A/PROF Andrea Rizzi

A/PROF Andrea Rizzi


  • History of Ideas (Ideas, Humanism)
  • Italian Cinema (Italian Cinema, Cultural Studies, Contemporary Italian History, European Identity)
  • Translation History - Early Modern Italy and Europe (Italian, History, Cinema)
  • Violent language in early modern Italy (Violence, Language)



  • Born in Rome and raised in Italy in a bilingual family, I was trained as a scholar and teacher at the Universita' Statale di Pavia (Italy) and the University of Kent at Canterbury (UK). Before coming to The University of Melbourne (2005), I have held positions in the UK, at the University of Western Australia, and at the University of South Australia.

    I am currently an Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2014-2018).

    I am an early modern history and literature scholar with an interdisciplinary approach to the study of this significant period of European culture: having been trained as a philologist as an undergraduate student at the University of Pavia (Italy), I then developed a focus on the transmission and tradition of historical Latin texts throughout the Italian Renaissance. My PhD concerned the translations of histories at the Ferrarese court of Duke Ercole I. Cultural history, literature, and translation studies are therefore the three interconnected streams of my research.

    My published research on the political and cultural influence of early modern translators established me as a nationally internationally-renowned scholar. In particular, my 2008 book on Matteo Maria Boiardo and his translation from medieval Latin takes an innovative approach to the study of early modern translators; far beyond traditional views, it argues that these translators were seen as authors shaping the political and cultural thought and decision-making of contemporary rulers. This book shows translators as key players at court.

    My ongoing research explores the strongly political implications of translation, and the role played by the early modern translator in the successful communication of political propaganda. My 2008 study of the Florentine author, diplomat and translator Petruccio Ubaldini appeared in a special issue of Spunti e Ricerche, which also included contributions from renowned Australian scholars of the Italian Ren



Member of

  • Renaissance Society of America. Member 2008 -
  • Australasian Centre for Italian Studies. Member of the ACIS committee 2005 -


Selected publications


Additional Grant Information

  • The research I carried out as a fellow at I Tatti Harvard Centre for Italian Renaissance Studies (Florence 2010-2011) allowed me to make substantial progress with my research on the role of translators as authors in early modern Europe.

    My 2013 article on Leonardo Bruni advances a novel interpretation of the relationship between the Latin and the modern languages of early fifteenth-century Florence, and the cultural and political spaces they occupied. According to this new reading, both Latin and vernacular served a specific function and were considered capable of compensating for the other language’s limitations.

    As a natural progression from these studies, my most recent research addresses far-reaching questions about translations and their early modern authors: what did it mean for Renaissance authors and their patrons to translate? Why was translation considered so important that Renaissance patrons, leaders, and printers invested considerable amounts of money and effort into the production and dissemination of translations? Historians of the Renaissance so far have not exploited to significant effect the resources that the Renaissance for sustained exploration of these questions. These are the questions and critical issues my completed monograph on translation in fifteenth-century Italy addressed but I intend to take this investigation further by exploring in the proposed project the same questions in the sixteenth century.

    Research project

    Australian Research Council Future Fellowship 2014-2015



    The Power of the Translator: a New History of Cultural Change and Communication

    Translators are crucial agents of cultural exchange. Understanding how translators construct and perform their role is vital to comprehend societies' conceptions of language and culture. The project's aim is to provide new insight into the translators' role in shaping the modern western wo



Education and training

  • PhD, University of Kent at Canterbury 2000

Awards and honors

  • Fellow of the Australian Research Council, 2014



Available for supervision

  • Y

Supervision Statement

  • I am extremely happy to supervise graduate students in the following research areas: Translation history: the role of translators in early modern and modern societies Translation studies: translators as political and cultural agents of change Social history in early modern Italy: humanists and their public, the social role of intellectuals, patronage and gifts, teaching and learning in early modern Italy and Europe History of ideas: violent words in early modern Italy Italian history and cinema: from Savonarola to terrorism Obviously, I am also happy to discuss other topics and ideas: please feel free to write to me: arizzi@unimelb.edu.au