Professor Robert D. Black

Professor of Renaissance History

Summary: The Italian Renaissance; Florentine history; 15th-century Italian historiography; Renaissance education.

Robert Black is Professor of Renaissance History at the Univeristy of Leeds. His books include Benedetto Acolti and the Florentine Renaissance (1985), Studio e scuola in Arezzo durante il medioevo e il rinascimento (1996), Humanism and Education in Medieval and Renaissance Italy  (2001), Education and Society in Florentine Tuscany (2007) and Studies in Renaissance Humanism and Politics (2011). Together with Louise George Clubb, he has written Romance and Aretine Humanism in Sienese  Comedy (1993), and with Gabriella Pomaro, Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Education (2000). He has edited Reniassance Thought: a reader (2001) and The Renaissance. Critical concepts in historical studies, 4 vols (2006). He is the author of a new biography of Machiavelli published in October 2013, and has also writen a number of articles about the Great Florentine Statesmen,  including studies of his education and chancery career. In 2014 Robert Black was Robert Lehman Visiting professor at Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies in Florence, Italy.

Research interests

  • History of education in Renaissance Italy
  • Florentine medieval and Medieval and Renaissance history
  • Renaissance humanism
  • Renaissance historiography
  • Machiavelli

Current research includes a history of school education in medieval and Renaissance Tuscany (to be published by Brill).

Research Supervision

  • Renaissance humanism
  • Medieval and Renaissance Italian history

Current and recent research students have studied the historical writings of Sir John Hayward and the political thought of the restored Medici regime (1512-1527).