"Plethon: The Byzantine Intellectual & Mystic Who Inspired the Italian Rena...

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Ipso Facto

517 North Harbor Boulevard

Fullerton, CA 92832

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Join us on November 7, 8 p.m. for a free Salon lecture with Dr. James Rietveld on "Plethon: The Byzantine Intellectual and Mystic Who Inspired the Italian Renaissance."
George Gemistos Plethon (1355 – 1452/1454), while often declared as one of the most original of all Byzantine thinkers is also one of the most shrouded in mystery because of his very controversial religious and political views for his times…and, I must add, he’s still controversial today for so many because he thought so far outside-the-box” that his thinking is still considered “radical” by many. While officially in belief Plethon was Greek Orthodox, he merged his mystical faith with Greek philosophy (especially Plato and the Neoplatonists), Jewish cabbalistic philosophy, Zoroastrianism, the Chaldean Oracles (in the latter case dedicating himself to the veneration of the gods Zeus, Hera, and Hekate). But, it must be declared that although Plethon lived the majority of his life during the twilight years of the Byzantine Empire, in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries, he is one of the most important figures—and, I may add—one of the most inspirational figures of the Italian Renaissance—the humanistic movement that was to transform the Latin West. Yes, the ITALIAN RENAISSANCE!!! As a friend of Cosimo de’Medici, Plethon became the main inspiration for founding the famous Platonic Academy in Florence—changing the philosophical landscape of Renaissance Italy forever! In fact, this Academy was officially dedicated to him! Plethon not only had admirers and friends in Italy, but students and even a school inspired by him. He inspired some of the greatest Renaissance thinkers of the age, including Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola either directly or indirectly through his followers. His philosophical contributions would go on here into the Latin West, restoring Platonic thought, inspiring the Hermetic revival, forging the Renaissance magic tradition, articulating Humanism, and changing our world forever! Very rarely is so much inspired by one man—and I bet most of you NEVER heard of him! If you wish to tread upon areas often unexplored by even many scholars, this lecture this is the place you really want to be!!!."

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Ipso Facto

517 North Harbor Boulevard

Fullerton, CA 92832

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