David Lines

David Lines

Robert Lehman Visiting Professor
Professors of Arts and Medicine in Renaissance Italy
2023-2024 (May - June)
David Lines


David Lines is Professor of Renaissance Philosophy and Intellectual History at the University of Warwick in the United Kingdom, where he has been Director of the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance (2018–2023). He is Senior Editor of the Brepols book series Warwick Studies in Renaissance Thought and Culture. His work studies the intersection of ideas and their contexts particularly in the universities of Renaissance Italy, but also across Europe more broadly. He is well known for his research on the reception and teaching of Aristotelian works in both Latin and the vernacular. His most recent book is The Dynamics of Learning in Early Modern Italy: Arts and Medicine at the University of Bologna (Harvard University Press, 2023).

Project Summary

This project aims to produce a biographical repertory of professors of arts and medicine at the Italian universities between around 1350 and 1600. During this timeframe professors moved about quite a bit, both from town to town and, in the case of members of the religious orders, between universities and religious institutions. Currently there is no reliable tool, however, for identifying the career trajectory of most university professors or for understanding the prevalence of patterns of mobility between institutions in Renaissance Italy. University history has tended to be done on a very local level, with an eye to famous local men. Furthermore, one wonders to what extent such moves were motivated by a desire for higher salaries and better living conditions. Starting with the larger centers of Bologna, Padua, Pavia, Florence–Pisa, and Rome, this research studies archival, and particularly salary, records that attest to professors’ sojourns in various institutions. Letters and petitions for salary increases provide clues about motivations. Older printed sources, such as Gloria for Pavia, still provide useful information although they need to be sifted with care. A repertory will make it possible at last to identify the movements of many famous and lesser-known individuals whose stages of teaching are otherwise hard to track.