Dr Maude Vanhaelen studied Classics at the University of Brussels (1995-1999). She later completed a Master of Studies in Classics at the University of Oxford and then took a Ph.D. at the University of Brussels (2001-2005). Before joining Warwick she spent two years of research, first as a Post-doctoral Fellow in Classics at the University of Oxford (2005-2006), then as a Deborah Loeb Brice Fellow at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence (2006-2007).
Dr Vanhaelen's research focuses on the reception of philosophy in the Italian Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. She has published a number of articles on the work of the Florentine humanist Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499), who offered the first translation in Latin of the complete works of Plato, and commented important works by Plato's successors. She has completed the critical edition and translation of Ficino’s Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides in the I Tatti Renaissance Library series (ITRL), which is due to be published shortly. She is currently undertaking a project that explores the reception of Ficino's work in the sixteenth century, both in Latin and in the vernacular, with a focus on the political reappropriation of Platonism in sixteenth-century Italy and the importance of demonology in the history of science.
Dr Vanhaelen's approach consists in studying the historical and ideological context in which ancient texts were translated and interpreted, with a view to determine what differentiates Renaissance receptions from Ancient and Medieval reappropriations of Antiquity (for instance, Proclus, St Augustine and Thomas Aquinas). In addition to editing and translating hitherto unexplored texts in manuscripts and early printed books, she examines the context in which these texts were produced and received—the exchange of letters between humanists, the constitution of private libraries and the theological debates of the time, both within and outside the universities, among members of the clergy and laity alike. She also explores the impact of sources that lie outside the doctrinal canon traditionally ascribed to Renaissance philosophy, such as Jewish and Arabic mysticism, Hermetic, astrological and magical texts.
Teaching and supervision
PhD students supervised:
- Dr Rocco di Dio, Marsilio Ficino's notebooks (Italian, Classics, CSR)
- Dr Aileen Das, Galen's commentary on Plato's Timaeus (Classics)
- Mr Ovanes Akopyan, Controversies on Astrology in Renaissance Italy (CSR)
- Mr Simone Mollea, The concept of humanitas in Antiquity (Classics)
Exam Secretary (Italian)
Dissertation Coordinator (Classics)
- (2016) "What is the Best Method to Study Philosophy? Sebastiano Erizzo (1525-1585) and the ‘revival’ of Plato in 16th-century Venice’, Italian Studies 71/3, pp. 1-24 (see PDF here)
- “Platonism in Sixteenth-Century Padua: Two Unpublished Letters from Sebastiano Erizzo to Camilla Erculiani”, Bruniana&Campanelliana 2016/1, pp. 137-147 (see PDF here)
- ‘Ficino’s commentary on St Paul’s First Epistle to the Romans (1497): An anti-Savonarolan reading of vision and prophecy', in J. HANKINS and F. MEROI (eds.), The Rebirth of the Platonic Theology. Volume in honour of M. J. B. Allen, Istituto di Studi sul Rinascimento, Florence, 2013, pp. 205-233 (see PDF here)
- 'Marsilio Ficino and the Irrational', in M. Israels and L. A. Waldman (eds.), Renaissance Studies in Honor of Joseph Connors, Florence, Olchki, 2013, pp. 438-444. (See PDF here)
- Marsilio Ficino, Commentary on Plato’s Parmenides. A Critical Edition with English Translation and Notes, 2 vols (The I Tatti Renaissance Library, Harvard University Press), 2012
- 'Cose di Platone fatte Toscane'. Language and ideology in two vernacular translations of Plato printed by Francesco Priscianese', Modern Language Review, October 2012. (See PDF here)
- ‘L’entreprise de traduction et d’exégèse de Ficin dans les années 1486-89 : Démons et prophétie à l’aube de l’ère savonarolienne’, Humanistica 4/1 (2010), pp. 125-136. (see PDF here)
- 'Greek Philosophy in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (600-1600)' in M. Gagarin (ed.), The Oxford Encyclopedia for Ancient Greece and Rome, Oxford, 2009, 2,500 words.
- ‘The Pico-Ficino Controversy: New Evidence in Ficino’s Commentary on the Parmenides’, Rinascimento XLIX (2009), pp. 1-39. (see PDF here)
- “L’Être et l’Un à la Renaissance: La réfutation du De Ente et Uno de Pic dans l’In Parmenidem de Ficin”, in S. M. Broze, B. Decharneux, S. Delcominette (éds.), ΄Ἀλλ’εὖ μοι κατἀλεξον...Mais raconte-moi en détail...". Mélanges de philosophie et de philologie offerts à Lambros Couloubaristis, Vrin-Ousia, Paris-Athènes, 2008, pp. 623-635.
- ‘Liberté, astrologie et fatalité: Marsile Ficin et le De Fato de Plotin’, Accademia. Revue de la société Marsile Ficin, VII (2007), pp. 45-60. (see PDF here)
- Traduction annotée de l’In Charmidem vel de temperantia argumentum de Marsile Ficin’, Accademia. Revue de la société Marsile Ficin IV (2002), pp. 19-28.
- BA (Brussels)
- MSt (Oxford)
- PhD (Brussels)