CFP: RSA 2020: The Reception of Ancient and Medieval Forgeries in the Early Modern Period

CFP: RSA 2020, Philadelphia 2-4 April 2020

The Reception of Ancient and Medieval Forgeries in the Early Modern Period

Organizer: Stefan Bauer, Centre for Renaissance and Early Modern Studies, University of York (UK)

The sharp tools of Renaissance philology exposed numerous forgeries. Ecclesiastical history was a prime medium for the discussion of forgery, as was shown by Lorenzo Valla’s famous demolition of the Donation of Constantine. The Reformation lent further urgency to questions surrounding the authenticity of ancient and medieval documents. Polemicists on both sides of the confessional divide – Catholic and Protestant – often accepted or rejected the results of the humanists on the basis of religious and political expediency.

This session will also move beyond church history to discuss recent trends in the study of forgery across several disciplines, including the history of science, literature and art.

Presenters are encouraged to address questions such as: What were the similarities and differences in the reception of legends, myths, falsely attributed texts and forged documents? How did exposures of forgery shape the epistemology of history?

To submit a paper proposal, please provide the following:

·       your name and institutional affiliation (if applicable)

·       paper title (15-word maximum)

·       abstract (150-word maximum)

·       keywords

·       curriculum vitae (brief version)

·       PhD completion date (past or future)

·       any a/v requirements

Send your materials by email attachment to Stefan Bauer at by 9 August 2019.



Sad News: Irena Backus Has Died — Zwinglius Redivivus

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Irena Backus, on June 14, 2019. Irena was a leading scholar of the Genevan Reformation, and she will be sorely missed. The theology faculty of the University of Geneva has provided a brief obituary: We have just learned with great sadness the death of Professor Irena […]

via Sad News: Irena Backus Has Died — Zwinglius Redivivus

The Book of Pontiffs in the Renaissance

I will be speaking at the international conference “The Book of Pontiffs in the Renaissance / Der Liber Pontificalis – ein Schlüsseldokument europäischer Geschichte”, Vatican City, 21-24 November 2018.

My paper is entitled: “The Book of Pontiffs in the Renaissance: Platina, Panvinio and their Critics”


For a complete programme see

and for a PDF flyer




Modern Europe meets Reform

University of Leeds, Room 1.08 Parkinson Building
Woodhouse Lane – Leeds
Date / time  12 April – 13 April

2:00 pm – 5:00 pm

‘Modern Europe meets Reform’ is a workshop that aims to investigate the development of historical writing about the medieval church across the period from the Reformation to the twentieth century. We hope this will bring together medievalists and modernists and create new areas for debate. Confirmed speakers include: Stefan Bauer (York), Joshua Bennett (Oxford), Julian Fuehrer (Zurich), Daniel-Odon Hurel (CNRS Paris), Stephen Taylor (Durham) and Nicholas Vincent (UEA).

I (Stefan Bauer) will speak about “Onofrio Panvinio’s view of Gregory VII in his history of papal elections (1558-1563)”.

Modern Europe meets Reform’ is part of a larger international project entitled ‘Rethinking Reform 900-1150: Conceptualising Change in Medieval Religious Institutions’, funded by the Leverhulme Trust. It brings together scholars from across Europe to focus on how changes in medieval churches were understood and explained in their own day and on how they have been reinterpreted in post-Reformation and especially post-Napoleonic historical writing.

The project is co-ordinated by the University of Leeds (UK), with partners from UEA, Paris VIII, Mainz, KU Leuven, Durham and Ghent. Over the years 2016-19 the project will run four workshops and a final conference to allow discussion of various aspects of the main theme. Workshops in January and September 2017, held respectively at York and KU Leuven, gave groups of scholars the chance to reflect on the choice of vocabulary used to define change between the early middle ages and the twelfth century and also the ways in which medieval institutions and individuals created narratives of change.

The fourth workshop will be held at the University of Mainz in September 2018 and a final conference will be held at Ghent University April 2019. Please contact Dr Ceri Pitches ( for further details.

Download the conference programme here: MEmR (Leeds) Programme


Thursday 12 April 2018

1.30pm – 2.15pm Registration in the Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building (with tea/coffee and cake)

2.15pm – 2.30pm Welcome and Introduction: Julia Barrow, University of Leeds

2.30pm – 3.00pm Paper 1: Stefan Bauer, University of York: Onofrio Panvinio’s view of Gregory VII in his history of papal elections (1558- 1563)

3.00pm – 3.30pm Paper 2: Gianmarco Giuliani, SNS Pisa/EPHE Paris: Reformatio or Restauratio? Cardinal Baronius and the rehabilitation of Gregory VII’s status in the XI volume of the Annales Ecclesiastici

3.30pm – 4.00pm Discussion of Papers 1 & 2

Treasures of the Brotherton

4.00pm – 5.30pm Special exhibition of books from Brotherton Special Collections – with panel members available for interpretation & discussion

