​Dr. Cesare Santus

Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter der DFG-Kollegforschungsgruppe "Polyzentrik und Pluralität Vormoderner Christentümer"

My research project focuses on reassessing the role of Eastern Christianity within Early Modern Catholicism. The scholarship on Counter-Reformation barely mentions Eastern Catholics, who appear only as targets of missionary attention, in the wake of the global expansion of the Catholic faith. Although recent studies have underlined the agency of Greek, Armenian and Arabic-speaking Christians in the Ottoman society, and their circulation far beyond the Near East, linguistic constraints and disciplinary barriers have so far prevented many historians of the Roman Church from seriously engaging with them. I intend to examine how the theoretical and practical problems raised by the establishment and governance of the Eastern Catholic Churches shaped the development of Early Modern Catholicism as a whole, significantly influencing its way of conceiving religious otherness and confessional belonging.

In particular, my research will be articulated around three axes:

1) the importance of the doctrinal, canonical and sacramental challenges posed by the Oriental tradition to the Tridentine model, examined through the documentation preserved in the archives of the Roman Inquisition;

2) the physical presence of Eastern Christians in Rome, and their activity at the service of the Curia as interpreters and consultants, as revealed by the hitherto under-studied material kept in the Oriental Hospices of the city and through the development of a prosopographical database;

3) the intertwining of the disputes arising from Eastern Catholic communities with other theological controversies, both of missionary origin (Chinese and Malabar Rites) and intra-European (Jansenism, dispute over papal authority) during the long eighteenth century.

By bridging sectorial specialisms, examining unexplored archives and focusing on the many Eastern Christians who interacted with Rome between the 16th century and the early 19th century (with a special focus on Armenians), I would like to reverse the usual perspective and build a truly connected history of Eastern and Western Catholicism.

Education and Academic Qualifications

  • 6 April 2020: Italian Academic Qualification (ASN) as Associate Professor, Early Modern History
  • 5 February 2016: French Qualification as Associate Professor, Early Modern History. Renewed on 04/03/2021
  • 8 September 2015: PhD in History, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa, in international joint supervision with the École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris (supervisors: prof. Bernard Heyberger, prof. Daniele Menozzi, final grade: 70/70 cum laude / “très honorable avec félicitations"). Thesis title: Trasgressioni necessarie. Communicatio in sacris, collaborazioni e conflitti tra le comunità cristiane orientali (Levante e Impero ottomano, XVII-XVIII secolo).
  • 20 December 2011: Leaving certificate (“Diploma di licenza"), Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (70/70). Dissertation title: Descrizione, conversione, conquista. La “Turchia" di Michel Febvre.
  • 14 October 2010: MA in History, University of Pisa (110/110 cum laude). Thesis title: Il “turco" a Livorno. Schiavi musulmani e incontri con l'islam nella Toscana del XVII secolo.
  • 22 September 2008: BA in History, University of Pisa (110 /110 cum laude). Thesis title: La “Santa Unione" a Modena (1541-1542).
  • September 2005: Admission, by national competition, to the Scuola Normale Superiore of Pisa
Fellowhips and Academic Appointments

  • July 2022 – February 2025 : Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter der DFG-Kollegforschungsgruppe "Polyzentrik und Pluralität Vormoderner Christentümer" (POLY)
  • July 2019 – June 2022 : Chargé de recherche (Post-doctoral researcher), National Fund for Scientific Research (FNRS), Belgium – Université catholique de Louvain. Research project: Ex Oriente Dubia. Le rôle des consulteurs du Saint-Office dans les querelles missionnaires du XVIIIe siècle (on leave in July and August 2019)
  • September 2018 – June 2019: Francesco De Dombrowski Post-Doctoral Fellow, Villa I Tatti - The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies (Florence). Research project: Wandering Lives. Eastern Christian Pilgrims, Travelers and 'Refugees' in Early Modern Rome.
  • September 2015 – August 2018: Membre scientifique de l'École française de Rome (3-years postdoctoral appointment with a research project on the role of the Roman Inquisitorial bureaucracy in the examination of the problematic issues relating to Catholic missions in the East: Ottoman Empire, Persia, India, China, Ethiopia)
  • 15 September - 15 October 2014: 3rd fellowship, École française de Rome February - June 2014: Affiliated Fellowship, American Academy in Rome
  • November 2013 - January 2014: exchange fellowship, École Normale Supérieure, Paris
  • 1-15 July, 1-15 October 2013: 2nd fellowship, École française de Rome
  • October 2012: 1st fellowship, École française de Rome
  • October - December 2011: research period in Paris granted from a scholarship of the French Embassy in Rome (“Programme Égide")
  • 2011: Winner of the “Vinci Program", financial aid granted from the Università Italo-Francese/ Université Franco-Italienne for PhD students in international joint supervision between France and Italy (4.500 euros)

