The Banquet (Il Convito) eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 298 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).

And because the ancients perceived that Heaven to be here below the cause of Love, they said that Love was the son of Venus, as Virgil testifies in the first book of the AEneid, where Venus says to Love:  “Oh! son, my virtue, son of the great Father, who takest no heed of the darts of Typhoeus.”  And Ovid so testifies in the fifth book of his Metamorphoses, when he says that Venus said to Love:  “Son, my arms, my power.”  And there are Thrones which are ordered to the government of this Heaven in number not great, concerning which the Philosophers and the Astrologers have thought differently, according as they held different opinions concerning its revolutions.  But all may be agreed, as many are, in this, as to how many movements it makes.  Of this, as abbreviated in the book of the Aggregation of the Stars, you may find in the better demonstration of the Astrologers that there are three:  one, according as the star moves towards its Epicycle; the other, according as the Epicycle moves with its whole Heaven equally with that of the Sun; the third, according as the whole of that Heaven moves, following the movement of the starry sphere from West to East in one hundred years one degree.  So that to these Three Movements there are Three Movers.  Again, if the whole of this Heaven moves and turns with the Epicycle from East to West once in each natural day, that movement, whether it be caused by some Intelligence or whether it be through the rapid movement of the Primum Mobile, God knows, for to me it seems presumptuous to judge.  These Movers produce, caring for that alone, the revolution proper to that sphere which each one moves.  The most noble form of the Heaven, which has in itself the principle of this passive Nature, revolves, touched by the Moving Power, which cares for this; and I say touched, not by a bodily touch, but by a Power which directs itself to that operation.  And these Movers are those to whom I begin to speak and to whom I put my inquiry.


According to that which is said above in the third chapter of this treatise, in order to understand well the first part of the Song I comment on, it is requisite to discourse of those Heavens, and of their Movers; and in the three preceding chapters this has been discussed.  I say, then, to those whom I proved to be Movers of the Heaven of Venus:  “Ye who, with thought intent” (i.e., with the intellect alone, as is said above), “the third Heaven move, Hear reasoning that is within my heart;” and I do not say “Hear” because they hear any sound, for they have no sense of hearing; but I say “Hear,” meaning with that hearing which they have, which is of the understanding through the intellect.  I say, “Hear reasoning that is within my heart,” within me, which as yet has not appeared externally.  It is to be known that throughout this Song, according to the one sense (the Literal), and the other sense (the Allegorical),

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