A photo of Michael J.B. Allen

Michael J.B. Allen

Professor Emeritus

Professor Michael J.B. Allen (Ph.D., University of Michigan) is Professor Emeriti in the Department of Italian at UCLA. His research interests include the philosophical, theological, magical, and mythological issues explored by the fifteenth century Italian Platonists, Marsilio Ficino and Pico della Mirandola. During his teaching career, he focused primarily on the range of English literature from the Anglo-Saxons to Milton, and especially Chaucer and Shakespeare. Professor Allen is the coauthor of Sources and Analogues of Old English Poetry: the Major Latin Texts (1976), and coeditor of Shakespeare’s Plays in Quarto (1982), Sir Philip Sidney’s Achievements (1989), and Marsilio Ficino: His Theology, His Philosophy, His Legacy (2002). He is also the primary author on a number of publication, some of which are referenced below.



Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1970

B.A., and M.A. in English, D.Litt. in History, Wadham College, Oxford, 1964, 1966, 1987



Professional Activities

Director of UCLA’s Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies (1988-93), Senior Editor of Renaissance Quarterly (1993-2001), Phi Beta Kappa National Visiting Scholar (2007-08), and President of the Renaissance Society of America (2006-08). Honors include a Guggenheim Fellowship; the Eby Award for Undergraduate Teaching; UCLA’s Faculty Research Lectureship; visiting professorships at Munich, Toronto, Tempe, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; the Commendatore decoration from the Italian Republic (2007); the International Galileo Galilei Prize (2008); election as a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy (2012); Scholar in Residence, American Academy in Rome (Spring 2013); the Renaissance Society of America’s Paul Oskar Kristeller Lifetime Achievement Award, 2015.

Selected Works

Marsilio Ficino: The Philebus Commentary (1975)

Marsilio Ficino and the Phaedran Charioteer (1981)

The Platonism of Marsilio Ficino (1984)

Icastes: Marsilio Ficino’s Interpretation of Plato’s ‘Sophist’ (1989)

Nuptial Arithmetic: Marsilio Ficino’s Commentary on the Fatal Number in Book VIII of Plato’s ‘Republic’ (1994)

Plato’s Third Eye: Studies in Marsilio Ficino’s Metaphysics and its Sources (1995)

Synoptic Art: Marsilio Ficino on the History of Platonic Interpretation (1998)

Marsilio Ficino: Platonic Theology, Ed. and tr. with James Hankins, six vols. (2001-2006)

Marsilio Ficino: Commentaries on Plato: Volume I: Phaedrus and Ion (2008)

Marsilio Ficino: On Dionysius the Areopagite: Vol. 1:  On Mystical Theology & The Divine Names, Part I;  Vol. 2: On The Divine Names, Part II (2015).