Famous Italian Historians

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 1 

Niccolò Machiavelli
10
Birthdate: May 3, 1469
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: June 22, 1527
Italian Renaissance philosopher, diplomat, and author Niccolò Machiavelli is remembered for his work The Prince. He believed that the end or the intention behind any action justifies the action. He gave rise to the term Machiavellianism, which signifies the use of deceit and treachery to achieve one’s goals. 

 2 
Suetonius
(Secretary, historian)

Suetonius
5
Birthdate: 0069 AD
Birthplace: Rome
Died: 0122 AD

Suetonius was a Roman historian who lived and worked during the early Imperial era of the Roman Empire. Many of his works have been lost, and the most important of his surviving works is a set of biographies of 12 successive Roman rulers, from Julius Caesar to Domitian. He was a close friend of senator Pliny the Younger.

 3 

Giorgio Vasari
4
Birthdate: July 30, 1511
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: June 27, 1574

Giorgio Vasari was an Italian architect, painter, writer, engineer, and historian. He is best remembered for his work The Lives, a series of artist biographies, which is regarded as the art-historical writing's ideological foundation. Vasari is also credited with the formulation of the term Renaissance as it was first suggested by Jules Michelet based on Giorgio Vasari's text.

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 4 
Diodorus Siculus
(Historian)

Diodorus Siculus
4
Birthdate: 0090 BC
Birthplace: Agira
Died: 0030 BC

Diodorus Siculus was an ancient Greek historian known for writing the monumental universal history, Bibliotheca Historica. The original series consisted of 40 books, out of which 15 survive intact. In his own work, it is mentioned that he was born in Agyrium in Sicily. Exact details about his personal life are not available.  

 5 
Sallust
(Historian, Politician)

Sallust
3
Birthdate: 0086 BC
Birthplace: Amiternum, Italy
Died: 0035 BC

Sallust was a Roman historian and politician who hailed from an Italian plebeian family.  He was a popularis and a vehement opponent of the old Roman aristocracy. Later in his career, he became a partisan of Julius Caesar. He is considered the earliest known Latin-language Roman historian with surviving works to his name. 

 6 
Giambattista Vico
(Philosopher)

Giambattista Vico
4
Birthdate: June 23, 1668
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: January 23, 1744

Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico is regarded as a pioneer of what is now known as cultural anthropology, or ethnology. He brought together history and the social sciences in his work Scienza nuova. A poor bookseller’s son, he studied by candlelight but grew up to be a major Counter-Enlightenment figure.

 7 
Michael Parenti
(Political scientist, Historian)

Michael Parenti
4
Birthdate: September 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Political scientist, historian, and critic Michael Parenti is best known for being a staunch critic of capitalism and America’s foreign policy. The Yale alumnus taught political and social science at various institutes, before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. He is the father of journalist Christian Parenti.

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 8 
Eusebius of Caesarea
(Historian, Bishop of Caesarea Maritima)

Eusebius of Caesarea
4
Birthdate: 0265 AD
Birthplace: Caesarea, Israel
Died: April 30, 0339

Eusebius of Caesarea was a historian of Christianity and Christian polemicist. He was a bishop of Caesarea Maritima and a scholar of the biblical canon.  As "Father of Church History," he wrote the Ecclesiastical History and a biographical work on Constantine the Great, the first Christian emperor. He is regarded as one of the most learned Christians of his time.  

 9 

Giovanni Schiaparelli
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1835
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Savigliano, Italy
Died: July 4, 1910

Giovanni Schiaparelli made headlines when he discovered the canals of Mars, suggesting the existence of intelligent life forms on the planet. He also discovered the asteroid named Hesperia and was associated with the Brera Observatory in Milan for more than 40 years. He had also been a senator of Italy.

