About

Nicholas Scott Baker is an historian of the political and economic cultures of early modern Europe and the Mediterranean, with particular interests in Renaissance Italy, connections and exchanges between Italy and the Iberian world in the sixteenth century, and the use of visual sources in historical research. He has published on the political culture of Florence between the end of the republic and the creation of the Medici principality, and on the various cultures of financial risk taking in Renaissance Italy.

He is currently completing a cultural history that explores how Renaissance Italians thought about the future and, in particular, how ideas about the future changed around the turn of the sixteenth century. It explores understandings about the power of fortuna in human lives and ways these beliefs interacted with ideas about providence and human ability in the realms of commerce and gambling: In Fortune’s Theater: Financial Risk and the Future in Renaissance Italy (under contract with Cambridge University Press).

He continues to maintain an interest in and work on the political culture of Florence during the sixteenth century and on the cultural, political, and economic connections between the city and the Spanish world. As part of this interest, he is developing a new project that explores the Italian Renaissance from the perspective of sixteenth-century globalization. The project aims to produce a microhistory that examines the concurrent emergence of the first global economy with the establishment of a canon of visual art in central Italy by examining the fortunes of a family of merchants and art collectors.

 

Education

PhD, Northwestern University, 2007

MA, University of Melbourne, 2001

BA (Hons), University of Melbourne, 1997

Publications

Books

Florence in the Early Modern World: New Perspectives, co-edited with Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Routledge, 2020)
 
After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy, co-edited with Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2015).
 

The Fruit of Liberty: Political Culture in the Florentine Renaissance, 1480-1550 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2013).
 
Journal Articles and Book Chapters 
“Where in the World is Renaissance Florence? Challenges for the History of the City After the Global Turn” with Brian Jeffrey Maxson, in Florence in the Early Modern World: New Perspectives, co-edited with Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Routledge, 2020): 1-17.
 
“’Tutto il mondo è paese’: Locating Florence in Pre-modern Eurasian Commerce” in Florence in the Early Modern World: New Perspectives, edited by Nicholas Scott Baker and Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Routledge, 2020): 50-67.
 
“A Twenty-First-Century Renaissance.” I Tatti Studies in the Italian Renaissance 22, no. 2 (2019): 273-278
 
“Creating a Shared Past: The Representation of Medici-Habsburg Relations in the Wedding Celebrations for Eleonora de Toledo and Cosimo I de’ Medici.” Renaissance Studies 33, no. 3 (2019): 397-416.
 
“When Christ Was King in Florence: Religious Language and Political Paralysis During the Siege of Florence.” In Languages of Power in Italy, 1300-1600, ed. Daniel Bornstein, Laura Gaffuri, and Brian Jeffrey Maxson. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2017): 215-228.
 
“Dux ludens: Eleonora de Toledo, Cosimo I de’ Medici, and Games of Chance in Ducal Household of Mid-Sixteenth-Century Florence.” European History Quarterly 46, no. 4 (2016): 595-617.
 
“Deep Play in Renaissance Italy.” In Rituals of Politics and Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Edward Muir, ed. Mark Jurdjevic and Rolf Strøm-Olsen (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2016): 259-281.
 
“’Uno avulso, non deficit alter’: Florence and the Medici, 1512-1574.”/“’Uno avulso, non deficit alter’: Florenz und die Medici 1512-1574.” In Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino, and Medici Florence/Maniera: Pontormo, Bronzino und das Florenz der Medici, ed. Bastian Eclercy (Munich: Prestel, 2016): 24-31. 
 
“The Remembrance of Politics Past: Memory and Melancholia in Jacopo Nardi’s Istorie della città di Firenze.” In After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy, edited by Nicholas Scott Baker and Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2015).
 
“Introduction: After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy,” with Brian Jeffrey Maxson. In After Civic Humanism: Learning and Politics in Renaissance Italy, edited by Nicholas Scott Baker and Brian Jeffrey Maxson (Toronto: Centre for Reformation and Renaissance Studies, 2015).
 
“Discursive Republicanism in Renaissance Florence: Deliberation and Representation in the Early Sixteenth Century.” Past and Present no. 225 (November 2014): 47-77.
 
“Medicean Metamorphoses: Carnival in Florence, 1513.” Renaissance Studies 25, no. 4 (2011): 491-510.
 
“Power and Passion in Sixteenth-Century Florence: The Sexual and Political Reputations of Alessandro and Cosimo I de’ Medici.” Journal of the History of Sexuality 19, no. 3 (2010): 432-57.
 
“For Reasons of State: Political Executions, Republicanism, and the Medici in Florence, 1480-1560.” Renaissance Quarterly 62, no. 2 (2009): 444-78.
 
“Writing the Wrongs of the Past: Vengeance, Humanism, and the Assassination of Alessandro de’ Medici.” The Sixteenth Century Journal 38, no. 2 (2007): 307-27.
 
“The Death of a Heretic, Florence 1389.” In Rituals, Images, and Words: The Varieties of Cultural Expression in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe. Edited by F.W. Kent and Charles Zika: 33-53. (Turnhout: Brepols, 2005).

Nicholas Baker

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