Spiritual & Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella – D.P. Walker (1995). Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State Univ Press, 256 p.
First published by the Warburg Institute in 1958, this book is considered a landmark in Renaissance studies. Whereas most scholars had tended to view magic as a marginal subject, Walker showed that magic was one of the most typical creations of the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Walker takes readers through the magical concerns of some of the greatest thinkers of the Renaissance, from Marsilio Ficino, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, and Jacques Lefevre d&;Etaples to Jean Bodin, Francis Bacon, and Tommaso Campanella. Ultimately he demonstrates that magic was interconnected with religion, music, and medicine, all of which were central to the Renaissance notion of spiritus.
Remarkable for its clarity of writing, this book is still considered essential reading for students seeking to understand the assumptions, beliefs, and convictions that informed the thinking of the Renaissance. This edition features a new introduction by Brian Copenhaver, one of our leading experts on the place of magic in intellectual history.
Daniel Pickering Walker (1914–1985) was an English historian and author of several noted studies on the occult in Western history. His best-known work is Spiritual and Demonic Magic: From Ficino to Campanella (1958), which has been described as “a classic in Renaissance studies”. The book examines the magic of Marsilio Ficino, explains a “General theory of natural magic”, and analyzes thinkers who were supporters of magic, Johannes Trithemius, Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa, Paracelsus, Jacques Gohory, Pietro Pompanazzi, Francesco Giorgi, Pontus de Tyard, Guy Lefèvres de la Boderie, Fabio Paolini, Bernardino Telesio, Donio, Antonio Persio, Francis Bacon, and Tommaso Campanella, and those who opposed it, G. F. Pico, Johann Wier, Thomas Erastus, Symphorian Champier, Jacques Lefevre d’Etaples, Jean Bodin, and Martin del Rio.
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