul provides an interpretive framework for rereading Platonic sexuality. Simply put, Ficino’s approach to the content of Plato’s thought also serves as his approach to reading sexuality. The overlap between hermeneutical and philosophical questions in Ficino’s Platonic Theology and in his Commentary on Plato’s Symposium on Love suggests that the ascent of the soul also implies an ascent of the text cleansed of impurities such as same-sex sexuality. Ficino’s medical works reveal how medical principles such as bleeding and purging are closely related to textuality. If Ficino considers Platonic sodomy a “contagion,” it is in part so that he can cure it in his rendition of the philosopher’s corpus. The role of the female body in this process of ascent is also treated.

Keywords:   Marsilio Ficino, Platonic Theology, commentary on Plato’s symposium on love, Neoplatonism, purification, medicine, bleeding, women, ascent, forms

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.