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41 Tarnas, pp. 211-212. 42 Tarnas, p. 200. Eventually, however, Plato's work had a direct influence. With the fall of Constantinople to the Turks in 1453, many scholars escaped into western Europe, bringing with them a wealth of Classical treatises, as well as knowledge of the Greek language. Many of these manuscripts, including several of Plato's dialogues, were translated into Latin by scholars such as Marsilio Ficino, who was the head of a revived Platonic Academy in Florence and who worked under the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici.

For the content of the Corpus Hermeticum see G. R. S. Mead, Thrice-Greatest Hermes: Studies In Hellenistic Theosophy & Gnosis, Being a Translation of the Extant Sermons & Fragments of the Trismegistic Literature, with Prolegomena, Commentaries, & Notes, 3 Volumes (London & Benares: Theosophical Publishing Society, 1906). 45 See Frances A. Yates, Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1964). growing in the late fifteenth century, the Hermetic literature became enormously influential.

Thus, for example, alchemy can be viewed as a primitive form of chemistry replete with superstitious elements. It appears, however, that alchemy was concerned less with chemistry than with human development: In Europe the transcendental alchemists—mystics and philosophers—sought to transmute the base elements of human character into the more noble virtues and to release the wisdom of the divine self within the individual. 53 A Matrix of Ideas. Finding Fludd's name in this context provides some insight into the multiple sources of his ideas and the complexity of the Magical tradition.

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