Conference and Workshop Organization

  • 27-28 June 2022: Organization at the Academia Belgica in Rome of the international conference The Inquisition(s) and the Christian East, 1500-1800. I was in charge of the scientific organization, together with Jean-Pascal Gay and Laurent Tatarenko, and I held the introductory lecture.
  • 6 February 2017: Organization of the international workshop Building Confessional Identities in the Ottoman Empire (16th-18th centuries), at the École française de Rome. Speakers: Tijana Krstić, Derin Terzioğlu, Roni Weinstein, Yaron Ben-Naeh, Elif Bayraktar Tellan, Hasan Çolak, Aurélien Girard, Bernard Heyberger. Discussants: Nathalie Clayer, Tassos Anastassiadis. General introduction: Cesare Santus.
  • 6 July 2018: Organization (with Andrea Rapini) of a seminar at the École française de Rome entitled La comparaison comme jeu d'échelle. Global microhistoire et / ou histoire. Speakers: Simona Cerutti (EHESS), Guillaume Calafat (Paris 1-Sorbonne). In the same venue, on 8 May 2017 I have animated with Romain Loriol the seminar La querelle du narrativisme. Autour de Carlo Ginzburg et Hayden White.
  • 13-17 March 2017: Co-organization of the training workshop for undergraduate students (“atelier d'initiation à la recherche") Faire l'histoire du monde depuis Rome à partir des sources pontificales (XIVe - XXe siècle), at the École française de Rome. Presentation of the Roman Archives and Library Collections; practical training in searching, reading and analyzing the documentary sources held in the Archives of the Congregation of Propaganda Fide and of the Holy Office.
  • Early modern Catholicism, history of the Inquisition, religious minorities in Europe
  • History of the Christian communities of the Ottoman Empire (16th-19th centuries), with a special focus on Armenians: construction of confessional identities, relations with Islamic political authorities, with European powers and with the Roman Church
  • Circulation and presence of Ottoman subjects in Catholic Europe (Eastern Christian pilgrims and travelers in Rome, “Turkish" slaves in Livorno). Construction of a prosopographical database (1650-1800)
  • History of Catholic missions in the Near, Middle and Far East (1600-1800), with particular attention to the intertwining of different “rites controversies" (Chinese rites, Malabar rites, communicatio in sacris with Eastern Christians)
  • Prosopography of the Roman Curia, analysis of the role of the consultants of the Holy Office in examining the dubia circa sacramenta coming from missions in the East
  • Microhistory, Global history, Connected History: ongoing methodological debates
I. Monographs
  1. Trasgressioni necessarie. Communicatio in sacris, coesistenza e conflitti tra le comunità cristiane orientali (Levante e Impero ottomano, XVII-XVIII secolo), Rome: École française de Rome, 2019, 536 p. + online Appendix, 55 p. (Bibliothèque des Écoles françaises d'Athènes et de Rome, 383).
  2. Il «turco» a Livorno. Incontri con l'Islam nella Toscana del Seicento, Milan: Officina Libraria, 2019, 212 p.
II. Edited Books
  1. Middle Eastern and European Christianity, 16th-20th Century: Connected Histories, Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2023, co-edited with Aurélien Girard, Vassa Kontouma and Karène Sanchez), Bernard Heyberger (forthcoming).
III. Journal Articles
  1. “L'adoration de Naaman. Pour une histoire croisée des querelles des rites", Revue d'histoire ecclésiastique, vol. 116, n. 3-4, 2021, pp. 804-830.
  2. “Giuseppe Simonio Assemani consultore del Sant'Uffizio", in Željko Paša (ed.), Actes du congrès “L'Orient chrétien dans l'Occident latin", 300e anniversaire de la Bibliotheca Orientalis d'Assémani (1719-2019), monographic issue of Parole de l'Orient, vol. 47, 2021, 175-190.
  3. “Rome, avant-poste de la France en Orient. Les chrétiens orientaux dans la Ville Éternelle et la Congrégation de la Propagande pendant l'occupation napoléonienne (1808-1814)", Annales Historiques de la Révolution française, vol. 401, 3, 2020, 135-157.
  4. “L'accoglienza e il controllo dei pellegrini orientali a Roma. L'ospizio armeno di Santa Maria Egiziaca (XVI-XVIII sec.)", Mélanges de l'École française de Rome – Moyen Âge, vol. 131, 2, 2019, pp. 447-459. (→ Read online)
