Writings:An enquiry into the uses and abuses of digital history

Upcoming Conference: Questioning Republicanism

This week, I am participating in the conference ‘Questioning Republicanism in Early Modern Genoa.’ Originally, this event was planned to be held in Genoa but because of the covid crisis it was, unfortunately, moved to the digital realm. On the bright side, the advantage of this is that it will be much easier for everyone to watch the papers.

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Highlights and Lightning Talks

This monday, the EURONEWS team presented in a common effort some of the progress that has been made of the last few months. In my personal contribution, I highlighted some of the data that we were able to create following the 1600 experiment. This project endeavors to collect all the available news material for that year. For those that missed it, you can watch it here below:

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Counting the Correspondence: letters from the Italian Wars

Nowadays writing someone a letter might be regard as quite a statement, but in the past epistolary activities were a continuous and everyday affair. For medieval and early-modern diplomacy in particular, the letter played a fundamental role. It was a means of maintaining relationships and exchanging information. Noble families relied on chancelleries to aid them in the process. Having said that, personal and political ties were strongly intertwined and there was no such thing as separate diplomatic and private correspondence. Nonetheless, political upheavals could have their effect on the intensity of chancellery activities. We will look further into the matter following three Renaissance families, the Gonzaga from Mantua, d’Este from Ferrara and finally the Sforza from Milan in a very particular moment in time. In the years 1494-95, Charles VIII, King of France, led his troops down the Italian peninsula in order to defend his claims to the Kingdom of Naples. We will pay particular attention to the shifting frequency of written letters, especially that of Ludovico Sforza, the de facto ruler of Milan who played quite a few tricks on his political allies during the course of the war.

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