Associate Professor, Program of Liberal Studies
Concurrent Associate Department of Philosophy; Professor Medieval Institute; Romance Languages and Literatures; Italian Studies; Member of the Advisory Committee of the Workshop on Ancient Philosophy; Steering Committee Member of the History of Philosophy Forum


Robichaud’s research is on the long history of Platonism from 270-1499, a period that stretches from the death of Plotinus (270), the founder of a philosophical movement commonly known as Neoplatonism, until the death of Ficino (1499), who is singlehandedly responsible for integrating the largest body of Greek philosophical texts into late medieval Latin philosophy. He therefore studies what could be considered the long Middle Ages, a period that might also be divided into (late) ancient, medieval, and Renaissance philosophy. He is especially interested in the history of Platonism and its intersections with religious traditions. 

His research also engages with various aspects of philology, premodern manuscript and Early Modern book studies, as well as humanist commentary and textual practices. He conducts careful philological and paleographical research in Latin and Greek manuscripts. 

His articles have appeared in Renaissance Quarterly, the Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, and Vivarium: A Journal for Medieval and Early-Modern Philosophy and Intellectual Life. His book Plato’s Persona: Marsilio Ficino, Renaissance Humanism, and Platonic Traditions was published by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2018. He co-edited Marsilio Ficino’s Cosmology: Sources and Reception as a special issue of Bruniana & Campanelliana (2020). He is presently preparing critical editions and book-length studies of Ficino’s Latin translations of Iamblichus’s De Secta Pythagorica and Theon of Smyrna’s Mathematica, as well as a translation and study of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s De ente et uno, and a study of Thomas Aquinas’s philosophy.

Robichaud won a Doctoral Fellowship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), as well as the Danial Coit Gilman Fellowship and the Charles Singleton Fellowship from Johns Hopkins University. In 2008, he was a scholar in residence in the Classics department of Dartmouth College. He was the 2012 Frances A. Yates Fellow at the Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London. In 2016, he received the Olivia Remie Constable Prize in Medieval Studies to be a Fellow at Harris Manchester College, Oxford. In 2018, he was a scholar in residence at the School of Religious Studies at McGill University. He won the Phyllis W. G. Gordan / National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Post-Doctoral Prize and was a resident fellow at the American Academy in Rome during the academic year of 2018-19. During the 2020-21 academic year he was the Jean-François Malle Fellow at I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.



Plato’s Persona: Marsilo Ficino, Renaissance Humanism, and Platonic Traditions (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

In 1484, humanist philosopher and theologian Marsilio Ficino published the first complete Latin translation of Plato’s extant works. Students of Plato now had access to the entire range of the dialogues, which revealed to Renaissance audiences the rich ancient landscape of myths, allegories, philosophical arguments, etymologies, fragments of poetry, other works of philosophy, aspects of ancient pagan religious practices, concepts of mathematics and natural philosophy, and the dialogic nature of the Platonic corpus’s interlocutors. By and large, Renaissance readers in the Latin West encountered Plato’s text through Ficino’s translations and interpretation.

In Plato’s Persona, Denis J.-J. Robichaud provides the first synthetic study of Ficino’s interpretation of the Platonic corpus. Robichaud analyzes Plato’s works in their original Greek and in Ficino’s Latin translations, as well as Ficino’s non-Platonic writings and correspondence, in the process uncovering new aspects of Ficino’s intellectual work habits. In his letters and works, Ficino self-consciously imitated a Platonic style of prose, in effect devising a persona for himself as a Platonic philosopher. Plato’s dialogues are populated with a wealth of literary characters with whom Plato interacts and against whom Plato refines his own philosophies. Reading through Ficino’s translations, Robichaud finds that the Renaissance philosopher seeks an understanding of Plato’s persona(e) among all the dialogues’ interlocutors. In effect, Ficino assumed the role of Plato’s Latin spokesperson in the Renaissance.

