In the Company of Demons: Unnatural Beings, Love, and Identity in the Italian Renaissance

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University of Chicago Press, 2006 - 244 páginas
Who are the familiar spirits of classical culture and what is their relationship to Christian demons? In its interpretation of Latin and Greek culture, Christianity contends that Satan is behind all classical deities, semi-gods, and spiritual creatures, including the gods of the household, the lares and penates.But with In the Company of Demons, the world’s leading demonologist Armando Maggi argues that the great thinkers of the Italian Renaissance had a more nuanced and perhaps less sinister interpretation of these creatures or spiritual bodies.

Maggi leads us straight to the heart of what Italian Renaissance culture thought familiar spirits were. Through close readings of Giovan Francesco Pico della Mirandola, Strozzi Cigogna, Pompeo della Barba, Ludovico Sinistrari, and others, we find that these spirits or demons speak through their sudden and striking appearances—their very bodies seen as metaphors to be interpreted. The form of the body, Maggi explains, relies on the spirits’ knowledge of their human interlocutors’ pasts. But their core trait is compassion, and sometimes their odd, eerie arrivals are seen as harbingers or warnings to protect us. It comes as no surprise then that when spiritual beings distort the natural world to communicate, it is vital that we begin to listen.

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Índice

Bodies of Desire
1
To read thebody of a monster Exegesis and Witchcraft in Strix
25
To recall the spirits Past Memory and Demonology in Strozzi Cigognas Palace of Marvels and of the Great Enchantmentsof the Spirits and of the Enti...
66
The shadows and their beloved bodies Medicine Philosophy of Love and Demonology in Pompeo della Barbas Interpretation of a Platonic Sonnet
104
What does human mean? Beings against Nature in Ludovico Maria Sinistraris Demoniality
139
A conclusion Bodies of Salvation
161
Notes
167
Bibliography
219
Index
231
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Sobre el autor (2006)

Armando Maggi is professor of Romance languages and literatures and a member of the Committee on the History of Culture at the University of Chicago. He is the author of several books, including Satan's Rhetoric and The Resurrection of the Body: Pier Paolo Pasolini from Sade to Saint Paul, forthcoming from the University of Chicago Press.



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