Dr Luca Zenobi

British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow


I am a historian of Italy, Europe and the Mediterranean world between 1300 and 1600. Having read history and trained as an archivist in Milan, I moved to Oxford for my PhD and then to Cambridge, where I was a research fellow at Trinity College and an affiliated lecturer at the Faculty of History. I joined the University of Edinburgh in 2023 as a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow.

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

I am always happy to hear from students interested in the history of late medieval and early modern Italy, as well as in themes such as space, mobility, communication and the environment in pre-modern Europe.

Research summary


  • Europe
  • Mediterranean


  • Culture
  • Politics
  • Society


  • Medieval & Renaissance
  • Early Modern

Research interests

I like to think of my work as a geography of the past. I am interested in how people articulated their presence in the landscape, moved and communicated across distances, and ultimately inscribed their experiences in both texts and objects. 

I have written articles and book chapters on the process of community- and territory-formation, the spatial organisation of factions and family militias, and the experience of migration, exile and displacement.

Recent projects include a volume on early modern disinformation, which was developed in collaboration with literary scholars, as well as essays on topics such as medieval marriage networks and the comparative history of rivers and waterways.

My first monograph, Borders and the Politics of Space in Late Medieval Italy, was published in 2023. The book explores how borders were understood, made and encountered at the end of the Middle Ages, and what they can tell us about the spatial fabric of society at the threshold of modernity.

Affiliated research centres

  • Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
  • Edinburgh Centre for Global History
  • The Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities


Borders and the Politics of Space in Late Medieval Italy: Milan, Venice and their Territories, Oxford 2023

Beyond Truth: Fiction and Disinformation in Early Modern Europe, ed. with E. Claussen, Past & Present, 257/16 (2022), supplement

Cities in Motion: Mobility and Urban Space in Early Modern Europe, ed. with P. Gonzalez Martin and R. Salzberg, Journal of Early Modern History, 25/1-2 (2021), special issue



[co-authored with E. Claussen] ‘Fiction and Disinformation in Early Modern Europe: An Introduction’, Past & Present, 257/16 (2022), pp. 1-38

Beyond the State: Community and Territory-Making in Late Medieval Italy’, in Constructing and Representing Territory in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. by M. Damen and K. Overlaet, Amsterdam 2022, pp. 53-79

Mobility and Urban Space in Early Modern Europe: An Introduction’, Journal of Early Modern History, 25/1-2 (2021), pp. 1-10

Venice's Terraferma Expansion and the Negotiation of Territories in Late Medieval Italy’, Ateneo Veneto, 18/2 (2019), pp. 187-218

Itinerari di mobilità geografica e sociale nelle e dalle valli bergamasche a seguito dell’espansione veneziana’, in La mobilità sociale nel Medioevo italiano (vol. II), ed. by A. Gamberini, Roma 2017, pp. 377-393

Guerra, stato e poteri locali sul medio corso dell’Adda alla metà del Quattrocento. Organizzazione militare e difesa dei confini’, Società e storia, 149/3 (2015), pp. 469-491

'Nascita di un territorio. La vicenda del Monte di Brianza tra Trecento e Quattrocento', Quaderni storici, 144/3 (2013), pp. 813-855