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By Henricus Cornelius Agrippa, Albert Rabil Jr.

Originally released in 1529, the Declamation at the Preeminence and the Aristocracy of the feminine Sex argues that ladies are greater than equivalent to males in all issues that actually topic, together with the general public spheres from which that they had lengthy been excluded.

Rather than without delay refuting winning knowledge, Agrippa makes use of women's superiority as a rhetorical equipment and overturns the misogynistic interpretations of the feminine physique in Greek medication, within the Bible, in Roman and canon legislation, in theology and ethical philosophy, and in politics. He raised the query of why girls have been excluded and supplied solutions established now not on intercourse yet on social conditioning, schooling, and the prejudices in their extra robust oppressors. His declamation, disseminated throughout the printing press, illustrated the ability of that new medium, quickly for use to generate a bigger reformation of religion.

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20 I, also 237 "Only long experience could teach man what were the real forces work- the universe, and how they could be controlled. " ThIS seems to be the conclusion reached as well by Mrchael H Keefer, "Agrippa's DilemrnaHermetic 'Rebirth' and the Ambivalences of De vanrtateand De occultaphilosophla,"RenarssanceQuarterly 41 (1988): 614-53 109 26 10 Nauert, 262. 11 12 Agrippa and the Feminist Tradition toward received wisdom characteristic of Vanity (1526). "2? When Agrippa treats legal and political institutions he emphasizes that laws are arbitrary, based on the wills of lawmakers; in saying this he makes no distinction between pagan and Mosaic law.

It could even dissolve pitch too hard to be scraped away with iron" (Claude Thomasset, "The Nature of Woman," A History of Womenin the West, vol. 1, ed. , 1992], 65). Agrippa and the Feminist Tradition attack on Greek female psychology is his reply to Aristotle's well-known assertion that men are more courageous, wise, and noble than women; he counters with the Pauline passage, of which Erasmus made such brilliant use in PraiseofFolly,that God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, the weak to confound the strong, the despised to reduce to nothing things that are.

It was while in London that he wrote his response to the attack of Catilinet. The second period of Agrippa's life was the years he spent in Italy, 151118. He seems initially to have served a military function for the Emperor Maximilian, but his principal interest remained the ancient theology. In the treatises composed in Italy-Oratio in praeiectioneconviviiPlatonis(Oration on theReadingof Plato'sSymposium,ca. 1515), De triplicirationecognoscendiDeum(On theThreeWays ofKnowing God, ca. 1516), and Dialogusde homine(Dialogueon Man, 1516)-the theme is faith in the Hermetic writings, now restored through the work of Ficino.

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