  5. “Les papiers des consulteurs. Questions missionnaires et procès de décision au Saint-Office, XVIIeXVIIIe siècles", Mélanges de l'École française de Rome – Italie et Méditerranée modernes et contemporaines, vol. 130, 2, 2018, pp. 431-445. (→ Read online)
  6. “La comunità armena di Costantinopoli all'inizio del XVIII secolo: scontri e tentativi di accordi interconfessionali", Rassegna degli Armenisti Italiani, vol. XVII, 2016, pp. 51-59.
  7. “La communicatio in sacris con gli « scismatici » orientali in età moderna", Mélanges de l'École française de Rome - Italie et Méditerranée modernes et contemporaines, vol. 126, 2, 2014, pp. 325-340.
  8. “«Moreschi» in Toscana: progetti e tentativi di insediamento tra Livorno e la Maremma (1610-1614)", Quaderni Storici, vol. 144, 3, 2013, p. 745-778.
  9. “Il 'turco' e l'inquisitore. Schiavi musulmani e processi per magia nel Bagno di Livorno (XVII secolo)", Società e Storia, vol. 133, 2011, pp. 449-484.
  10. “La nascita della «Santa Unione» e l'assistenza cittadina a Modena (1541-1542)", Atti e Memorie. Deputazione di Storia Patria per le Antiche Province Modenesi, vol. 33, 2011, pp. 85-102.
IV. Book Chapters
  1. “Sheykh ül-islam Feyzullah Efendi and the Armenian Patriarch Awetik': a case of entangled confessional disciplining?", in: Tijana Krstić, Derin Terzioglu (eds.), Entangled Confessionalizations? Dialogic Perspectives on Politics of Piety and Community Building in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-18th Centuries, Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2021, pp. 233-254.
  2. The Great Imposture: Eastern Christian Rogues and Counterfeiters in Rome, c. 17th-19th centuries", in: Cornel Zwierlein (ed.), The Power of the Dispersed. Early Modern Global Travelers beyond Integration, Leiden: Brill, 2021, pp. 98-130.
  3. “Le vin de messe en question : controverses et expériences au Saint-Office", in: Marie Lezowski, Yann Lignereux (eds.), Matière à discorde. Les objets chrétiens dans les conflits modernes, Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2021, pp. 187-198.
  4. “Wandering Lives: Eastern Christian Pilgrims, Alms-collectors and 'Refugees' in Early Modern Rome", in Emily Michelson, Matthew Coneys (eds.), A Companion to Religious Minorities in Early Modern Rome, Leiden: Brill, 2020, pp. 237-271.
  5. Conflicting Views: Catholic Missionaries in Ottoman Cities between Accommodation and Latinization", in Nadine Amsler, Andreea Badea, Bernard Heyberger, Christian Windler (eds.), Catholic Missionaries in Early Modern Asia: Patterns of Localization, Abingdon (GB) e New York (USA): Routledge, 2020, pp. 96-109.
  6. Tra la chiesa di Sant'Atanasio e il Sant'Uffizio: note sulla presenza greca a Roma in età moderna", in Antal Molnár, Giovanni Pizzorusso e Matteo Sanfilippo (eds.), Chiese e nationes a Roma: dalla Scandinavia ai Balcani. Secoli XV-XVIII, Rome: Viella, 2017, pp. 193-223.
  7. “Un beato martire per la nazione martire. La causa di beatificazione del sacerdote armeno Gomidas Keumurgian (1709-1929)", in Andrea Mariuzzo, Elena Mazzini, Francesco Mores, Ilaria Pavan (eds.), Un mestiere paziente. Gli allievi pisani per Daniele Menozzi, Pisa: ETS, 2017, pp. 221-233.
  8. “Crimini, violenza e corruzione nel Bagno di Livorno: gli schiavi "turchi" in alcuni processi del XVII secolo", in Andrea Addobbati, Marcella Aglietti (eds.), La città delle Nazioni. Livorno e i limiti del cosmopolitismo (1566-1834), Pisa: Pisa University Press, 2016, pp. 93-107.
  9. “Les avatars du «Turc». Esclaves et commerçants musulmans en Toscane (1600-1750)", in Jocelyn Dakhlia, Bernard Vincent (eds.), Les Musulmans dans l'histoire de l'Europe, vol. 1: Une intégration invisibile, Paris: Albin Michel, 2011, pp. 471-522, co-authored with Guillaume Calafat.
  10. “Padre e giudice. Pietro Campori e la disciplina del clero a Cremona", in Matteo Al Kalak (a cura di), Pietro Campori. Il papa mancato, Venezia: Marsilio, 2009, p. 53-71.
V. Encyclopedia Entries    
