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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Dario Tessicini, PhD

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Associate Professor (Reader) in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 43443
Room number: A16

Contact Dr Dario Tessicini (email at


  • BA Philosophy (Rome)
  • PhD History of Science (Bari) 
  • S/T Yates Fellowship, The Warburg Institute (London)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, CNR-The Warburg Institute (London) 

Research interests

I specialize in the cultural and intellectual history of the early modern period with special emphasis on Italy, and on the history of philosophy and science. My interests include

1) the Italian heretic philosopher Giordano Bruno (1548-1600);

2) the history of Renaissance and early modern astronomy and cosmology, particularly the observation of ‘celestial novelties’ (such as comets, and supernovae) and their cultural and societal impact;

3) the history and theory of translation, broadly conceived. 

 I am the author of a monograph on Giordano Bruno’s cosmology, I dintorni dell’infinito. Giordano Bruno e l’astronomia del Cinquecento (2007). I have co-edited, with P. Boner, Celestial Novelties on the eve of the Scientific Revolution (2013); with F. Federici, Translators, Interpreters and Cultural Negotiators: Mediating and Communicating Power from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era (2014); with M.A. Granada and P. Boner, Unifying Heaven and Earth. Essays in the History of Early Modern Cosmology (2016); and with M.A. Granada, Il De immenso di Giordano Bruno. Letture critiche (forthcoming 2019). A monograph on celestial observations in Italy before the telescopic age is in preparation (Before Galileo. Celestial Novelties in Early Modern Italy, 2020). 

 I am grateful for the support that my research has received from the following institutions: the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Filosofici, the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, The Warburg Institute, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Additionally, since 2010 I am a co-Investigator in a collaborative research project, funded by the Spanish government (Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad) on Cosmology, theology and anthropology in the first phase of the Scientific Revolution (1543-1633), together with Prof. Miguel Angel Granada (PI, Barcelona), and Dr Patrick Boner (co-I, Johns Hopkins).


Some of my recent lectures and seminar papers

  •  Questioning Copernicus: Cosmological Principles on the Eve of the Scientific Revolution (Centre for the History and Philosophy of Physics, Oxford) 
  • The Renaissance Invention of Cosmology (London, Innsbruck, Paris) 
  • Snowflakes and the Harmony of the World (Christmas Lecture, Imola) 
  • Filosofia e cosmologia nel Rinascimento (Lecture series, Chieti) 
  • Translation and/as Metaphrasis. Genres and Forms of the Vernacular Reception of Aristotle’s Natural Philosophy (Warwick) 
  • The comet and the plague: medicine and meteorology in early modern Venice (New York RSA, Warwick STVDIO Seminar, Valencia Institut d’Història de la Medicina i de la Ciència Lòpez Piñero)
  • Giordano Bruno’s cosmobiology: on the life and motions of the celestial bodies (San Dieg RSA, Warburg Institute) 
  • Harmony vs. Unity: Copernicus, Giordano Bruno and the abandonment of circular uniformity (Barcelona, Birkbeck)

Summer School

 I co-organize the peripatetic Summer School ’Things That Matter: Material and Culture in/for the Digital Age ( together with colleagues from the universities of Groningen and Uppsala. 


Research Groups

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

  • Translation/Linguistics/Pedagogy

Selected Publications

Authored book

Edited book

Chapter in book

Journal Article

Book review

  • (2018). J.B. Shank, ed., After the Scientific Revolution: Thinking Globally about the Histories of the Modern Sciences, Special Issue, Journal of Early Modern History, 21 (2017), pp. 377–470. Nuncius 33: 654-656.
  • (2017). ‘Astronomia, cronologia e storia dal Medioevo all’eta’ moderna'. *Essay Review of “Le temps des astronomes. L’astronomie et le décompte du temps de Pierre d’Ailly à Newton. Édité par Édouard Mehl et Nicolas Roudet, Paris, Les Belles Lettres, 2017. Galilaeana. Journal of Galilean Studies 14: 271-285.
  • (2017). Dante in Context, ed. Zygmunt G. Barański and Lino Pertile (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015). Medium Aevum 86(2): 387-388.
  • (2017). Raphaële Garrod, “Cosmographical Novelties in French Renaissance Prose (1550-1630). Dialectic and Discovery (Brepols 2016). Journal of the Northern Renaissance
  • (2017). War and Peace in Dante, ed. John C. Barnes and Daragh O’Connell (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2015). Medium Aevum 86(2): 387-388.
  • (2016). C.M. Graney, Setting Aside All Authority: Giovanni Battista Riccioli and the Science against Copernicus in the Age of Galileo. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2015. American Historical Review 121(4): 1374-1375.
  • (2016). On Gianfrancesco Sagredo, Galilean Science and Venetian diplomacy. Review of Nick Wilding, Galileo’s Idol. Gianfrancesco Sagredo and the Politics of Knowledge, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2014. Metascience 25(2): 251-253.
  • (2016). The Making of Copernicus. Early Modern Transformations of a Scientist and His Science, edited by Wolfgang Neuber, Thomas Rahn, and Claus Zittel, Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2015. Isis 107(1): 185-186.
  • (2014). Le Opere di Galileo Galilei. Appendice: Vol 1. Iconografia galileiana, a cura di F. Tognoni. Isis 105(4): 850-851.

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