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Romano, Antonella

Romano, Antonella


Antonella Romano, born in Esch/Alzette, Luxembourg, in 1962. Ph.D. from Université de Paris I, France. Professor of History and Director of the Centre Alexandre Koyré at L’Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, France.

Theme Group Fellow (April – June 2016)

Rome, 16th-17th c., a World-city in the Making of Early Modern Science

Project Description

The project is twofold:

an in-depth analysis of the global connexions (their nature, their morphology, the spatial itineraries they correspond to) that allow us to consider Rome as a world-city

an atlas of the Roman “lieux de savoir” where information, artefacts and other objects are elaborated as relevant knowledge compatible with the diverse epistemological constraints of the place.

Concretely, the focus is on different agents and intellectual “milieus”: aristocratic and papal /cardinals’ courts, on one side, and religious orders on the other side, with a major attention to the second I am more familiar with, as well as more interested. My working hypothesis is that they both contribute, partly but not only because of their entanglements, to a cultural/scientific project in support of the political as well as spiritual renewal of Rome. Along this analytical line, the idea I aim at emphasizing is that Rome develops into a unique place where the enlargement of the world, both natural and human, and the amazing amount of new resources that results from it, is concretely materialized. But it would be superficial to deduce from this that Rome’s function is simply limited to being a depository. The enquiry not only deals with the accumulative logics that result from the Iberian expansion and encompassing of the globe. It also traces the processes of incorporation, being them intellectual, material, or social, deriving from this. In a city where scholarship mostly depends on philology, the circulation of new objects or new people, coming from the Indies (both oriental and occidental) stimulates knowledge production that deeply transforms the basement of Ancient natural philosophy. As a consequence, the study also embraces the unexpected, conflictive.

Selected Publications

1) Rome et la Chine : l’Europe moderne etla découverte du monde, Paris, Fayard, 2015 (sous presse) L. Kontler, A. Romano, S. Sebastiani, Z. Török (eds.), Negociating knowledge in early modern empires: a decentred view, New York, Palgrave-MacMillan, 2014.

2) La fabrique des sciences modernes : réflexions sur l’histoire des sciences à l’ère globale, Annales, HSS, 2015/2.

3) “Accommodating America. Renaissance Missionaries between the Ancient and the New World”, in Bethany Aram and Bartolomé Yun-Casalilla (eds.), Global Goods and the Spanish Empire, 1492–1824: Circulation, Resistance, and Diversity, New York, Palgrave, 2014, p. 53-77.