[Milton-L] The War in Heaven

Harold Skulsky hskulsky at email.smith.edu
Mon Jul 10 23:39:41 EDT 2006


A hint: thanks partly to the Ezekiel tradition, in Rabbinical and
Cabbalistic literature some of which may have been known to Milton
through intermediaries, mercavah [ = "chariot"] (or ma'aseh mercavah [ =
"lore of the chariot"]) becomes a term of art meaning "mystical or
esoteric wisdom." Relevant hermetic and neoplatonic associations with
"chariot" have also accumulated by the time Milton comes on the  scene.
In short, a naively literalistic  reading of the spectacle of the Logos
in a chariot is not on, whether Milton likes it or not; and there is no
reason to believe he likes it.


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