Article ID: CBB052727305

Ancient harmony for a new order. Mesmerism, music and Timaeus of Locri (2023)


Amparo Fontaine (Author)

Laboratorio dell'ISPF
Volume: 20
Pages: 1-25
Publication date: 2023
Language: English

This essay traces the cosmological and musical background of Franz Anton Mesmer’s theory of animal magnetism to the ancient cosmology of Timaeus of Locri, Plato’s alleged source for his Timaeus. In the 1760s, two French translations and comments of this source were produced by the Marquis d’Argens and Charles Batteux. The essay explores this relationship in two aspects of Mesmer’s theory. Firstly, the conception of the magnetic fluid as a blend between the metaphysical idea of the “soul of the world” and the imponderable fluids in physics. Secondly, the harmonic cosmos presented in Mesmer’s Théorie du monde et des êtres organisés (1784), which links the origins of the universe with the physical body, and results in a moral and ideal social order.

Citation URI

This citation is part of the Isis database.

Similar Citations

Book Zeitler, William Wilde; (2013)
The Glass Armonica: The Music and the Madness (/p/isis/citation/CBB001420791/) unapi

Article Schaffer, Simon; (2010)
The Astrological Roots of Mesmerism (/p/isis/citation/CBB000954342/) unapi

Book Haller, John S.; (2010)
Swedenborg, Mesmer, and the Mind/Body Connection: The Roots of Complementary Medicine (/p/isis/citation/CBB001022907/) unapi

Chapter David Armando; (2024)
Chi è l'impostore? Ciarlatanesimo, immaginazione e la condanna del mesmerismo (/p/isis/citation/CBB523916995/) unapi

Article Gallo, David A.; Finger, Stanley; (2000)
The Power of a Musical Instrument: Franklin, the Mozarts, Mesmer, and the Glass Armonica (/p/isis/citation/CBB000111572/) unapi

Article Kennaway, James; (2012)
Musical Hypnosis: Sound and Selfhood from Mesmerism to Brainwashing (/p/isis/citation/CBB001210691/) unapi

Article Sisman, Elaine; (2013)
Hadyn's Solar Poetics: The Tageszeiten Symphonies and Enlightenment Knowledge (/p/isis/citation/CBB001320652/) unapi

Article Guicciardini, Niccolò; (2013)
The Role of Musical Analogies in Newton's Optical and Cosmological Work (/p/isis/citation/CBB001211204/) unapi

Book Ravel, Jeffrey S.; Zionkowski, Linda; (2007)
Studies in Eighteenth-Century Culture. Vol. 36 (/p/isis/citation/CBB000741806/) unapi

Article Bruno Belhoste; (2021)
La condamnation du mesmérisme revisitée (/p/isis/citation/CBB067953438/) unapi

Article Simon Schaffer; (2018)
Late Enlightenment Crises of Facts: Mesmerism and Meteorites (/p/isis/citation/CBB095120261/) unapi

Article Adam Crabtree; (2019)
1784: The Marquis de Puységur and the psychological turn in the west (/p/isis/citation/CBB552242153/) unapi

Article Adam Crabtree; Eberhard Bauer; (2022)
On why history is never finished: Puységur, animal magnetism, and the importance of collective scholarship (/p/isis/citation/CBB896534888/) unapi

Thesis Cummings, Johanna Mari; (2006)
Staging Science: The Invisible Forces in the Plays of Elizabeth Inchbald (/p/isis/citation/CBB001560541/) unapi

Chapter Regourd, François; (2008)
Mesmerism in Saint Domingue: Occult Knowledge and Vodou on the Eve of the Haitian Revolution (/p/isis/citation/CBB000774590/) unapi

Book Jacomien Prins; Maude Vanhaelen; (2017)
Sing Aloud Harmonious Spheres: Renaissance Conceptions of Cosmic Harmony (/p/isis/citation/CBB071701613/) unapi

Authors & Contributors
Crabtree, Adam
Schaffer, Simon
Bauer, Eberhard
Bauer, Katrin
Belhoste, Bruno
Cummings, Johanna Mari
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Acta Baltica historiae et philosophiae scientiarum
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
History of Psychology
Journal of the American Musical Instrument Society
Journal of the History of Ideas
University of New Mexico
Johns Hopkins University Press
Musica Arcana
Swedenborg Foundation
Science and society
Mesmer, Franz Anton
Puységur, Armand Marie-Jacques de Chastenet, Marquis de
Franklin, Benjamin
Mozart, Wolfang Amadeus
Beethoven, Ludwig von
Fludd, Robert
Time Periods
18th century
19th century
17th century
20th century
United States
Haiti (Caribbean)
Société Royale de Médecine

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment