ND   JMC : History of Medieval Philosophy / by Maurice De Wulf


427. The Platonist Renaissance in Italy.{1} -- From 1450 to 1550, Italy worshipped Plato. It was introduced to his works in the original by the scholars from Byzantium, where Plato had come to be regarded as the equal of Aristotle from the time of the younger Psellus (211). In the poetic atmosphere of the Platonic dialogues, the Italian Renaissance found all the elements that fed and fostered its love for the beauties of classical antiquity. It is easy to understand how artistic souls, in quest of beauty more than of truth, would turn away in disgust from the abstract discussions of Aristotle and the scholastics. Add to this that the Aristotle of scholasticism now saw rising up beside him an antischolastic Aristotle, the protagonist of a new and specific form of materialism; which disposed scholars to conclude all the more readily that it was not in Aristotle's writings, but in Plato's, the deposit of ancient philosophic truth was to be found.

{1} Cf. HUIT, Le Platonisme pendant la Renaissance (Ann. phil. chrétienne, 1895 to 1898).

<< ======= >>