I Tatti Studies in Italian Renaissance History
Published in conjunction with The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti, this series represents the very highest quality scholarship concerning the history of the Italian Renaissance from the thirteenth to seventeenth centuries. Within this broad chronological definition, the series publishes two to three volumes per year. Kate Lowe is General Editor.
Below is a list of in-print works in this collection, presented in series order or publication order as applicable.
In Defense of Common Sense: Lorenzo Valla's Humanist Critique of Scholastic Philosophy
One of the leading humanists of Quattrocento Italy, Lorenzo Valla (1406–1457) has been praised as a brilliant debunker of medieval scholastic philosophy. In this book Lodi Nauta seeks a more balanced assessment, presenting us with the first comprehensive analysis of the humanist’s attempt at radical reform of Aristotelian scholasticism.
The Return of Lucretius to Renaissance Florence
Alison Brown demonstrates how Florentine thinkers used Lucretius—earlier and more widely than has been supposed—to provide a radical critique of prevailing orthodoxies. She enhances our understanding of the “revolution” in sixteenth-century political thinking and our definition of the Renaissance within newly discovered worlds and new social networks.
Venice's Most Loyal City: Civic Identity in Renaissance Brescia
This innovative microhistory of a fascinating yet neglected city shows how its loyalty to Venice was tested by military attack, economic downturn, and demographic collapse. Despite these trials, Brescia experienced cultural revival and political transformation, which Stephen Bowd uses to explain state formation in a powerful region of Renaissance Italy.
Writing History in Renaissance Italy: Leonardo Bruni and the Uses of the Past
Leonardo Bruni is widely recognized as the most important humanist historian of the early Renaissance. Gary Ianziti undertakes a systematic work-by-work investigation of the full range of Bruni’s output in history and biography, and assesses in detail the impact of the Greek historians on humanist methods of historical writing.
The Duke and the Stars: Astrology and Politics in Renaissance Milan
The Duke and the Stars explores science and medicine as studied and practiced in fifteenth-century Italy, including how astrology was taught in relation to astronomy. It illustrates how the “predictive art” of astrology was often a critical, secretive source of information for Italian Renaissance rulers, particularly in times of crisis.
Printing a Mediterranean World: Florence, Constantinople, and the Renaissance of Geography
In 1482 Francesco Berlinghieri produced the Geographia, a book of over 100 folio leaves describing the world in Italian verse interleaved with lavishly engraved maps. Roberts demonstrates that the Geographia represents the moment of transition between printing and manuscript culture, while forming a critical base for the rise of modern cartography.
Cultures of Charity: Women, Politics, and the Reform of Poor Relief in Renaissance Italy
Renaissance debates about politics and gender led to pioneering forms of poor relief, devised to help women get a start in life. These included orphanages for illegitimate children and forced labor in workhouses, but also women’s shelters and early forms of maternity benefits, unemployment insurance, food stamps, and credit union savings plans.
The Pulpit and the Press in Reformation Italy
Italian sermons tell a story of the Reformation that credits preachers with using the pulpit, pen, and printing press to keep Italy Catholic when the region’s violent religious wars made the future uncertain, and with fashioning a post-Reformation Catholicism that would survive the competition and religious choice of their own time and ours.
The Fruit of Liberty: Political Culture in the Florentine Renaissance, 1480-1550
In the sixteenth century, the city-state of Florence failed. In its place the Medicis created a principality, becoming first dukes of Florence and then grand dukes of Tuscany. The Fruit of Liberty analyzes the slow transformations that predated and facilitated the institutional shift from republic to principality, from citizen to subject.
Reviving the Eternal City: Rome and the Papal Court, 1420-1447
In the first half of the fifteenth century, Rome and the papal court were caught between conflicting realities—between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, conciliarism and papalism, an image of a restored republic and a dream of a papal capital. Elizabeth McCahill explores the transformation of Rome’s ancient legacy into a potent cultural myth.
Orpheus in the Marketplace: Jacopo Peri and the Economy of Late Renaissance Florence
This record of Florentine musician Jacopo Peri’s wide-ranging investments and activities in the marketplace enables the first detailed account of the Florentine economy in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and opens a completely new perspective on one of Europe’s principal centers of capitalism.
A Mattress Maker's Daughter: The Renaissance Romance of Don Giovanni de’ Medici and Livia Vernazza
In explaining an improbable liaison and its consequences, A Mattress Maker’s Daughter explores changing concepts of love and romance, new standards of public and private conduct, and emerging attitudes toward property and legitimacy just as the age of Renaissance humanism gives way to the Counter Reformation and Early Modern Europe.
A Great and Wretched City: Promise and Failure in Machiavelli’s Florentine Political Thought
Dispelling the myth that Florentine politics offered only negative lessons, Mark Jurdjevic shows that significant aspects of Machiavelli’s political thought were inspired by his native city. Machiavelli’s contempt for Florence’s shortcomings was a direct function of his considerable estimation of the city’s unrealized political potential.
The Medicean Succession: Monarchy and Sacral Politics in Duke Cosimo dei Medici’s Florence
Cosimo dei Medici stabilized ducal finances, secured his borders, doubled his territory, attracted scholars and artists to his court, academy, and universities, and dissipated fractious Florentine politics. These triumphs were far from a foregone conclusion, as Gregory Murry shows in this study of how Cosimo crafted his image as a sacral monarch.
Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance
Ada Palmer explores how Renaissance poets and philologists, not scientists, rescued Lucretius and his atomism theory. This heterodoxy circulated in the premodern world, not on the conspicuous stage of heresy trials and public debates but in the classrooms, libraries, studies, and bookshops where quiet scholars met transformative ideas.
The Prince's Body: Vincenzo Gonzaga and Renaissance Medicine
Using four notorious moments in the life of Duke Vincenzo Gonzaga of Mantua, Valeria Finucci explores changing early modern concepts of sexuality, reproduction, beauty, and aging. She deftly marries salacious tales with historical analysis to tell a broader story of Italian Renaissance cultural adjustments and obsessions.
Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy
Meredith Ray shows that women were at the vanguard of empirical culture during the Scientific Revolution. They experimented with medicine and alchemy at home and in court, debated cosmological discoveries in salons and academies, and in their writings used their knowledge of natural philosophy to argue for women’s intellectual equality to men.
Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance
Dag Nikolaus Hasse shows how ideological and scientific motives led to the decline of Arabic traditions in European culture. The Renaissance was a turning point: on the one hand, Arabic scientific traditions reached their peak of influence in Europe; on the other, during this period the West began to forget, or suppress, its debt to Arabic culture.
Everyday Renaissances: The Quest for Cultural Legitimacy in Venice
Revealing an Italian Renaissance beyond Michelangelo and the Medici, Sarah Gwyneth Ross recovers the experiences of everyday people who were inspired to pursue humanistic learning. Physicians were often the most avid professionals seeking to earn the respect of their betters, advance their families, and secure honorable remembrance after death.
Clerical Households in Late Medieval Italy
Roisin Cossar examines how clerics managed efforts to reform their domestic lives in the decades after the Black Death. Despite reformers’ desire for clerics to remain celibate, clerical households resembled those of the laity, and priests’ lives included apprenticeships in youth, fatherhood in middle age, and reliance on their families in old age.
The Avignon Papacy Contested: An Intellectual History from Dante to Catherine of Siena
Unn Falkeid considers the work of six fourteenth-century writers who waged literary war against the Avignon papacy’s increasing claims of supremacy over secular rulers—a conflict that engaged contemporary critics from every corner of Europe. She illuminates arguments put forth by Dante, Petrarch, William of Ockham, Catherine of Siena, and others.