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The Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism

Late Antiquity After Antiquity

The Project

LAAA provides the first systematic study of the rich – yet understudied – interpretative legacy of late antiquity in the history of Western philosophy, with a focus on Platonism. In the early modern period the most influential portraits of the ancient philosophical past were inspired and shaped by representations of this past produced in late antiquity. In its attempt to explore the philosophical heritage of these representations, LAAA begins in the investigation of the hermeneutical approach of the humanist philosopher Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), who produced the first Latin translation of the entire Platonic corpus by using the newly discovered texts of the late antique Platonists as interpretative tools. This approach created a form of Platonism deeply imbued with the theurgically oriented tradition of late antiquity. LAAA’s goals are to disentangle the different interpretative threads which run under the label ‘early modern Platonism’ and to examine its impact in different fields of early modern European knowledge, as well as its role in the shaping of our intellectual and cultural identity. By retracing the complex narrative of filiation which characterizes the reception history of Platonism, LAAA reassesses the role of late antiquity not in its own time, but from the general viewpoint of the historical development of Western thought. This is a totally new perspective in the study of late antiquity, which is examined as a dynamic territory for the preservation, transformation, and transmission of classical texts, as well as a longstanding source of authority and inspiration.

This project received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 795792


Call: H2020-MSCA-IF-2017

Type of Action: MSCA-IF-GF

Acronym: LAAA 795792

Overall Budget: €255,349.80

Principal Investigator

Dr. Anna Corrias was trained in History of Western Philosophy at the Warburg Institute, from where she received her PhD in 2014. As a postdoc she worked at Princeton University, University College London, the University of Queensland, and the University of Toronto. She received funding to support her research from world-leading funding bodies such as the British Academy, the Australian Research Council, the European Research Council, the Royal Institute of Philosophy, the Notre Dame History of Philosophy Forum, and the Gerda Henkel Foundation.

Anna’s research is centered primarily on the Renaissance reception of ancient and late ancient philosophy, with a special focus on the Platonic tradition. She also has interests in history of the book, manuscript studies, history of emotions, and theories of life from the 15th to the 17th century. She is the author of the monograph The Renaissance of Plotinus: The Soul and Human Nature in Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on the “Enneads” (Routledge, 2020) and of several articles. She is currently preparing a critical edition, English translation of, and commentary on Marsilio Ficino’s Expositio in interpretationem Prisciani Lydi super Theophrastum (1497), under contract with Oxford University Press with the title Marsilio Ficino and the Platonic Aristotle: The Commentary on Theophrastus. She is the co-editor of Harmony and Contrast: Plato and Aristotle in the Early Modern Period (Oxford University Press, 2022) and Platonism: Ficino to Foucault (Brill, 2020).


Thu Feb 16, 2023, 2 pm

Old Library, All Souls College

University of Oxford

Mapping the Chiaroscuro: Marsilio Ficino on Plato’s Allegory of the Cave



Fri Sep 30, 2022, 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

Maritain Library (Geddes 437)

University of Notre Dame, USA

‘Marsilio Ficino on Theophrastus on the Intellect’, History of Philosophy Forum



Thu June 26, 2022, 5:15 pm

ISI Florence, Palazzo Rucellai Via delle Vigna Nuova, 18 - Florence

Book Launch

Harmony and Contrast: Plato and Aristotle in the Early Modern Period, ed. by A. Corrias and E. Del Soldato (Oxford University Press, 2022)


Thu May 19 - Fri May 20, 2022

Making Forms. Matter, Life, and Plastic Natures from Classical Antiquity to Romanticism



Thu Feb 21, 2022, 5pm

Runcie Room, Divinity Faculty

Longing for Sleep: Marsilio Ficino on the Soul’s Descent into the Body


Latest news

Conference | Metaphysical Feminine Principles in Late Antiquity and Beyond | 28th October 2023

17 July 2023

On Saturday 28th of October 2023, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host a conference dedicated to metaphysical feminine principles in Late Antiquity and beyond, in both paganism and Abrahamic religions. The event is organised by Dr Andreea-Maria Lemnaru ( ) and Prof. Douglas...

Conference | Participation and Subcreation: Creativity and the Experience of God in the thought of O. Barfield and J.R.R. Tolkien | 25th September 2023

12 July 2023

On 25th September 2023, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host a conference on the often neglected relationship between the thought of Owen Barfield and J.R.R. Tolkien, focusing on their understanding of the relationship between creativity and the divine. This event is organised by Douglas Hedley ( rdh26...

Conference | Metaphysical Poetry and Thought of Adam Mickiewicz in the European Context | 26th-27th September 2023

12 July 2023

On 26th and 27th September 2023, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host a conference to discuss the thought and poetry of Adam Mickiewicz, one of the great figures of Polish, and European, Romanticism. This event is organised by Douglas Hedley ( ) and Mateusz Stróżyński ( mateusz...

Conference | Panpsychism: Problems and Prospects | 19th June 2023

9 May 2023

On Monday 19th June, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host a conference dedicated to panpsychism. The event is organised by Dr Anna Corrias ( ) and Prof. Douglas Hedley ( ). Please see the conference programme (below) and contact them to sign up or for further...

Launch Event | 'A Less Familiar Plato' with Kevin Corrigan and the Cambridge Series in Religion and Platonism | 20th June 2023

9 May 2023

On Tuesday 20th June, the Cambridge Centre for the Study of Platonism will host Prof. Kevin Corrigan (Emory University), who will be launching his new book, A Less Familiar Plato: From Phaedo to Philebus , published by Cambridge University Press as the first in a new series, Religion and Platonism , edited by Prof. Douglas...