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          I started my journey as a historian in Florence, where I graduated from the University of Florence and earned a Master's degree in Medieval History. With my master's thesis, I edited two manuscripts kept in the National Archive of Florence for the first time.

          The two manuscripts were written in Florence between 1393 and 1413; they were written by the Florentine merchant Niccolo' Busini. Their names are "Ricordanze private" "Private Memories.” The books showed the general role the merchants had in building the fame of the city in one of the greatest periods of splendor for the town. These two manuscripts are an example of the compulsive record-keeping citizen, shaped by the practice of large-scale international trade and banking on which Florentine prosperity depended.

        This work was crucial for my formation; it allowed me to become better acquainted with the essentials of historical research. I learned how to navigate the mare magnum of sources found in the National Archive or at the National Library of Florence and I acquired a method of investigating evidence which I was able to apply during my Ph.D. dissertation, and was crucial for the development of my argument.


        When I started the Ph.D. with Dr. Vaughn at the University of Houston, she suggested exploring Matilda of Tuscany. I began retracing the life of Matilda which opened a window on a crucial period in the history of the Middle Ages.

        Matilda of Tuscany (1046-1115), a significant figure in the European Middle Ages, was mostly neglected by English scholarship. Even in feminist and gender studies, Matilda has been overlooked. My study illuminates how friendship fueled Matilda’s political agency, served alliances, and promoted spirituality. The analysis of the significant friendships the countess established with her three most important spiritual advisors – the revolutionary Pope Gregory VII (1073-85); Anselm II Bishop of Lucca (1075-1085), an intellectual and passionate reformer; and the prominent philosopher and theologian Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury (1093-1109) – illustrates the decisive role these personals, political, and spiritual bonds played in the establishment and maintenance of Matilda's power as well as her devotion and religious motivations. 

             The goal of my future research is twofold. I plan to publish the manuscript within two years. My second major project planned after this will allow me to create an edition (inclusive of a comprehensive introduction, equipped with Latin text, English translation, and notes) of Peter Damian’s Poems, Prayers, and Sermons, and Anselm of Lucca’s Prayers and Sermons . These crucial collections have never been translated into English; this much-needed translation would allow scholars to explore missing pieces which are crucial in the understanding of the origins of the new spirituality and affective devotion that began in the eleventh century and reached its apex in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries with the spirituality of St. Francis of Assisi.


Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Tomb of Countess Matilda of Tuscany, 1633-1644, St. Peter's Basilica, Rome

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