Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    A Medical Treatise for Man's Spiritus

    [Incunabula]. Marsiglio Ficino. De triplici vita libri tres. Primus de vita sana, siue de cura valitudinis eorum, qui incumbunt studio litterarum. Secundus de vita longa. Tertius de vita coelitus comparanda. Apologia quaedam, in qua de medicina, Astrologia, vita mundi. Item de Magis, qui Christum statim natum salutauerunt. Quod neccessaria sit ad vitam securitas & tranquillitas animi. praeclarissimarum sententiarum huius operis brevis Annotatio. Venice: [Bartholomaeus Pelusius, Gabriel Bracius, Joannes Bissolus, Benedictus Mangius], 1498. Quarto. a-z4, &4, reversed "c"4. Blind tooled contemporary calf, restored. Some light browning and insignificant worming to side margins, no affect to text. Few contemporary marginal notes and underlining in old ink. Few light damp stains to inner margin at end of book. Light stain to first blank, with old owner's signature. Very good. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
    Please visit for an extended description of this lot.

    More Information:

    Ficino (1433-1499) son of the physician to Cosimo de'Medici, dedicated himself to the study of Plato and neo-Platonic thought. His translations of the whole of Plato and Plotinus into Latin were key elements in the Renaissance rebirth of Platonic thought. His interest in Porphyry, Proclus, Dionysius the Pseudo-Areopagite, and the Hermetic corpus were likewise the basis for occult investigations into neo-Platonism.

    "Of the three Books of Ficino's De Triplici Vita the first deals with preserving the health of scholars, the second with prolonging their life, and the third with astral influences on them. Through all three, Ficino's attention is devoted not so much to man's soul or body as to his spiritus...The De Triplici Vita is presented as a medical treatise, and the practices recommended in it might be taken as somewhat odd medical remedies and regimes--odd only because of the large place given to talismans and music; for there is, of course, nothing odd in a Renaissance medical treatise dealing with spirits and astrology...It is clear that Ficino is strongly attracted by this kind of magic or theurgy, that he considers valuable, and also it is clear that he is aware that it is dangerous. His conclusion seems to be that its dangers might be avoided if it remained within a learned, philosophical circle, and were kept secret from the ignorant vulgus, who would distort it into idolatry and superstition."  D.P. Walker, Spiritual And Demonic Magic From Ficino To Campanella. 

    Hain II: 7066. GW 9886. BMC III: 759. Goff F:161. BM STC (Ital):  250. Cantamessa I: 1496. Gunt (L): 3112. IGI 3871. Pr 5639. ISTC if00161000. Klebs 397.5.  Walsh 2738, 2739. Bod-inc F-053. Sheppard 4718. BMC XII 41. 

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    Calculate Standard Domestic Shipping

    Sales Tax information  |  Terms and Conditions

    Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments

    Glossary of Terms

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,140

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 October 27 Domain Names Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The department director has the heart of a true and highly knowledgeable collector with the business acumen of someone who has been not only successful but has decades of an impeccable track record
    David Greenburg,
    Chicago, IL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    2018 November 10-11 The David and Janice Frent Collection of Presidential & Political Americana, Part IV - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $654,597