John Jeffries Martin

John Jeffries Martin

Professor of History

External address: 
323A Carr Bldg., 114 Campus Drive, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719
(919) 681-5499


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 the first volume of Europe's Providential Modernity, 1492-1792, a work that offers a new interpretation not only of Europe in the early modern period but a rethinking of modernity itself. Martin’s further 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.
Martin teaches courses in Italian and European history. His most recent courses include a graduate seminar on the history of the early modern Mediterranean and an undergraduate seminar on the history of torture in the West. In the spring of 2013 he offered, together with Sara Galletti, a course entitled “Mapping Knowledge in the Renaissance: Raphael’s School of Athens,” a collaborative that investigated the epistemologies of various disciplines in Rome in the High Renaissance. The course was funded by a grant from the Humanities Writ Large initiative at Duke.

Before joining the history faculty at Duke in 2007, Martin taught at Trinity University in San Antonio, where he also served as Chair of the History Department (2004-2007). Martin grew up on St. Simons Island, Georgia, attended St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire, and received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1982

  • A.B., Harvard University 1975

Martin, J. J., and Dennis Romano. “Reconsidering Venice.” In Venice Reconsidered: The History and Civilization of an Italian City-State, 1297-1797, Edited by John Jeffries Martin and Dennis Romano, 2002.

Martin, J. J. “Religion, Renewal, and Reform in the Sixteenth Century.” In Early Modern Italy 1550-1796, Edited by John A. Marino, 30–47. London: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Martin, John Jeffries. “The Myth of Renaissance Individualism, edited by Guido Ruggiero,” 208–24. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2002.

Martin, J. J. “Popular Culture and the Shaping of Popular Heresy in Renaissance Venice.” In Inquisition and Society in Early Modern Europe, Edited by Stephen Haliczer, 115–28, 1987.


Martin, John, and Elisabeth Crouzet-Pavan. “Venise triomphante: Les horizons d'un mythe.” The American Historical Review 105, no. 5 (December 2000): 1828–1828. Full Text

Martin, J. “Political Careers and Power Distribution Among Venetian Nobles 1646-1797.” Journal of Modern History, 1999.

Martin, J. “Angelo Torre, Il consumo di devozioni: Religione e comunita nelle campagne dell’Ancien Regime.” Journal of Modern History 70 (1998): 716–17.

Martin, John. “Inventing Sincerity, Refashioning Prudence: The Discovery of the Individual in Renaissance Europe.” The American Historical Review 102, no. 5 (December 1997): 1309–1309. Full Text

Martin, J. “Spiritual journeys and the fashioning of religious identity in renaissance Venice.” Renaissance Studies 10, no. 3 (September 1, 1996): 358–70.

MARTIN, J. “SEEDS OF VIOLENCE - BOYS, GIRLS AND VAGABONDS IN 16TH-CENTURY ITALY - ITALIAN - NICCOLI,O.” Renaissance Quarterly 49, no. 3 (1996): 598–616.


Martin, J. J. “Salvation and Society in Sixteenth-Century Venice: Popular Evangelism in a Renaissance City.” The Journal of Modern History, 1988, 206–33.



Martin, John Jeffries. “Review of Benandanti e inquisitori nel Friuli del Seicento.” American Historical Review. American Historical Association, 2002.

Martin, John. “Review of Venise triomphante: Les horizons d’un mythe by Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan. (Paris: Albin Michel. 1999. Pp. 428. 150fr).” The American Historical Review. Oxford University Press, 2000.

Martin, J. “Review of Oliver Thomas Domzalski, Politische Karrieren und Machtverteilung im venezianischen Adel, 1646-1797.” Journal of Modern History. University of Chicago Press, 1999.

Martin, John. “Knowledge, Politics, and Memory in Early Modern Italy: Recent Italian Scholarship.” Renaissance Quarterly. Cambridge University Press (CUP), 1996. Full Text

Martin, J. J. “Review of The Art of Conversation. By Peter Burke (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1993. viii plus 178 pp.).” Journal of Social History. Oxford University Press, 1995.


Spring 2019

Cap Sem: History Of Torture (HISTORY 483S)
Class Bldg 241, Tu 07:30 PM-09:45 PM

Spring 2018

Women/power Renaissance (HISTORY 258S)
Carr 229, Th 06:15 PM-08:45 PM

Spring 2017

Cap Sem: History Of Torture (HISTORY 483S)
Carr 229, Tu 06:15 PM-09:15 PM

Fall 2016

Early Modern Europe (HISTORY 117)
Carr 114, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Fall 2014

Early Modern Europe (HISTORY 117)
Carr 240, TuTh 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Spring 2014

Rsch Top Global Connections (HISTORY 890S-05)
Carr 229, Tu 06:30 PM-09:00 PM