Plato’s Persona is grounded in an extensive study of scholarship in Renaissance humanism, classics, philosophy, and intellectual history, and contextualizes Ficino’s intellectual achievements within the contemporary Christian orthodox view of Platonism. Ficino was an influential figure in the early Italian Renaissance: the key intermediary between Greek and Latin, and between manuscript and print, giving voice to Plato and access to the ancient frameworks needed to interpret his dialogues.

View Plato’s Persona on Penn Press’ website.

Reviews of Plato’s Persona

Marieke van den Doel, “Review Essay: Marsilio Ficino: Humanist, Magus, or Philosopher?,” History of Humanities 6.1 (2021).

Francesco Caruso and Carlo delle Donne, Elenchos 41.1 (2020).

‘Booknotes,’ along with Simon Blackburn’s On Truth (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018), Philosophy: The Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy vol. 94 no. 397 (January, 2019).

Mariapaola Bergomi, “Serioludere – Travestimenti letterari, maschere e platonismo: a margine di una recente pubblicazione su Marsilio Ficino,” Méthexis : International Journal for Ancient Philosophy 31 (2019).

Valery Rees, International Journal of the Platonic Tradition 13 (2019).

Valery Rees, Mediterranea: International Journal on the Transfer of Knowledge 5 (2020).

Matteo Stefani, “Marsilio Ficino Alter Plato. a proposito di un recente volume su Ficino e la tradizione platonica,” Rivista di Filologica e di Istruzione Classica 147.2 (2019).

Sergius Kodera, in Journal of the History of Philosophy 58.3 (2020) Teresa Rodriguez, in Renaissance Quarterly 72.3 (2019).

Robert John Clines, The Sixteenth Century Journal 50.3 (2019). Robert John Clines, Mediterraneanisms (2019).

Matteo Stefani, Medioevo Greco 19 (2019).

Isabella Walser-Bürgler, Medievalia et Humanistica, New Series 45 (2020).

Simon Smets, International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2019).

Susan Byrne, Bulletin of the Comediantes 70.2 (2018).

H. Darrel Rutkin, in Early Science and Medicine 24 (2019): 289-309.

Anna Corrias, in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews: An Electronic Journal (2018.10.11).

Craig Kallendorf, in Neo-Latin News / Seventeenth-Century News 66.1/2 (2018).

Joseph W. Koterski, S.J., in International Philosophical Quarterly 58.3 Issue 231 (September 2018).


Higher Education

PhD, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, 2011.

Concordia University, Montréal, Canada
BA, Liberal Arts College (a great books program), with distinction, on the Dean’s List, 2005.


I am fluent (speak, read, and write) in French, English, and Italian, and I have taught university courses in all three languages. I have also research and reading abilities in Ancient Greek, Latin, German, and Spanish. I have training in Latin and Greek paleography and philology, and have worked with manuscripts and early books in a number of special collections libraries in America and Europe.


2018-present: University of Notre Dame: Associate Professor of Philosophy with Tenure, Program of Liberal Studies; Italian Studies; Romance Languages and Literatures; Medieval Institute; Member of the Advisory Committee of the Notre Dame Workshop on Ancient Philosophy; Member of the Steering Committee and Faculty Affiliate, History of Philosophy Forum; Faculty Fellow: Nanovic Institute for European Studies; International Scholars in Italy; Rome Global Gateway

2011-2018: University of Notre Dame: Assistant Professor, Program of Liberal Studies; Italian Studies; Medieval Institute; Fellow, Nanovic Institute for European Studies; Member, Workshop on Ancient Philosophy; Faculty Fellow, International Scholars in Italy; Fellow, Rome Global Gateway

Scholarships and Fellowships

I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Jean-François Maille Residential Fellowship, Florence, Italy, 2020-21.

American Academy in Rome, Phyllis W.G. Gordan National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Post-Doctoral Prize Fellowship, Rome, Italy, 2018-19.

McGill University, Research Fellow, Seminar Leader, and Participant in the international research group, Metaphysics of Conversion from Late Antiquity to Early Modernity, School of Religious Studies, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, co-hosted by the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, UK, 2018.

Oxford, Harris Manchester College, Constable Fellow in Medieval Studies, Oxford, UK, 2016.

