Classical and Christian Auctoritas in Marsilio Ficino’s preface to the Corpus Hermeticum
Keywords:hypertext, auctoritas, Marsilio Ficino, Hermes Trismegistus, preface
Marsilio Ficino’s fame as a translator, not least due to his contributions to theology and the development of hermeticism, has already been established by Frances Yates and debated by Wouter Hanegraaff. For each of his translations of Greek texts, Ficino wrote a preface to guide and to manipulate the reader. This paper presents an analysis of the auctoritas in the paratext of the Corpus Hermeticum, analyzing it as a rhetorical device used by Ficino to express his ideas, particularly the role of Hermes Trismegistus. Ficino used his rhetorical skill not only to translate from Greek to Latin but also to support his theories in commentaries, letters, or, in this case, prefaces.
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