Carrie Gates | August 6, 2018
Denis Robichaud, an associate professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, has been awarded the Phyllis W.G. Gordan / National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in the field of Renaissance and Early Modern Studies.
Robichaud was one of 29 Rome Prize winners this year, chosen from among nearly 1,000 artists and scholars across the United States.
The prize allows him to serve as a resident fellow at the American Academy in Rome for the 2018–19 academic year, where he will continue work on his book, the Marsilio Ficino Editions Project.
“This is an invaluable opportunity that will give me the time and resources to complete my second book,” he said. “It also allows me to be part of the diverse American Academy community, getting to know other scholars and artists and their work, which is going to be fantastic.”
Robichaud’s project is a critical edition and study of 15th-century philosopher Marsilio Ficino’s Latin translations of a group of ancient Greek works, De Secta Pythagorica (On the Pythagorean School).
Those texts on the philosophy of mathematics, written by late third- and early fourth-century Syrian philosopher Iamblichus, were lost in Western Europe for centuries. Ficino, most famous for translating all of Plato’s dialogues, rediscovered and translated them, creating manuscripts that circulated well into the 17th century.
“Ficino was one of the first philosophers to make use of the printing press,” Robichaud said. “And he was a great translator. But the interesting thing is that while he made this massive translation of these texts by Iamblichus and circulated them, he never printed them.
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