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Durham University

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Dr Marco Barducci, PhD, FRHistS

Assistant Professor(research)/Solway fellow at IMEMS in the Department of History

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My specialism is in the transmission and reception of political, legal and religious ideas between Britain, colonial North America, and continental Europe (17th to 19th centuries). Before joining Durham, I have held visiting positions at the Interdisciplinary Centre for European Enlightenment Studies (Martin-Luther Universität, Halle-Wittenberg), the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), the Institute of Advanced Study (Durham University), the Folger Institute, and the Fondazione Luigi Firpo (Turin). From 2004 to 2012, I taught and researched at the University of Florence.

I am currently developing a research project entitled “From Hugo Grotius to Richard Simon: the European Sources of the English Enlightenment Debates on Christian Religion (1650s – 1740s)”. This project argues that the engagement with modern Dutch and French philosophical, political, religious, and hermeneutical ideas posed new and so far underexplored questions to English authors and scholars about the role of God in the universe, the authority of Scripture, and human liberty, which destabilized their moral values and religious beliefs, forcing them to engage in the intellectually fertile effort to reconcile Christianity with philosophy and science.

My most recent book Hugo Grotius and the Century of Revolution, 1613-1718. Transnational Reception in English Political Thought (Oxford University Press, 2017) examines the reception of Grotius’s ideas as they related to state sovereignty, colonialism, church government, and state-church relationships. I have published articles and chapters dealing with both early modern Anglo-Dutch debates on the relationships between state and church and the interactions between Christian and Jewish ecclesiological and hermeneutical traditions. I have also published on early modern debates on the relationship between war, political thought, and the stability of the state. These researches were fully developed in my book Order and Conflict. Anthony Ascham and English Political Thought, 1648-1650 (Manchester University Press, 2015), which is the first full study of Ascham’s political thought. Ascham served as official pamphleteer of the Parliament and the republican government, in which capacity he put forward a complex argument in support of Parliament’s justification of war against monarchy and subsequent claims for obedience, which drew on the political thought of Machiavelli, Grotius, and Hobbes. Finally, my Ph.D. thesis was on the reputation of Oliver Cromwell in 17th-century Italian political and religious culture. By examining a wide range of manuscript and printed sources, from books to diplomatic reports and newspapers, I reconstructed the patterns of interpretation, and how Italian views might differ from those of English observers and of modern historians. In particular, I examined the ways in which Italian authors discussed – or often ignored – the religious dimension of Cromwell’s ideas and conduct. A revised version of my Ph.D. thesis was published in 2005 as a monograph (Oliver Cromwell negli Scritti Italiani del Seicento (Florence, Centro Editoriale Toscano)).

Research Groups

Department of History

Research Interests

  • Early modern and modern intellectual history
  • Enlightenment in Britain and colonial North America
  • History of political, legal and religious thought
  • History of the book
  • Intellectual exchanges between Britain, North America, and continental Europe
  • Political, legal and religious works and ideas of Hugo Grotius
  • Transnational history


Authored book

Chapter in book

  • Barducci, Marco (2017). Il progetto repubblicano di Giuseppe Mazzini e l’Inghilterra: dalla democrazia etica alla democrazia sociale, 1845-50. In La République en Italie. Héritages, Modèles, Discours (1848-1948). Fournier-Finocchiaro, L., Frétigné, J.-Y. & Tatti, S. Laboratoire Italien, special issue. 19.
  • Barducci, Marco (2013). James Harrington, Grotius, and the Commonwealth of the Jews. In European Contexts for English Republicanism. Mahlberg, G. & Wiemann, D. Ashgate. 63-80.
  • Barducci, Marco (2013). Order, Conflict, and Liberty. Machiavellianism in English Political Thought, 1649-1660. In Machiavellian Encounters in Tudor and Stuart England. Literary and Political Influences from Elizabeth I to the Restoration. Arienzo, A. & Petrina, A. Ashgate. 157-172.
  • Barducci, Marco (2012). Democracy and Revolution in Italy and Europe: Giuseppe Mazzini, William J. Linton and The Red Republican (1850). In Democracy and Risorgimento. Lenci, M. & Calabro, C. ETS. 159-172.
  • Barducci, Marco (2011). Centralismo, associazione e democrazia in Europa. W.J.Linton e The English Republic (1851-1855). In Challenging Centralism: Decentramento e associazione nel pensiero politico moderno e contemporaneo. Campos Boralevi, L. Florence University Press.
  • Barducci, Marco (2009). Machiavelli nella cultura politica inglese, 1649-1652. Anthony Ascham e Marchamont Nedham. In Anglo-American Faces of Machiavelli. Machiavelli e machiavellismi nella cultura anglo-americana (XVI-XIX). Arienzo, A. & Borrelli, G. Polimetrica Scientific Publisher. 187-209.
  • Barducci, Marco (2005). Oliver Cromwell tra “dispotismo” e “dittatura” negli scritti italiani del Seicento. In Il potere come problema nella letteratura politica della prima età moderna. Testoni Binetti, S. Centro Editoriale Toscano. 183-191.

Edited book

  • Barducci, Marco (2007). Mazzini ed il Repubblicanesimo Inglese, 1840-1855. Da Carlyle a Linton. Studi Mazziniani. Centro Editoriale Toscano.

Journal Article

  • Barducci, Marco (2013). The Anglo-Dutch Context for the Writing and Reception of Hugo Grotius’s De Imperio Summarum Potestatum Circa Sacra, 1617-1659. Grotiana 34: 138-161.
  • Barducci, Marco (2012). James Harrington e il Pensiero Politico di Grozio, 1656-1660. Il Pensiero Politico 45: 25-39.
  • Barducci, Marco (2012). Political and Ecclesiological Contexts for the Seventeenth-century English Translations of Grotius’ De veritate, 1632-1686. Grotiana 33: 71-87.
  • Barducci, Marco (2011). Hugo Grotius and the English Republic. The Writings of Anthony Ascham, 1648-1650. Grotiana 32: 40-64.
  • Barducci, Marco (2008). Dopo Lepanto. Il Turco negli scritti italiani di fine Cinquecento, 1571-1609. Il Pensiero Politico XLI: 19-43.
  • Barducci, Marco (2008). Le Grand-Duché de Médicis et la guerre contre les Turcs, 1571-1609. Représentations politiques et idéologie de la guerre. Bibliothèque d’Humanisme et Renaissance LXX: 327-350.
  • Barducci, Marco (2008). Oliver Cromwell: European Historical Myth? The Case of the Representations of Cromwell in Seventeenth-Century Italian State. The Seventeenth Century 23 : 54-71.
  • Barducci, Marco (2007). Oliver Cromwell’s Reputations in Seventeenth Century Italian Writings. Cromwelliana (4): 57-72.
  • Barducci, Marco (2006). Alcune note di Jean-Baptiste Lantin sul repubblicanesimo di Algernon Sidney. Il Pensiero Politico 39: 267-274.
  • Barducci, Marco (2005). Marchamont Nedham e la pubblicistica politica inglese del Seicento. Il Pensiero Politico 36: 173-195.
  • Barducci, Marco (2005). Oliver Cromwell nella corrispondenza dei residenti fiorentini a Londra, Alessandro e Giovanni Salvetti Antelminelli, 1641-1661. Il Pensiero Politico 18: 94-101.