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Ted Hand is public school teacher and independent scholar of Renaissance Magic. In this episode, he discusses the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and Atalanta Fugiens as influential Renaissance texts and the culture of images. Ted discusses in particular the concept of using these image-heavy texts as vehicles for esoteric or mystical play. He discusses in particular the Atalanta Fugiens as a multimedia text and the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili as almost an architectural handbook.

This conversation ends up being a deep exploration of the historical culture of the imagination. We discuss alchemy, the Rosicrucians, early Freemasonry, Robert Fludd, Giulio Camillo, image magic, forbidden knowledge, the Art of Memory, and building a relationship with meaningful texts.

One key bit in this episode is Ted’s explanation of why well-known Renaissance man and architect Leon Battisti Aberti was considered as a potential author of the Hypnerotomachia before scholars seemed to settle on Francisco Colonna.

Along the way, Ted and I discuss different definitions and approaches to meditation in the history of Western esotericism, and we talk about the role of imagination and visions in meditative practice. This in particular might be one of the greatest lesson

This episode is the second in a series on the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili and serves to help introduce the audience to the thinking, culture, and scholarship around this remarkable book and its lasting effect on our culture. Check below for show notes and for Ted’s recommended reading list.


Reading List

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