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On the Nature of Love
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On the Nature of Love

Subtitle Ficino on Plato's 'Symposium'
By Arthur Farndell
ISBN 9780856835094
Spring 2016


Honouring Plato’s birthday, a group of scholars gathered near Florence In 1468. After the meal, his 'Symposium' was read, and each guest spoke on an aspect of love. Ficino recorded the topics discussed, including 'Ways of falling in love' and 'The kinds of people that make us fall in love'.

Author's Biography

Arthur Farndell has long been a member of the team of scholars translating 'The Letters of Marsilio Ficino' from Latin, and has translated many of Ficino’s other commentaries on Plato’s Dialogues, published by Shepheard-Walwyn as 'All Things Natural', 'Evermore Shall Be So', 'Gardens of Philosophy' and 'When Philosophers Rule'.


“This is philosophy with a mystical dimension – one that is crucial to the original Socratic and Platonic teaching.” Faith and Freedom 

“is delightful to read and is imbued with a lofty love of wisdom and a dedication to divine truth that are inspiring.” Temenos Academy Review 

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Reader Comments

A beautiful read
The book gives a practical avenue which takes you to the heart of Plato's teaching about love
Well done you fine linguist and grammarian.
Just holding the book in my hands evoked peaceful desire to participate in the Symposium. After reading a few sentences I knew this is the book not of the past event but the very present moment of true living.
Excellent, well done Arthur!
A brilliant author!
A great achievement.
Translated with sensitivity and finesse, this is a faithful rendition of Marsilio Ficino's Tuscan version of his famous work on love. It honours Ficino's own intention of allowing the inspiration he found through Plato to be shared more widely, and it does so with clarity and grace.
'To find boundless joy in boundless beauty' speaks directly to the heart from which springs forth Love and Gratitude for the continuous line of translators to this day who share in the undeniable truth that Love brings peace and contentment to each and everyone of us. Thank you Arthur.
I love (sic) all aspects of love!
Love in its real sense, feeling and practice is 'what the world needs now' and has always needed. Although it has always been available, we need reminders like this. I concur with the author who writes that in these times where love is apparently covered over by negative emotions, the readings in this book are an inspiration to remember that there is another way to be. We study and read so many things. Why not, then, about love? Remembering, practising and nurturing love makes perfect sense. A beautiful and meaningful book by an inspired, inspiring author.
Terrific to have an Eng translation of the reflections on the Symposium by members of Ficino's Platonic Academy in Florence. They spoke of the need to care for the young, and how to do it, i.e by cultivating the virtues in them so that they may lead an honourable life.
If you want to know what Love really is, read this book! This is a grand offering of love. Congratulations Arthur.
Love is All. All is Love. Mindfulness in love and beauty. Well done, Arthur!
This is a really readable translation and a great addition to the canon of Ficino writings available in English. Well done, Arthur!
What an excellent exposition on the nature of love this book is. An erudite translation of a Florentine symposium eulogising on the Platonic symposium concerning love and beauty. Ficino appears to be at one with the mind of Plato. The translator seems to be at one with the mind of Ficino. Oh for a drinking party like this!
This is an important work with a salient message for our times. It has been methodically and lovingly translated by Mr Farndell and deserves every accolade.
A beautiful, uplifting book by a gifted author.
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