Studies in the Platonism of Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Studies in the Platonism of Marsilio Ficino and Giovanni Pico

1st Edition

By Michael J. B. Allen


348 pages

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Fifteen of these essays by one of the leading authorities on Renaissance Platonism explore the complex philosophical, hermeneutical, and mythological issues addressed by the Florentine, Marsilio Ficino (1433-99). Ficino was the pre-eminent Platonist of his time and a distinguished philosopher, scholar and magus who had an enormous influence on the intellectual and cultural life of two and a half centuries, and who is one of the most important witnesses to the preoccupations of his age, above all to its fascination with ancient poetry and philosophy and their uneasy accommodation as an ancient "theology" with Christianity. Two further essays treat of cognate themes taken up by Ficino’s younger friend and rival, the dazzling prince of Concordia, Giovanni Pico della Mirandola (1463-94), who was fascinated by Platonism in his youth but also by other philosophical legacies from the past, including Cabala and the Scholastic Aristotelianism of the Middle Ages. This volume’s initial essay serves as an introduction to the comprehensive phenomenon of Renaissance Platonism.

Table of Contents



I The Renaissance: Platonism 303-315

The Columbia History of Western Philosophy, ed. Richard H. Popkin (New York: Columbia University Press, 1999)

II Cultura hominis: Giovanni Pico, Marsilio Ficino and the Idea of Man 173-196

Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, Convegno internazionale di studi nel cinquecentesimo anniversario della morte (1494-1994), Mirandola, 4-8

ottobre 1994, ed. Gian Carlo Garfagnini (Florence: Olschki, 1997)

III Renaissance Neoplatonism 435-441

The Cambridge History of Literary Criticism: Volume III: The Renaissance,

ed. Glyn P. Norton (Cambridge: CUP, 1999)

IV Marsilio Ficino: Daemonic Mathematics and the Hypotenuse of the Spirit 121-137

Natural Particulars: Nature and the Disciplines in Renaissance Europe, ed. Anthony Grafton & Nancy Siraisi (Boston: MIT Press, 1999)


V In principio:Marsilio Ficino on the Life of Text 11-28

Res et Verba in der Renaissance, ed. Eckhard Kessler & Ian Maclean, Wolfenbűtteler Abhandlungenzur Renaissance-forschung 21 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2002)

VI The Ficinian Timaeus and Renaissance Science 238-250

Plato's Timaeus as Cultural Icon, ed. Gretchen J. Reydams-Schils (Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, 2003)

VII Paul Oskar Kristeller and Marsilio Ficino: e tenebris revocaverunt 1-18

Kristeller Reconsidered: Essays on his Life and Scholarship, ed. John Monfasani (New York: Italica Press, 2006)

VIII Marsilio Ficino, Levitation, and the Ascent to Capricorn 223-240

Éducation, Transmission, Rénovation à la Renaissance, ed. Bruno Pinchard & Pierre Servet, Cahiers du Gagdes 4 (Geneva: Droz, 2006)

IX Marsilio Ficino and the Language of the Past 35-50

Forme del Neoplatonismo, ed. Luisa Simonutti (Florence: Olschki, 2007)

X The Birth Day of Venus: Pico as Platonic Exegete in the Commento and the

Heptaplus 81-113

Pico della Mirandola: New Essays, ed. M. V. Dougherty (Cambridge: CUP, 2007)

XI Quisque in sphaera sua: Plato’sStatesman, Marsilio Ficino’sPlatonic Theology

and the Resurrection of the Body 25-48

Rinascimento, 2nd ser., Vol. 47 (2007)

XII At Variance: Marsilio Ficino, Platonism and Heresy 31-44

Platonism at the Origins of Modernity: Studies on Platonism and Early Modern Philosophy, edd. Douglas Headley & Sarah Hutton, International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées, vol. 196, (Dordrecht: Springer, 2008)

XIII Sending Archedemus: Ficino, Plato’s Second Letter, and its Four Epistolary

Mysteries 413-428

Sol et Homo: Mensch und Natur in der Renaissance: Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag für Eckhard Kessler, ed. Sabrina Ebbersmeyer, Helga Pirner-Pareschi und Thomas Ricklin (Munich: Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 2008)

XIV To gaze upon the face of God again: Philosophic Statuary, Pygmalion, and

Marsilio Ficino 123-136

Rinascimento, 2nd ser. 48 (2008)

XV Marsilio Ficino on Saturn, the Plotinian Mind, and the Monster of Averroes 11-29

Bruniana & Campanelliana 16 (2010/1)

XVI Eurydice in Hades: Florentine Platonism and an Orphic Mystery 19-40

Nuovi maestri e antichi testi: Umanesimo e Rinascimento alle origini del pensiero moderno: Atti del convegno internazionale di studi in onore di Cesare Vasoli

(Mantova 1-3 dicembre 2010), ed. Stefano Caroti e Vittoria Perrone Compagni

(Florence: Olschki, 2012)

XVII Prometheus among the Florentines: Marsilio Ficino on the Myth of Triadic

Power 27-44

Rinascimento, 2nd ser. 51 (20110

XVIII Ratio omnium divinissima: Plato’s Epinomis, Prophecy, and Marsilio Ficino 469-490

Epinomide: Studi sull'opera e la sua ricezione, ed. Francesca Alesse & Franco Ferrari, with Maria.Cristina Dalfino, Elenchos 60-1 (Naples: Bibliopolis, 2012)

Addenda and Corrigenda


About the Author

Michael J. B. Allen is a Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA and the winner of the prestigious international Galileo Galilei prize for his work on Renaissance Philosophy. This collection is a companion one to his first Variorum volume, Plato’s Third Eye (1995).

About the Series

Variorum Collected Studies

The first title in the Variorum Collected Studies series was published in 1970. Since then well over 1000 titles have appeared in the series, and it has established a well-earned international reputation for the publication of key research across a whole range of subjects within the fields of history.

The history of the medieval world remains central to the series, with Byzantine studies a particular speciality, but the range of titles extends from Hellenistic philosophy and the history of the Roman empire and early Christianity, through the Renaissance and Reformation, up to the 20th century. Islamic Studies forms another major strand as do the histories of science, technology and medicine.

Each title in the Variorum Collected Studies series brings together for the first time a selection of articles by a leading authority on a particular subject. These studies are reprinted from a vast range of learned journals, Festschrifts and conference proceedings. They make available research that is scattered, even inaccessible in all but the largest and most specialized libraries. With a new introduction and index, and often with new notes and previously unpublished material, they constitute an essential resource. 

For further information about contributing to the series please contact Michael Greenwood at [email protected]

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General