The Garden of Cyrus

The Garden of Cyrus, or The Quincuncial Lozenge, or Network Plantations of the Ancients, naturally, artificially, mystically considered, is a discourse by Sir Thomas Browne. First published in 1658, along with its diptych companion Urn-Burial, in modern times it has been recognised as Browne's major literary contribution to Hermetic wisdom.[1][2]

Frontispiece to The Garden of Cyrus (1658)

Written during a time when restrictions on publishing became more relaxed during Oliver Cromwell's Protectorate, The Garden of Cyrus (1658) is Browne's contribution to a "boom period" decade of interest in esoterica in England.[3] Browne's discourse is a Neoplatonic and Neopythagorean vision of the interconnection of art and nature via the inter-related symbols of the number five and the quincunx pattern, along with the figure X and the lattice design.[4] Its fundamental quest was of primary concern to Hermetic philosophy: proof of the wisdom of God, and demonstrable evidence of intelligent design. The Discourse includes early recorded usage of the words "prototype" and "archetype" in English.


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  2. ^ Faulkner, Kevin (2002). "Scintillae marginila: Sparkling margins - Alchemical and Hermetic thought in the literary works of Sir Thomas Browne". Retrieved 16 February 2017.
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  4. ^ Frank Huntley Sir Thomas Browne: a Biographical and Critical Study Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1962

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