Oren Margolis

Lecturer in Early Modern History
DPhil (Oxon)
Faculty of History

I am a historian of the Italian Renaissance, a cultural movement that spread across Europe.

A native of Canada, I studied at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and at King’s College London before coming to Oxford to do my DPhil. I then held a postdoc in Austria with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Neo-Latin Studies (, of which I remain a member. My research has taken me regularly to libraries around Europe, and often to Italy, where I have held a Rome Award at the British School at Rome.

My research is mainly on Renaissance humanism, and also the History of the Book.  I view the Italian Renaissance in its wider European context: for example, in my first book (appearing 2016), I explore the phenomenon of Renaissance cultural politics by means of a case study of René of Anjou (1409-80), a French prince and pretender to the kingdom of Naples, who was actually based in Provence.  In 2015 I curated an exhibition at the Bodleian Library on Aldus Manutius (c. 1450-1515), the most famous printer of the Italian Renaissance, and I am now working on a cultural history of Aldus and the new ideology of print.

At Somerville I teach a range of papers on late medieval and early modern history (1273-1650), Disciplines of History, as well as the Italian ‘Foreign Texts’ paper on Machiavelli.  I also teach an optional subject on ‘English Chivalry and the French War, c. 1330-1400’, and a special subject on ‘Politics, Art and Culture in the Italian Renaissance: Venice and Florence, c. 1475-1525′.  I believe strongly in the connection between teaching and research, and love introducing students to Oxford’s fantastic collections for the study of the Renaissance world.

For my page on the History Faculty website and more information about my research:

For the Aldus Manutius exhibition online:


  • The Politics of Culture in Quattrocento Europe: René of Anjou in Italy (Oxford, in press).
  • ‘After Baron, Back to Burckhardt?’, in N. S. Baker and B. J. Maxson (eds.), After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy (Toronto, 2015), pp. 31-47.
  • ‘“The Gallic Crowd” at the “Aragonese Doors”: Donato Acciaiuoli’s Vita Caroli Magni and the Workshop of Vespasiano da Bisticci’, I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 17 (2014), pp. 241-82.
  • ‘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. 219-35.
  • ‘Le Strabon du roi René: biographie politique du livre’, in C. Connochie-Bourgne and V. Gontero-Lauze (eds.), Les arts et les lettres en Provence au temps du roi René (Aix-en-Provence, 2013), pp. 77-86.
  • ‘Le roi René, Janus Pannonius, et la politique de la transmission culturelle en Italie à la Renaissance’, in F. Bouchet (ed.), René d’Anjou, écrivain et mécène, ‘Texte, Codex, Contexte’ series 13 (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 271-84.

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