Conjecture and inspiration: Astrology, prophecy and poetry by Matteo Soranzo

By Matteo Soranzo

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Additional info for Conjecture and inspiration: Astrology, prophecy and poetry in Quattrocento Naples

Sample text

Actius) nostrum multa nos celare velle, quo post, ut mercatores consuevere, longe pluris vendat quod in area sepositum est, viliori merce iam divendita. " 51 Astrological Self-Fashioning Pontano's dialogues explore the poetical implications of Cicero's dynamics between natural and artificial divination in a way that presents the astrological view on the origin of poetic inspiration. In his late poem Urania, Pontano translated this dynamics by fashioning himself as an astrologically inspired poet (vates) engaged in a dialogue with a young pupil who bears the name of his son (Lucius).

We usually call frenzied those motions that are uncontrolled and are not moderated by human art and reason, and we call frenzied and raving those who move in that way; some people even call them demonic, while they are vulgarly defined spirited. As I said, the predictions of these individuals are ascribed to the stars, although we believe that prophets divine under the influence of some kind of divine inspiration (divino quodam afflato), and their prognostications and predictions are called God's oracle.

Ponam verba non minus spectati quam eruditi viri Thessalonicensis Theodori: qui Aristotelis de animalibus libros fecit Latinos: cuius ego memoriae tantum iudico tribuendum: quantum illi: qui in media rerum ignorantia lumen caecutientibus aut potius nihil videntibus accenderit: tametsi ipse ut Graecus homo Latinis quibusdam literatoribus nimium fortasse indulsit. Eius verba sunt haec in Aristotelica translatione: Quibus hominibus plantae pars interior non cava est sed ita plena: ut solum toto attingat vestigio: ii versuti sint et fraudulenti.

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