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Diogenes Laertius has Plato reading the Phaedo and Lysis aloud to his students, but the only true lecture or series of lectures attributed to him by ancient sources was entitled On the Good,
Aristotle's disciple the musical theorist Aristoxenus records that Aristotle attended the Lecture or Lectures (I shall henceforth refer to it in the singular); and Simplicius, writing in the sixth century A.D., notes first that the Lecture was also attended by Speusippus, Xenocrates, and others and later that Hestiaios and Heraclides Ponticus were there too. According to both Aristoxenus and Simplicius, Aristotle maintained the Lecture was delivered relatively late in Plato's career.
We are accustomed to thinking of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499) as the great Renaissance champion of Plato from a Christian point of view and the leader of those who wished to effect an accommodation between Platonism (or more accurately Neoplatonism) and Christianity, as the most distinguished of Plato's several Medicean apologists. Many texts lend credibility to this interpretation of Ficino's goals, and it is essentially correct. However, it is important that we appreciate just where he traced the boundaries of accommodation between Catholic dogma and what he regarded as authentic Platonism; and in particular that we appreciate the care and circumspection with which he approached the problem of analyzing the relationship between the dogma of the Trinity and the various texts in Plato that lent themselves to a trinitarian interpretation that Plato himself could not have intended or even fully conceived.
Our knowledge of the universe comes from recording the photon and particle fluxes incident on the Earth from space. We thus require sensitive measurement across the entire energy spectrum, using large telescopes with efficient instrumentation located on superb sites. Technological advances and engineering constraints are nearing the point where we are recording as many photons arriving at a site as is possible. Major advances in the future will come from improving the quality of the site. The ultimate site is, of course, beyond the Earth’s atmosphere, such as on the Moon, but economic limitations prevent our exploiting this avenue to the degree that the scientific community desires. Here we describe an alternative, which offers many of the advantages of space for a fraction of the cost: the Antarctic Plateau.
The Renaissance story of Pythagoras and Pythagorean wisdom, its religious and its scientific aspects alike, is a complicated one. One of the arresting dimensions of early Renaissance Pythagoreanism is consequent on the rediscovery of certain ancient sources. From Marsilio Ficino's viewpoint, Pythagoras' musical and theological debts were unquestionably to Orpheus. Not only did Ficino confront the twin Pythagorean notions of metensomatosis and metempsychosis, but he was drawn into speculating about the cycle of lives and of deaths, deaths that are inter-lives as lives are inter-deaths. This chapter shows that Ficino specifically identified as Pythagorean in his Platonic Theology 4.1.14-16, one that focuses, on the mystery and the symbolism of 12. It can serve to introduce what the Renaissance saw as Pythagoras'mathematical, though to us it is his arithmological legacy. Iamblichus gives the fullest ancient listing of the Symbola in his Protreptic, but provides long list in On the Pythagorean Life.