University of Notre Dame, Rome Global Gateway, Faculty Fellow, Rome, Italy, 2014.

Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Study, University of London, Frances A. Yates Research Fellow, London, UK 2012.

Dartmouth College, Ancient Greek Scholar in Residence, Classics, Hanover, NH, 2008.

Johns Hopkins, Villa Spelman, Charles Singleton Fellow, Florence, Italy, 2007.

Academic Awards and Fellowships

2020-21: Jean-François Malle Fellow, I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, Florence, Italy.

2018-19: Phyllis W.G. Gordan National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize Fellow, American Academy in Rome, Rome, Italy.

2017: I am the principal investigator for the project, Classical Arabic and the History of Philosophy, which won Notre Dame’s internal competition to select a candidate for the New Directions Fellowship from the Mellon Foundation but was runner-up in the national competition. The following collaborators sponsored my application: Amos Bertolacci, Professor of Medieval and Islamic philosophy at the Scuola Normale Superiore Pisa; Cristina D’Ancona, Professor of Medieval Arabic philosophy at the University of Pisa; Garth Fowden, Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths in the Faculty of Divinity and Senior Research Associate at Peterhouse at Cambridge University; and Issam Marjani, Lecturer in Arabic at the Université Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdella and the Abjadiyya Institute of Fez (Morocco) and the University of Pisa.

Books and Monographs

Plato’s Persona: Marsilio Ficino, Renaissance Humanism, and Platonic Traditions (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018)

Book Projects in Process

Controversies over God and Being in the Italian Renaissance: religion, philosophy, and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola’s De ente et uno. (tentative title): Controversies over God and Being in the Italian Renaissance is a new book on Giovanni Pico’s De ente et uno. I will include the first full translations of the works involved in its controversies. Pico’s debate with friends over the nature of God and reality at a Medici villa quickly spread like storms not just over Christianity, but also Judaism, Islam, paganism, and religion per se. Many intervened: university professors and poets, like Cittadini and two Benivieni brothers; Savonarola and Dominicans in Florence; the philologist Poliziano; Pico’s polymath nephew Gianfrancesco; the expert of Arabic and Jewish philosophy del Medigo; and Ficino, whose Platonism Pico first targeted. Nota Bene: This project is supported by Harvard University’s I Tatti Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

The Marsilio Ficino Editions Project is supported by a three-year Faculty Research Support Regular Grant from the Office of Research, University of Notre Dame ($73,796). I am the principal investigator, editor, and author of Marsilio Ficino’s Latin translations of Iamblichus’s De secta pythagorica and Theon of Smyrna’s Mathematica. The editions (De secta Pythagorica and Mathematica) are under contract with Aragno Editore (Turin) in their Ficinus Novus series, directed by Maurizio Campanelli, Professore di filologia, Sapienza, Università di Roma, Christopher Celenza Dean of Georgetown College, Georgetown University, and Sebastiano Gentile, Professore Ordinario, Università degli Studi di Cassino. The editions will be accompanied by a long and detailed study that aims at examining the following four items: i) the development of Ficino’s translations and the place of these translations in his oeuvre; ii) the place of these works in the history of Neoplatonism and Platonic traditions in general; iii) comparing these translations to a brief typology of Greek to Latin translations of philosophy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; iv) a brief study of the fortune of these works.

Edited Volumes

Marsilio Ficino’s Cosmology: Sources and Reception, ed. D. J.-J. Robichaud and H. D. Rutkin. Special issues of Bruniana & Campanelliana: Ricerche Filosofiche e Materiali Storico-Testuali 26.2 (2020). Contributors: D. Robichaud, H. Darrel Rutkin, M. V. Comacchi, T. Katinis, and J. Regier.


Denis J.-J. Robichaud
Associate Professor
Program of Liberal Studies

University of Notre Dame

Concurrent Associate Professor Medieval Institute; Romance Languages and Literatures; Italian Studies; Member of the Advisory Committee of the Workshop on Ancient Philosophy; Steering Committee Member of the History of Philosophy Forum

215 O’Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556