The symbolic of the "circle-ellipse": The Warburg-Cassirer «stellar friend- ship». The article intends to explore the fruitful intellectual exchange between the hi- storian of art and culture Aby Warburg and the philosopher Ernst Cassirer starting from their first meeting in 1924 and developed over ten years. The author analyses how the Cassirer’s concept of "symbolic form" and the Warburg’s conception that took shape in the Bilderatlas Mnemosyne are deeply linked to the interests of both for the origins of modern physics. The figure of Kepler as a "transitional figure between mythical and mathematical thought" on which they focus on their first meeting has a central role in this reflection. The author wants to demonstrate how the analysis of the theory of symbol is inseparable from the study of the theory of myth, connected to co- smological, astrological and astronomical themes. The principles that inaugurate the scientific revolution of the modern age, present in nuce in the science of physics inau- gurated by Kepler, are observed in the more mature results of Einstein’s theory of re- lativity. A theory which played an important role both in Cassirer’s philosophy and in Warburg’s reflections.
Keywords: Aby Warburg;; Ernst Cassirer;; Johannes Kepler;; symbolic form, cosmology, modern physics