By Cynthia Skenazi
In Aging Gracefully within the Renaissance: tales of Later lifestyles from Petrarch to Montaigne Cynthia Skenazi explores a shift in attitudes in the direction of getting older and offers a old point of view on an important challenge of our time. From the past due fourteenth to the tip of the 16th centuries, the aged topic turned some degree of latest social, scientific, political, and literary realization on either side of the Alps. A circulate of secularization tended to dissociate previous age from the Christian coaching for dying, re-orienting the concept that of getting older round pragmatic concerns equivalent to well-being care, intergenerational relationships, and amassed insights one may well desire to cross alongside. Such alterations have been observed by way of a growing number of own money owed of later existence. indexed via Choice magazine as one of many notable educational Titles of 2014 This identify is offered on-line in its entirety in Open Access
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Extra info for Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance: Stories of Later Life from Petrarch to Montaigne
The treatise’s syncretism has attracted a wide range of comments,34 but its discussion of longevity has been neglected, although it is the focus of De Vita’s book II. To be productive, a scholar should be in good health (book I), Ficino argues; moreover, a long life gives him the opportunity to perfect his knowledge and acquire sufficient experience (book II). Throughout book I On a Healthy Life (De Vita sana), psychology mingles with hygiene and pharmacology, while astrology comes in incidentally.
To these divine presents, Ficino adds his own ones: frugality (parcitas) and moderation (temperantia) in every necessity of life. The constant care of the body and mind is essential to keep far off “that imbalance of humors that is the cause of quick old age and untimely death,” yet only God will help the aged scholar to live a long life for the sake of “the human race” and God himself (II, 20, p. 235). The third and final book of Ficino’s treatise belongs to a climate of religious and social anxiety that turned to astrology to explain human destiny in relation to the laws of the universe.
His memory is excellent, his dynamism and cheerfulness are outstanding. Nothing can alter his mood, not even the prospect of death. Della vita sobria was “in everybody’s hand,” according to Girolamo Cardano. ”45 Cornaro’s treatise is a pragmatic and accessible guide, with few technical medical explanations; the astrological and occult considerations that appear in Zerbi’s and Ficino’s discussions are conspicuously absent. Cornaro’s secret for staying forever young is simple and straightforward: a sober diet and a regular life.
Aging Gracefully in the Renaissance: Stories of Later Life from Petrarch to Montaigne by Cynthia Skenazi