Alexandre Joseph Hidulphe Vincent on George Gemistos Plethon

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Abstract
George Gemistos Plethon’s work in all its dimensions has attracted many scholars across the ages. One of those scholars was Alexandre Joseph Hidulphe Vincent, a French mathematician and erudite, who in the first and the only critical edition of Plethon’s Book of Laws by C. Alexandre in the nineteenth century, added three notes on his calendar, metrics and music, as he could reconstruct them from the ancient text. Vincent’s calculations were dictated by the main scientific thought of his time, which was Positivism, and through this he thus contributed to the elucidation of some practical aspects of Plethon’s metaphysics. The results of meticulous calculations of the Plethonian calendar, metrics and musical modes show that the scientific spirit, which started appearing in the last days of Byzantium and during the Renaissance, was not only a revival of Antiquity, but an innovative attempt at explaining and being in accordance with the social demands and the physical reality of the time, both being understood as an extension of the metaphysical order. Vincent’s positivistic approach allows considering the impact of Plethon’s system in a postmodern perspective.
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Archival date: 2015-12-22
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2012-07-15

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