The Myth of Sisyphus: Renaissance Theories of Human Perfectibility

Front Cover
Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 2007 - History - 614 pages
0 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
The myth of Sisyphus symbolizes the idealization of human excellence as a perpetual process of becoming over the impossibility of absolute achievement. In Stoic philosophy, the writing of the Early Church Fathers, and in its allegorical interpretations in medieval and renaissance mythologies, Sisyphus is the archetypal model of human perfectibility. This Sisyphean archetype is a principal theme in renaissance theories of astral magic in the works of Pico, Ficino, Reuchlin, Paracelsus, Agrippa, and Dee. Erasmus, Melanchthon, and Ascham, and in utopian thought from More to Bacon. Sisyphus illuminates the sacred mysteries of life in the works of Philo Judaeus, Plato, Nicholas Cusanus, and Ficino; the spiritual and sensual contraries of love in the dialogues of Leone Ebreo, Bembo, and Bruno; and the tribulations of the unrequited lover in the works of Petrarch, Ronsard, and Sidney.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Sisyphus as Lover
Sisyphus as Hero

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 316 - Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Page 316 - Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin : but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
Page 527 - And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil : and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever...
Page 525 - Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
Page 525 - Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: (for there is no difference: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;) being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood...
Page 304 - Nature never set forth the earth in so rich tapestry as divers poets have done, neither with so pleasant rivers, fruitful trees, sweet-smelling flowers, nor whatsoever else may make the too much loved earth more lovely. Her world is brazen, the poets only deliver a golden.
Page 306 - Then, even of fellowship, O Moon! tell me, Is constant love deemed there but want of wit? Are beauties there as proud as here they be? Do they above love to be loved, and yet Those lovers scorn whom that love doth possess ? — Do they call "virtue
Page 95 - And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven ; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Page 524 - O Goodness infinite, Goodness immense ! That all this good of evil shall produce, And evil turn to good...

Bibliographic information