John J. Martin, Professor of History and Research Professor of Italian

John J. Martin

Office Location:  243C Classroom Building
Office Phone:  (919) 684-3014
Email Address:   send me a message


  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1982
  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 1982
  • BA, Harvard University, 1975
  • A.B., Harvard University, 1975

Teaching (Spring 2024):

    West Duke 212, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
    Class Bldg 106, W 06:30 PM-09:00 PM

Research Interests:

Current projects: Crossing the Boundaries of Hercules: Knowledge, Faith, and Power in Early Modern Europe, nearing completion.

John Jeffries Martin, Chair of the Department of History, is a historian of early modern Europe, with particular interests in the social, cultural, and intellectual history of Italy in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He is the author of Venice’s Hidden Enemies: Italian Heretics in a Renaissance City (1993), winner of the Herbert Baxter Adams Prize of the American Historical Association, and Myths of Renaissance Individualism (2004). In addition, he is the editor or co-editor of several volumes: Venice Reconsidered: The History and Civilization of an Italian City State (2002); The Renaissance: Italy and Abroad (2002); Heresy, Culture and Religion in Early Modern Italy: Contexts and Contestations (2006); and The Renaissance World (2007) as well as some fifty articles and essays. He is currently completing Crossing the Boundaries of Hercules: Knowledge, Faith, and Power in Early Modern Europe, a history of Europe from the late fifteenth to the early nineteenth century. Martin’s current research focuses on the history of torture in early modern Italy, a topic he is pursuing through a study of Francesco Casoni, a provincial intellectual, whose writings on evidence and the art of conjecture did much to undermine the need for the use of torture in the courts of Europe in the early modern period. Martin has been a fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, twice of the National Endowment of the Humanities, and has received support for his research from the American Philosophical Association, the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, and the Renaissance Society of America. He has lectured, as the Alphonse Dupront Chair, at the University of Paris-Sorbonne and, as Distinguished Visiting Scholar, at Victoria College, the University of Toronto. He also lectures frequently to broader publics, most recently through a series of presentations on early modern Europe through the Program in the Humanities and Human Values at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. With Richard Newhauser, Martin is editor of the series Vices & Virtues for Yale University Press.

Recent Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Martin, JJ, The Spiritual Globe, New Global Studies, vol. 16 no. 2 (July, 2022), pp. 175-192 [doi]  [abs].
  2. Martin, JJ, Montaigne's elusive self: An essay, in Historicizing Life-Writing and Egodocuments in Early Modern Europe (January, 2022), pp. 19-38, ISBN 9783030824822 [doi]  [abs].
  3. Martin, JJ, A Beautiful Ending: The Apocalyptic Imagination and the Making of the Modern World (January, 2022), pp. 1-323, ISBN 9780300247329  [abs].
  4. Martin, JJ, Popular heresies and dreams of political transformation in sixteenth-century venice, in Popular Politics in an Aristocratic Republic: Political Conflict and Social Contestation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Venice (May, 2020), pp. 88-104, ISBN 9780367862275 .
  5. Martin, JJ, Cannibalism as a feuding ritual in early: Modern Europe, Acta Histriae, vol. 25 no. 1 (January, 2017), pp. 97-108 [doi]  [abs].