 10 
Indro Montanelli
(Journalist)

Indro Montanelli
3
Birthdate: April 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fucecchio, Italy
Died: July 22, 2001

Italian journalist Indro Montanelli was named one of the International Press Institute’s World Press Freedom Heroes. Though he initially studied law and political science, he later drifted toward journalism, even working as a crime reporter. He had been arrested by the Nazis but luckily escaped the firing squad.

 11 

Jeanne Modigliani
3
Birthdate: November 29, 1918
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: July 27, 1984

Jeanne Modigliani was an Italian-French Jewish art historian. She was the daughter of artists Amedeo Modigliani and Jeanne Hébuterne. She lost both her parents as a small child and was adopted by her aunt. She conducted extensive biographical research on her father years after his death and published the book Modigliani: Man and Myth.   

 12 
Carlo Ginzburg
(Historian)

Carlo Ginzburg
3
Birthdate: April 15, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

A microhistory expert, Italian historian Carlo Ginzburg has had teaching stints at the University of Bologna and UCLA. He is best known for his work The Cheese and the Worms and holds 16 honorary degrees from various universities. He also won the Balzan Prize for the History of Europe in 2010.

 13 
Leonardo Bruni
(Historian)

Leonardo Bruni
3
Birthdate: 1370 AD
Birthplace: Arezzo, Italy
Died: March 9, 1444

 14 

Poggio Bracciolini
3
Birthdate: February 11, 1380
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Terranuova Bracciolini, Italy
Died: October 30, 1459

Venerated for recovering numerous lost or neglected Classical Latin manuscripts from different European monasteries, Poggio Bracciolini was an early Renaissance humanist, scholar and calligrapher. Among his most notable recoveries are On the Nature of Things, a didactic poem by Titus Lucretius Carus, Ten Books on Architecture by Marcus Vitruvius Pollio, and Pro Sexto Roscio, a speech by Marcus Tullius Cicero.

 15 
Pietro Bembo
(Former Renaissance cardinal who wrote one of the earliest Italian grammars and assisted in establishing the Italian literary language)

Pietro Bembo
3
Birthdate: May 20, 1470
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 18, 1547

Pietro Bembo was an Italian scholar, poet, and literary theorist. He was also a cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and a member of the Knights Hospitaller, a Catholic military order. He played a key role in the development of the Tuscan dialect as a literary language. As a priest, he promoted the Christian perfection of Renaissance humanism. 

 16 

Paul the Deacon
3
Birthdate: 0720 AD
Birthplace: Cividale del Friuli
Died: April 13, 0799

 17 
Norberto Bobbio
(Philosopher)

Norberto Bobbio
3
Birthdate: October 18, 1909
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Turin, Italy
Died: January 9, 2004

Legal and political philosopher Norberto Bobbio was initially part of the liberal socialist Partito d'Azione but later left politics to focus on academics. He later taught at various institutes and eventually chaired the faculty of political science at Turin. He also won honors such as the Balzan Prize.

 18 
Francesco Guicciardini
(Historian, Politician, Writer, Diplomat)

Francesco Guicciardini
3
Birthdate: March 6, 1483
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Florence
Died: May 22, 1540

Francesco Guicciardini was an Italian historian and statesman counted amongst the major political writers of the Italian Renaissance. Born into a prominent political family, he received a fine humanist education and was trained in the classics. His work, The History of Italy, is considered a masterpiece and paved the way for a new style in historiography. 

 19 

Valerio Massimo Manfredi
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1943
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Castelfranco Emilia, Italy

Valerio Massimo Manfredi is an Italian historian, essayist, writer, archaeologist, and journalist. He earned a degree in classical arts at the University of Bologna and became an archaeologist. He later pursued an academic career and published many essays and articles. He has held conferences and seminars in many reputed universities. He is also the author of several best-selling novels. 

