Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 251 pages of information about The Banquet (Il Convito).
power would descend below, and little of their aspect.  Wherefore we hold that, if it could be possible for this ninth Heaven not to move, the third part of the Heaven would not again be seen in any part from the Earth:  Saturn would be for fourteen years and a half concealed from any place on the Earth, Jupiter would be hidden for six years, and Mars for almost a whole year, and the Sun for one hundred and eighty-two days and fourteen hours (I say days, meaning so much time as so many days measure); and Venus and Mercury, almost like the Sun, would be hidden and would reappear, and the Moon for the space of fourteen days and a half would be hidden from all people.  Verily, here below there would be neither generation, nor the life of animals, nor of plants; there would be no night, nor day, nor week, nor month, nor year; but the whole Universe would be disordered, and the movement of the stars would be in vain.  Not otherwise, should Moral Philosophy cease to be, would the other Sciences be hidden for some time, and there would be no generation nor life of happiness, and all books would be in vain, and all discoveries of old.  Therefore it is sufficiently evident that there is a comparison between this Heaven and Moral Philosophy.

Again, the Empyrean Heaven, because of its Peace, bears a similitude to the Divine Science, which is full of all Peace; which endures no conflict of opinion or of sophistical arguments, on account of the most excellent certainty of its subject, which is God.  And of this He Himself speaks to His disciples:  “My peace I give to you:  My peace I leave unto you,” giving and leaving to them His doctrine, which is this Science whereof I speak.

Solomon says of this Science:  “Sixty are the queens, and eighty the friendly concubines; and youthful virgins without number; but one is my dove and my perfect one.”  All the Sciences he terms queens, and friends, and virgins; and he calls this one dove, because it is without blemish of strife; and he calls this one perfect, because it causes us to see perfectly the Truth in which our Soul finds Peace.

And therefore the comparison of the Heavens to the Sciences having been thus reasoned out, it is easy to see that by the Third Heaven I mean Rhetoric, which has been likened unto the Third Heaven, as appears above.

CHAPTER XVI.

By the similitudes spoken of it is possible to see who these Movers are to whom I speak; what are the Movers of that Heaven; even as Boethius and Tullius, who by the sweetness of their speech sent me, as has before been stated, to the Love, which is the study of that most gentle Lady, Philosophy, by the rays of their star, which is the written word of that fair one.  Therefore in each Science the written word is a star full of light, which that Science reveals And, this being made manifest, it is easy to see the true meaning of the first verse of the purposed Poem

Follow Us on Facebook