The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).

And the order of the houses is this, that the first that they enumerate is that where the Moon is; the second is that where Mercury is; the third is that where Venus is; the fourth is that where the Sun is; the fifth is that where Mars is; the sixth is that where Jupiter is; the seventh is that where Saturn is; the eighth is that of the Stars; the ninth is that which is not visible except by that movement which is mentioned above, which they designate the great Crystalline sphere, diaphanous, or rather all transparent.  Truly, beyond all these, the Catholics place the Empyrean Heaven, which is as much as to say, the Heaven of Flame, or rather the Luminous Heaven; and they assign it to be immoveable, in order to have in itself, according to each part, that which its material desires.  And this is why that first moved—­the Primum Mobile—­has such extremely rapid motion.  For, because of the most fervent appetite which each part of it has to be united with each part of that most Divine Heaven of Peace, in which it revolves with so much desire, its velocity is almost incomprehensible.  And this quiet and peaceful Heaven is the place of that Supreme Deity who from above beholds the whole.  This is the place of the blessed Spirits, according as Holy Church teaches, which cannot speak falsely; and even Aristotle seems to feel this, to him who understands him well, in the first book of Heaven and the World.  This is the highest bound of the World, within which the whole World is included, and beyond which there is nothing.  And it is in no place, but was formed alone in the First Mind, which the Greeks term Protonoe.  This is that magnificence of which the Psalmist spoke when he sang to God:  “Thy glory is raised above the Heavens.”

So, then, gathering together this which is discussed, it seems that there may be ten Heavens, of which the Heaven of Venus may be the third; whereof mention is made in that part which I intend to demonstrate.  And it is to be known that each Heaven below the Crystalline has two firm poles as to itself; and the ninth has them firm and fixed, and not mutable in any respect.  And each one, the ninth even as the others, has a circle, which one may term the equator of its own Heaven; which equally, in each part of its revolution, is remote from one pole and from the other, as he who rolls an apple or any other round thing can sensibly perceive.  And this circle has more swiftness in its movement than any other part of its Heaven, in each Heaven, as he may perceive who considers well.  And each part, in proportion as it is nearer to it, moves so much the more swiftly; so much the slower in proportion as it is more remote and nearer to the pole; since its revolution is less, and it must of necessity be in one self-same time with the greater.  I say again, that in proportion as the Heaven is nearer to the equatorial circle, so much the more noble is it in comparison to its poles; since it has more motion and more actuality and more life and more form and more touch from that which is above itself, and consequently has more virtue.  Hence the stars in the Heaven of the fixed stars are more full of power amongst themselves in proportion as they are nearer to that circle.

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The Banquet (Il Convito) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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