  1. Cicuta, Aurelio Natale; Tiziano (predicatore anabattista); Tizzano, Lorenzo; Turchetto, Giorgio Filalete (detto il); and Chizzola, Ippolito (this last one with F. Dei), in: Adriano Prosperi (ed.), Dizionario Storico dell’Inquisizione, Pisa: Edizioni della Normale, 2010, vol. 1, p. 331, 329-30; vol. 3, pp. 1575-76, 1602-03.          
VI. Book Reviews
  1. “A proposito di «D'Alep à Paris. Les pérégrinations d'un jeune syrien au temps de Louis XIV»", Quaderni Storici, vol. 153, 3, 2016, pp. 823-829.
  2. Review of Gian Luca D'Errico (ed.), Il Corano e il Pontefice. Ludovico Marracci fra cultura islamica e Curia papale, Carocci, Rome 2015, published in Rivista Storica Italiana, 2, 2016, pp. 776-783.
  3. Review of Bernard Heyberger, Mercedes García-Arena, Emanuele Colombo and Paola Vismara (eds.), L'Islam visto da Occidente. Cultura e religione del Seicento europeo di fronte all'Islam, Marietti 1820, Genova 2009, published in Rivista di storia del cristianesimo, 1, 2011, pp. 183-187.
  4. Review of Michela Catto, La Compagnia divisa. Il dissenso nell'ordine gesuitico tra '500 e '600, Morcelliana, Brescia 2009, published in Humanitas, n. 65, 3, 2010, pp. 508-512.
  1. “Eastern Christians Before the Roman Inquisition: Overview of Sources and New Research Perspectives", general introduction at the international conference Mediterranean Diasporas. Settlements of Religious Minorities in Exile, Academia Belgica, Rome, 27/06/2022 – 28/06/2022.
  2. “The Roman Curia and the Christian East, 16th-18th Centuries: Diplomacy, Cultural Policy, Mission and Confessional Control", paper delivered at the international conference The Historical Outlines and Contexts of the Roman Curia, Augustinianum, Rome, 26/05/2022 – 28/05/2022.
  3. “A Tale of Two Cities (and Three Men): Armenians in Rome and Ancona, 1565-1590", paper delivered at the international conference Mediterranean Diasporas. Settlements of Religious Minorities in Exile, University of Alicante, Spain 28/10/2021 – 29/10/2021.
  4. “New Documents on the Armenian Presence and Printing Activity in Early Modern Rome: the Family and the Professional Network of Marcantonio Abagaro (Sult'anšah T'oxat'ec'i)", paper delivered at the 15th General Conference of the Association Internationale des Études Arméniennes, Martin Luther Universität Halle-Wittenberg, 02/09/2021 –04/09/2021.
  5. “The great imposture. Eastern Christian rogues and counterfeiters in Rome, 17th-19th century", paper delivered at the international conference The Power of the Dispersed: Early Modern Travelers beyond Integration, FU Berlin – Yale MacMillan Center, 18/12/2020 – 19/12/2020.
  6. “Eastern Christian Pilgrims, Alms-collectors and 'Refugees' in Early Modern Rome", paper delivered at the workshop Ethnic Diversity and Material Exchanges in Renaissance Italy, University of Cambridge (UK), 22/01/2020.
  7. “Giuseppe Simonio Assemani consultore del Sant'Uffizio", paper delivered at the international conference The Christian East in the Latin West. Assemani's Bibliotheca Orientalis 300th Anniversary, Rome, Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana – Pontifical Oriental Institute, 07/11/2019 – 08/11/2019.
  8. "Religious Mobility and Confessional Control: Eastern Christian Immigrants and 'Refugees' in Early Modern Rome", paper delivered at the international workshop Faire diaspora en Ville: mémoires, représentations, institutions. Europe méditerranéenne, XIVe–XVIIIe siècle, École française de Rome, 26/09/2019 – 27/09/2019. 
  9. “Le vin de messe en question: controverses doctrinales et expériences au Saint-Office (Éthiopie, XVIII siècle)", paper delivered at the conference Objets chrétiens en conflits (XVIe -XVIIIe s.). Approches croisées, University of Angers, 17/10/2018 – 19/10/2018.
  10. “Between East and West: Eastern Christian mobility and the Roman hub (17th-18th century)", paper delivered at the international workshop The Iberian World and the East: Go-betweens and Mediations, 16th-18th centuries, Maison française d'Oxford, 02/07/2018 – 03/07/2018. 
  11. “The Şeyhülislam, the Patriarch and the Ambassador. A Case of Entangled Confessionalization (1692-1703)", paper delivered at the international conference Entangled Confessionalizations. Dialogic Perspectives on Community and Confession-Building Initiatives in the Ottoman Empire, 15th-18th Centuries, within the ERC Grant project "Ottoconfession" (principal investigator: Tijana Krstić), Central European University, Budapest, 01/06/2018 – 03/06/2018. In addition to the intervention, I acted as a discussant and was invited to participate in the conclusions of the conference.
