Alessandro Silvestri

Alessandro Silvestri

Ahmanson Fellow
Trans-regional Rule in the Renaissance: the government and the information system of the Crown of Aragon in the Mediterranean (c. 1350 – c. 1516)


Alessandro Silvestri’s research concerns the history of the late medieval Mediterranean, with a focus on the Crown of Aragon and Sicily. After obtaining his PhD from the Università degli Studi di Milano, Alessandro joined the University of London’s Birkbeck College as a member of the European Research Council project 'AR.C.H.I.ves' (2012-16). From 2016-18, he was a postdoctoral research fellow at Trinity College Dublin, where his work was supported by the Irish Research Council. He has published extensively on topics such as administration, information management, and social history, and has co-edited publications on the history of archives. His recent monograph, L’amministrazione del regno di Sicilia (Viella, 2018), focuses on the government of fifteenth-century Sicily.

Project Summary

From the Marches of Wales to the outposts of Sicily, several late medieval European governments ruled over complex arrays of territories. How did they effectively govern them? Through a comparative study of the policies applied by Aragonese rulers in their Iberian and Italian territories, this project analyzes the governmental system of this transregional monarchy—the Crown of Aragon—during the Renaissance. In so doing, it will also investigate the practical and intellectual tools the kings and their administrative staff developed in order to rule over their dominion, showing the emergence of a Mediterranean bureaucratic knowledge from Italy and Spain’s reciprocal influence, which the early-modern Spanish Empire later adopted for its global rule.