Marsilio Ficino, 1433 - 1499

Marsilio Ficino was an Italian philosopher, scholar, and Neoplatonist.  He was also a translator of distinction, translating the "Argo-nautica," the "Orphic Hymns," Homer's "Hymns," the "Golden Thoughts" of Pythagoras, the works of Dionysius the Areopagite, as well as works by Plotinus, Porphyry, Proclus, Iamblichus, Alcinous, Synesius, and Psellus.  Convinced that Christianity must rest on philosophic grounds, he endeavored to demonstrate that the philosophy of Plato, and its full expression in the Neoplatonists, provided ideal support for the doctrines of the soul.  It is notable that Ficino--like Amos Bronson Alcott--believed that the writings of Plato deserved to be read in the churches and that Socrates and Plato were forerunners of Jesus.