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Oren Margolis

Oren Margolis is Departmental Lecturer in Early Modern History at the University of Oxford. For more information, please see his webpage here.

Oren Margolis’s work is particularly concerned with the politics of Renaissance humanism, to which he applies a ‚diplomatic‘ approach, viewing it as a medium for political communication between ‚hyper-literate‘ European elites.  In his doctoral thesis, he explored the way that René of Anjou, French prince and exiled king of Naples (1409–1480), sought, by means of his transnational network of agents and allies, to assert his Italian political agenda chiefly through a programme of cultural politics. This work functioned as a case study of the way in which politics may be conducted through the infrastructure of cultural networks and even through cultural media, ranging from Latin orations to illuminated manuscripts of classical texts. Dr Margolis is now exploring his concept of the pan-European hyper-literate further, studying this class which was at the heart of humanist and diplomatic cultures as they grew up and then spread across Europe during the Renaissance.

Oren Margolis’s interests span the political and cultural history of Renaissance Europe; he is also interested in the history, geography and anthropology of art and art objects, in comparative history, and in historiography: he has edited an online collection of papers marking the 150th anniversary of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy by Jacob Burckhardt.

Oren Margolis was organizer (with Graham Barrett) of the LBI conference on the theme of Latinity in the Post-Classical World.

He was member of the LBI’s politics line until December 2015.


Doctoral thesis

  • ‚The Politics of Culture in the World of René of Anjou‘, University of Oxford, 2011.

Articles and chapters

  • ‘Cipriano de’ Mari’s Lucianic Speech for René of Anjou (St-Dié, MS 37): Humanism and Diplomacy in Genoa and Beyond’, Renaissance Studies, 27 (2013), pp. 219-235.
  • ‘Le Strabon du roi René: biographie politique du livre’, Les arts et les lettres en Provence au temps du roi René: Analyses, Rayonnement, Mémoire, ed. Chantal Connochie-Bourgne (Aix-en-Provence: Publications de l’Université de Provence, 2013), pp. 77-86).
  • ‘Le roi René, Janus Pannonius, et la politique de la transmission culturelle en Italie à la Renaissance’, René d’Anjou, écrivain et mécène, ‘Texte, Codex, Contexte’ series 13, ed. Florence Bouchet (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011), pp. 271-284.

Editorial work

Other published work

  • With David Rundle, ‘Biographical index of Italian humanists of the fifteenth century’, in Humanism in Fifteenth-Century Europe, ed. David Rundle (Oxford, 2012).

Conference and seminar papers

  • ‘Diplomacy and Culture in the Early Modern World’, Oxford
    August 2014: ‘Non orator ego, sed vates: Quattrocento Humanists and “Unofficial” Diplomacy’
  • Society for Renaissance Studies, Southampton
    July 2014: ‘Quanto el fosse stato il maiore princepe del mondo: King René of Anjou’s Arrival at Pavia (1453) in the Letters of Bianca Maria Visconti, Duchess of Milan, and the Oration of the Jurist Catone Sacco’
  • Renaissance Society of America, New York
    March 2014: ‘A Poem on Charlemagne by Antonio Cornazzano, and the 1461-2 Embassy to Louis XI of France’
  • International Medieval Congress, Leeds
    July 2013: ‘The Quattrocento  Charlemagne:  Franco-­‐Florentine Relations and the Politics of an Icon’
  • Latinity in the Post-Classical World‚, Vatican City
    April 2013: ‘Italicum in moribus: Italian Humanism, Latin Language, and the Oltramontani of the Quattrocento’
  • Renaissance Society of America, San Diego
    April 2013: ‘Oratores ad Ytalos: Italian Humanism and the mid-Quattrocento Origins of European Diplomatic Culture’
  • Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar (‚Approaches to Diplomacy‘), Corpus Christi College, Oxford (UK)
    January 2013: ‚Oratores ad Ytalos: Italian Humanism and the Origins of European Diplomatic Culture‘
  • ‚The Italian Renaissance State?‘, workshop on The Italian Renaissance State (Cambridge, 2012), History Faculty, Oxford (UK)
    November 2012: ‚The „Renaissance State“‚
  • ‘Negotiating Europe: Practices, Languages, Ideology in Diplomacy (13th-16th Centuries)’, Centro de Ciencias Pedro Pascual, Benasque (Spain): http://www.history.ox.ac.uk/research/project/negotiating-europe.html
    September 2012: ‘What Was “Renaissance” about Renaissance Diplomacy?’
  • 4e Table ronde européenne du patrimoine colombanien, ‘Le 600e anniversaire de la naissance du cardinal Jean Jouffroy à Luxeuil’, Luxeuil-les-Bains (France)
    September 2012: ‘Les réseaux culturels et politiques entre l’Italie et la France au XVe siècle’
  • ‚Neo-Latin and Vernacular Language and Culture‘, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies, Innsbruck (A)
    September 2012: ‚Latinity and Diplomacy in the Quattrocento
  • Society for Renaissance Studies Biennial Conference, Manchester (UK)
    July 2012: ‘Piero de’ Pazzi’s French Policy, or Tales from the Workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci’
  • Medieval Visual Culture Seminar, St Catherine’s College, Oxford (UK)
    May 2012: ‘Tales from the Workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci’
  • Institute for Literary Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest (Hungary)
    December 2011: ‚Janus Pannonius and his Two Renaissance Careers‘
  • ‘The Angevin Dynasty’, conference of the Romanian Academy and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Târgovişte (Romania)
    October 2011: ‘Placuit namque et in iuventa nostra Silius: Matthias Corvinus, Silius Italicus and the Angevin Connection’
  • Biennial Conference of the Society for the Medieval Mediterranean (‘Cultures, Communities and Conflicts in the Medieval Mediterranean’), University of Southampton (UK)
    July 2011: ‘On the Trail of Cipriano de’ Mari: Sailor, Actor, Diplomat and Humanist’
  • 42e Congrès de la Société des Historiens Médiévistes de l’Enseignement Supérieur Public (‘Expertise et conseil au Moyen Âge’), Oxford
    April 2011: ‘François Sforza, conseiller politique à la genèse de la Ligue italique (1454-66)’
  • ‘The Personality Cults of Modern Dictators’, Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies, London
    October 2010: ‘The Cult of Scipio Africanus in Renaissance and Fascist Italy’
  • Late Medieval and Early Modern Italy seminar, Institute of Historical Research, London
    January 2010: ‘Quattrocento Humanism, Renaissance Diplomacy and the René of Anjou Evidence’
  • Europe in the Later Middle Ages Seminar, History Faculty, Oxford
    January 2010: ‘The Second Life of Scipio Africanus’
  • Colloque ‘Les arts et les lettres en Provence au temps du roi René: Analyses, Rayonnement, Mémoire’, Université de Provence (Aix-en-Provence, Marseille and Tarascon)
    November 2009: ‘Le Strabon du roi René: biographie politique du livre’
  • Oxford Medieval History Seminar, All Souls College
    October 2009: ‘The Politics of Humanist Literature: A Diplomatic Approach’
  • Renaissance Society of America
    March 2009, Los Angeles: ‘King René’s Strabo: The Politics of the Book and of its Transmission’


  • ‘Jane Black, Absolutism in Renaissance Milan: Plenitude of Power under the Visconti and the Sforza 1329–1535, Oxford 2009’, English Historical Review 128 (2013), 667–668.


  • Historical consultant for TV drama, Medici, in development (2010 – ) by Kudos Film and Television for the BBC.