L’harmonia mundana au xviie siècle. Les critiques de Marin Mersenne adressées au monocorde du monde de Robert Fludd

TitleL’harmonia mundana au xviie siècle. Les critiques de Marin Mersenne adressées au monocorde du monde de Robert Fludd
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsBasílico, B
JournalL’Atelier du Centre de recherches historiques

In his Traité de l’harmonie universelle Marin Mersenne focuses on the representation of the world of Robert Fludd. In this representation, the earth is a musical instrument. Its strings and the harmonies that the instrument produces are tempered by the hand of God: the world is a mathematical and musical order. Mersenne criticizes Fludd’s image because its scientific inaccuracies regarding slots allocated in the different spheres of the universe and some symbols that Mersenne considered "unfit for a Christian," as the representation of God through the image of the sun. Mersenne thus criticizes this image as a philosopher and apologist. He refuses to include specific elements of Fludd’s hermetism in the representation of the cosmos. They not only paved the way to a misleading conception and representation of the world but also contribute to move away the Christian truth. In this article, I propose to review Mersenne’s criticism. My aim is threefold: to study the religious and political significance of Mersenne’s analysis of this representation; to give a description of the image of universal harmony proposed by Mersenne and to identify the musical elements that are taken or appropriated by cosmology and cosmography in general taking into account, at the same time the political and religious challenges of this historical moment. Thus, I aim at making a double contribution: firstly, to put music at the core of my study paying attention to its multiple effects, and secondly, opening the discussion about the way come together with conceptions of the cosmos. [https://journals.openedition.org/acrh/7910]


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