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Giordano Bruno And The Hermetic Tradition * Frances Amelia Yates (isbn 0226950077 )

Strange that I forgot to review this book. I have read it a long time ago and I bought it when writing my article about the philosophical Renaissance. In this book Yates places Giordano Bruno in the Hermetic Tradition of the Renaissance. This was started by Marsilio Ficino who not only translated the Corpus Hermeticum but also had a system of natural magic. A student of Ficino, Giovani Pico, combined these with Kabala, thus forming a Christian Cabala. And so a new magical tradition comes forth combining the teachings of Hermes, Christian Cabala, alchemy and neoplatonism and other classical teachings. All but one magician say to be good Christians, all but Giordano Bruno who was of the opinion that the world was better off with the religion of Hermes Trismegistus. Bruno was burned at the stake in 1600. Of course you learn a lot about Bruno, but also other main figures in the Hermetic Tradition in the Renaissance. This makes this books THE reference book for the subject. Yates (1891-1981) was an historican and the first who wrote about this and similar subjects for a larger audience. Most of her writings are historical but sometimes you do get an overview of the ideas of the people she writes about. In her time she had to travel all over the world to read original documents in their original languages. A pioneer whose works are still of the best to get if you are interested in material like this.

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