Political Implications of Ancient Platonism in Rabelais’s Tiers Livre

Political Implications of Ancient Platonism in Rabelais’s Tiers Livre François Rabelais’s (1483-1553) Tiers Livre (1546) constitutes a turning point in the five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel, as war finally ends and peace reigns over the Utopian kingdom. Peace brings with it the question of whether Panurge, one of Rabelais’s main characters, should marry. Pantagruel, the prince of Utopia, calls a banquet of experts, each representing a strand of Western civilization, to decide this question. The arrangement of this banquet where each expert speaks in turn and at length, uninterrupted by the others, allows Rabelais to portray the arrayed opinions perspectivally or independently. Rondibilis, a medical expert who speaks at the banquet, presents a Platonism that focuses on ‘natural consequences’ and that appears less adulterated by Christianity and later forms of philosophy than the Neoplatonism of most of Rabelais’s contemporaries. Rondibilis’s advice of resignation to nature is reflected as well in the political rule of prince Pantagruel. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought Brill

Political Implications of Ancient Platonism in Rabelais’s Tiers Livre

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0142-257x
eISSN
2051-2996
DOI
10.1163/20512996-12340146
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

François Rabelais’s (1483-1553) Tiers Livre (1546) constitutes a turning point in the five books of Gargantua and Pantagruel, as war finally ends and peace reigns over the Utopian kingdom. Peace brings with it the question of whether Panurge, one of Rabelais’s main characters, should marry. Pantagruel, the prince of Utopia, calls a banquet of experts, each representing a strand of Western civilization, to decide this question. The arrangement of this banquet where each expert speaks in turn and at length, uninterrupted by the others, allows Rabelais to portray the arrayed opinions perspectivally or independently. Rondibilis, a medical expert who speaks at the banquet, presents a Platonism that focuses on ‘natural consequences’ and that appears less adulterated by Christianity and later forms of philosophy than the Neoplatonism of most of Rabelais’s contemporaries. Rondibilis’s advice of resignation to nature is reflected as well in the political rule of prince Pantagruel.

Journal

Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political ThoughtBrill

Published: Apr 12, 2018

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