The Pagan Dream of the Renaissance

Front Cover
Red Wheel/Weiser, Jan 1, 2002 - History - 292 pages
During the Renaissance, a profound transformation occurred in Western culture, fueled in large part by the rediscovery of the pagan, mythological imagination. While the Greek gods and goddesses had never been entirely eclipsed during the "Dark Ages, " with the Renaissance their presence once again became a powerful force in almost every aspect of life and culture. This over-size, highly-illustrated work provides new perspectives on this hidden stream of spirituality that is so well reflected in art, monuments, and literature, but, until now, has been poorly understood from an inner perspective.

Godwin explains how the European imagination was seduced by the pagan gods, and how people of wealth and leisure -- including those associated with the Catholic Church -- began to decorate their villas and palaces with images of them, write stories about them, and even produce music and dramatic pageants about them. one of the most fascinating chapters, he explores the "garden magic" of the Renaissance villas, and takes the reader on a stunning tour of these complex esoteric landscapes, in which transformations of the soul became possible.

 

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Contents

Seduction by the Gods
1
The Strife of Love in a Dream
21
Reordering the World
39
The Enchantment of Public Spaces
63
Private Microcosms
85
Marvels of Art and Nature
107
Grotesqueries
127
Garden Magic
153
Joyous Festivals
181
The Birth of Opera
203
Versailles and After
231
Selective Genealogies Habsburg Este Gonzaga Medici
263
Notes
267
Bibliography
275
Sources of Illustrations
283
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Marsilio Ficino
Angela Voss
No preview available - 2006

About the author (2002)

Joscelyn Godwin was born in Kelmscott, Oxfordshire, England on January 16, 1945. He was educated as a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral School, Oxford, then at Radley College (Music Scholar), and Magdalene College, Cambridge (Music Scholar; B.A., 1965, Mus. B., 1966, M.A. 1969). Coming to the USA in 1966, he did graduate work in Musicology at Cornell University (Ph. D., 1969; dissertation: "The Music of Henry Cowell") and taught at Cleveland State University for two years before joining the Colgate University Music Department in 1971. He has taught at Colgate ever since.

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