Friday 13 April 2018

9.30am – 10.00am Arrival & tea/coffee (Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building)

Parkinson 1.08

10.00am – 10.30am Paper 3: Joshua Bennett, Christ Church, University of Oxford: Henry Hart Milman and the liberal Anglican discovery of medieval church reform

10.30am – 11.00am Paper 4: Stephen Taylor, Durham University: Post-Reformation views of religious reform in England c.900-1150: Thomas Fuller and Jeremy Collier

11.00am – 11.30am Discussion of Papers 3 & 4

11.30am – 12.00 Tea/coffee & biscuits (Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building)

12.00pm – 12.30pm Paper 5: Nicholas Vincent, University of East Anglia: Reform or restoration? Hallam and Stubbs on Church and State

12.30pm – 12.45pm Discussion of Paper 5

12.45pm – 2.00pm Lunch (Grant Room, Michael Sadler Building)

The exhibition in Treasures of the Brotherton will be open during lunch for those wishing to visit

2.00pm – 2.30pm Paper 6: Kathleen Cushing, University of Keele: Law and Reform: Burchard of Worms and His Readers

2.30pm – 2.45pm Discussion of Paper 6

2.45pm – 3.15pm Summing up: Sarah Hamilton, University of Exeter

3.15pm – 4.00pm Roundtable discussion and questions

Workshop ends

Burckhardt at 200

Burckhardt at 200: The Civilization of the Italian Renaissance reconsidered

Burckhardt II

Events • Conference

The bicentenary of the birth of the Swiss scholar, Jacob Burckhardt (25 May 1818 – 8 August 1897), author of The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy (1860), seems an appropriate moment at which take stock and consider whether or not the idea of an ‘Italian Renaissance’ is still a hermeneutically helpful one. This conference will task an interdisciplinary team of scholars of Renaissance studies as well as of Burckhardt himself to interrogate both the Swiss historian’s own agenda as well as the contemporary validity and helpfulness of the label ‘Italian Renaissance’. Specific reference will be made to the themes treated in his classic account: the state as a work of art; development of the individual; revival of antiquity; discovery of the world and of man; society and festivals; morality and religion.

Professor Simon Ditchfield, University of York
Professor Michelle O’Malley, The Warburg Institute
Dr Stefan Bauer, University of York

Dr Stefan Bauer, University of York
Professor Robert D. Black, University of Leeds
Dr Jill Burke, University of Edinburgh
Professor Virginia Cox, Villa La Pietra, NYU Florence
Professor Wietse de Boer, Miami University
Professor Marco Gentile, University of Parma
Professor Mary Laven, University of Cambridge
Dr Mikkel Mangold, University of Basel
Professor Giuseppe Marcocci, University of Oxford
Professor Sarah Ross, Boston College
Professor Nicholas Terpstra, University of Toronto
Professor Joan-Pau Rubiés, Pompeu Fabra University
Professor Will Stenhouse, Yeshiva University
Dr Claudia Wedepohl, The Warburg Institute
Dr Barbara von Reibnitz, University of Basel

Please click here for a copy of the current conference programme.




Seminar in Durham

“The Art of Disagreeing Badly: Early Modern Religious Polemic about Church History.”

Seminar in Durham on 28 November 2017.

Seminar Series

Religious Diversity

IMEMS seminar series for 2017-18 will focus on religious diversity, with prestigious invited speakers across a wide range of disciplines. This very comprehensive theme will bring together scholars from across the medieval and early modern disciplinary range, whether using historical records, literature, art, architecture or artefacts. Topics considered will include interactions between Jewish, Islamic and Christian groups, the Crusader States and other religious contact zones, the Reformation, Catholic-Protestant relationships, and the development of heresies, monastic movements and sects. Each talk will be followed by a reception, offering a chance to get to know colleagues in the field of medieval and early modern studies.

Register here for Religious Diversity seminars taking place during Michaelmas Term (9th October – 15th December 2017)

The Art of Disagreeing Badly: Early Modern Religious Polemic about Church History

28th November 2017, 16:00, Palace Green Library Learning Centre, Dr Stefan Bauer (University of York)

followed by a drinks reception at the Cafe, Palace Green Library.

This event is part of the IMEMS Religious Diversity seminar series for 2017/18.

Please note that places for this event will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. To book your place click here

Abstract: The sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were an age of religious polemic. The Reformation presented a new challenge. Protestants aimed to explain, through examples from history, why error had come into the Church after apostolic times and how, after centuries of decadence, the Reformation had become necessary. Catholics argued, on the other hand, that the Church had always remained the same. Protestants also doubted specific key events in church history. They asserted, for example, that St Peter had never been in Rome, so that the tradition, on which the papacy based its own primacy, was invalid. Catholics, by contrast, never doubted Peter’s stay in Rome. This seminar will explore how such polemical arguments conditioned the writing of ecclesiastical history.