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Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Hilde & JB Show

digital background (sky) by Selkis; Venom by ilT;
also starring: Michelangelo, Arnold Böcklin

Two of the most fascinating visions of our world have been worked out by two very different people, a woman and a man. She is St Hildegard of Bingen; he is Giambattista Vico. She: a 12th century nun, preacher, mystic, physician, and musician from cold Northern Europe. He: an early 18th century legal expert and philosopher from hot and hot blooded Southern Italy. Both conformist Catholics, both absolutely nonconformist.

Hilde offered a holistic view of the universe and, directly linked, human psychology and spirituality. JB rewrote the history of humankind from actual Australopithecus [though not yet called so, of course] to Ancient Rome. Their main ideas can be retrieved in encyclopedias and online, and may be accepted or not, but the true pleasure is to enjoy their surprising descriptions in detail. In one way or another, after reading their works, you won't look at the world, body, Nature, society, culture, etc., in the same manner as before.

With reference to Vico, it is interesting to report the opinion of Giuseppe Ferrari (Italian philosopher and politician, 1812-1876): "His starting point was the 16th century. . .  From his deep respect toward the ancient authors to his ignorance about the events in modern Europe, to the Machiavellian loop that chains him to a never-ending repetition of the Old; to the hope that does enliven him when he sees the European civilization fall, because out of its ruins Rome and the Greece will rise again; to his very language, now Latin, now based on Latin syntax, . . .  from all this we realize that Vico belonged to the Renaissance."