  12. “Mixtes, douteux, nuls: les mariages des Arméniens catholiques à l'examen du Saint-Office (XVIIIe siècle)", paper delivered at the workshop Normes et sacrements entre les Églises d'Orient et Occident: le cas des unions matrimoniales, École française d'Athènes, 23/04/2018 – 23/04/2018.
  13. “Mkhit'ar's Doubts: The Problem of 'Communicatio in Sacris' among the Armenian Catholics of the Ottoman Empire", paper delivered at the workshop Confessionalization and Reform: The Mkhit'arist Enterprise from Constantinople to Venice, Trieste, and Vienna, UCLA (Los Angeles, USA), 16/12/201 –17/12/2017.
  14. “L’accoglienza e il controllo dei pellegrini orientali a Roma: l'ospizio armeno di Santa Maria Egiziaca (XVII-XVIII sec.)”, paper delivered at the conference Hospitalité de l’étranger, XIVe-XVIIe siècle. Entre charité, contrôle et utilité sociale: Italie – Europe, École française de Rome, 30/11/2017 – 01/12/2017.
  15. “From Ambiguity to Separation: Shaping an Armenian Catholic Identity in Constantinople (1680–1730)”, paper delivered at the international conference Global Reformations. Transforming Early Modern Religions, Societies, and Cultures, Victoria College, University of Toronto, 28/09/2017 – 30/09/2017.
  16. “A triangular relationship: Eastern Patriarchates, Rome and Ottoman bureaucracy in the shaping of the Christian communities of the Empire”, paper delivered at the international conference Christians and Jews in Ottoman Society, within the ERC Grant project Stories of Survival (Principal Investigator: John-Paul Ghobrial), Balliol College, Oxford University 03/07/2017 – 05/07/2017.
  17. “Conflicting views. The local practices of Catholic missionaries in the urban settings of the Ottoman Empire”, paper delivered at the international conference Going Native or Remaining Foreign? Catholic Missionaries as Local Agents in Asia (17th to 18th Centuries), Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom, École française de Rome, Istituto Svizzero in Roma, 30/05/2017 – 01/06/2017.
  18. Scientific organization and general introduction of the international workshop Building Confessional Identities in the Ottoman Empire (16th-18th centuries), École française de Rome, 06/02/2017.
  19. “La presenza greca a Roma (XVII-XVIII sec.): alcune questioni problematiche”, paper delivered at the international conference Chiese e nationes a Roma sotto il potere temporale dei papi: dalla Scandinavia ai Balcani (secoli XV-XVIII), Hungarian Academy (Rome) 08/04/2016.
  20. “La comunità armena di Costantinopoli tra "communicatio in sacris", scontri e tentativi di accordi interconfessionali (XVIII sec.)”, invited lecture at the 19° Seminario Armenistico Italiano, Casa Armena, Milan, 07/11/2015.
  21. “The Practice of 'Communicatio in Sacris' among the Eastern Christians of the Ottoman Empire”, paper delivered at the 11° Arbeitstagung der Arbeitsgemeinschaft „Frühe Neuzeit“ im Verband der Historiker und Historikerinnen Deutschlands, University of Heidelberg, 17/09/2015 – 19/09/2015.
  22. “Necessary Transgressions: the problem of "communicatio in sacris" in the East in a general inquiry of Propaganda Fide”, paper delivered at the international conference Religious Contacts and Conflicts in the Rites of Passage: European and Extra-European Perspectives on the Early Modern Period, Goethe University, Frankfurt-am-Main, 03/07/2014 – 04/07/2014.
  23. “Becoming Foreigners: Eastern Christians and ‘Franks’ at the turn of the 18th century”, paper delivered at the international workshop Foreigners in the Deep Heart of Medieval and Early Modern Societies (Europe, the Mediterranean and the Muslim World), European University Institute, Fiesole (Florence), 18/06/2014 – 20/06/2014.
  • Associate Member of AIEA (Association International des Études Arméniennes)

Kontakt

Dr. Cesare Santus

Norbert-Wollheim-Platz 1
60629 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: tba
Raum IG 5.356
E-Mail: tba