 20 
Euhemerus
(Greek mythographer)

Euhemerus
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Messina
Died: 0250 AD

Euhemerus was a Greek mythographer who served at the court of the Macedonian king, Cassander. Euhemerus is renowned for his efforts to rationalize mythology in historical terms and commonize mythological characters as historical personages. This historical interpretation of mythology came to be known as Euhemerism, although many people before Euhemerus have made attempts to rationalize mythology in historical terms.

 21 
Polydore Vergil
(Historian)

Polydore Vergil
2
Birthdate: 1470 AD
Birthplace: Urbino, Italy
Died: April 18, 1555

Italian-born humanist scholar, historian and priest, Polydore Vergil is especially famed for his magnum opus, Twenty-six Books of English History, often being dubbed as the Father of English History for this feat. Sent to England soon after being ordained as priest, he spent major part of his life there, authoring many other works, including Proverbiorum libellus and De rerum inventoribus.

 22 
Paolo Sarpi
(Historian)

Paolo Sarpi
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1552
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: January 15, 1623

Italian theologian and scientist Paolo Sarpi was also a lawyer. He lost his father early and was raised by his mother and uncle. His intellect and seriousness had earned him the nickname The Bride in his early days. He advocated for the separation of the Church and the state.

 23 

Tyrannius Rufinus
2
Birthdate: 0344 AD
Birthplace: Concordia, Italy
Died: 0411 AD

Tyrannius Rufinus was a monk, historian, and theologian best remembered as a translator of Greek patristic material into Latin. He was born to Christian parents and chose to live the life of a monk. He spent many years of his life translating the numerous works of Christian scholar Origen from Greek to Latin. He also translated Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. 

 24 

Alessandro Barbero
2
Birthdate: April 30, 1959
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Turin, Italy

Alessandro Barbero is an Italian historian, essayist, and novelist. He studied literature and medieval history at the University of Turin. He is the author of numerous works on history, including The Battle, an account of the Battle of Waterloo. He is also a TV and radio commentator and organizer on the Italian cultural scene. He received the 1996 Strega Prize. 

 25 

Peter Martyr d'Anghiera
2
Birthdate: February 2, 1457
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Arona, Italy
Died: September 30, 1526

Italian chaplain Peter Martyr d'Anghiera later became a well-known historian at the Spanish court. A significant figure of the Age of Exploration, he was part of the Council of the Indies of Emperor Charles V. His De Orbe Novo contained the first known mention of India rubber in a European work.

 26 
Giovanni Morelli
(Art Critic)

Giovanni Morelli
2
Birthdate: February 25, 1816
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Verona, Italy
Died: February 28, 1891

Born to Swiss parents in Italy, Giovanni Morelli later studied medicine in Switzerland and Germany, but never practiced. A connoisseur of arts, he established himself as an art historian and collector. He also dabbled in politics and passed an act forbidding the sale of artwork from public or religious institutions.

 27 
Germano Celant
(Art historian)

Germano Celant
2
Birthdate: September 11, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Genoa, Italy
Died: April 29, 2020

An influential art historian, critic, and curator, Germano Celant is known for coining the term, Arte Povera to describe the radically economical art of some post WWII Italian artists. Beginning his career with Geneva based art magazine Marcatrè, he eventually become the curator of New York’s Guggenheim museum and Director of Milan’s Prada Foundation, concurrently authoring many books on art.

 28 
Flavio Biondo
(Historian)

Flavio Biondo
2
Birthdate: 1392 AD
Birthplace: Forlì, Italy
Died: June 4, 1463

Flavio Biondo was an Italian historian who played a major role in popularizing the three-period classification of history, i.e., ancient, medieval, and modern. He is also regarded as one of the earliest known archaeologists. Also an influential writer, Flavio Biondo's first work De Roma instaurata was the first systematic guide to the ruins of Rome.

 29 
Paolo Giovio
(Physician)

Paolo Giovio
2
Birthdate: April 19, 1483
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Como, Italy
Died: December 11, 1552

Paolo Giovio was an Italian historian, physician, biographer, and prelate. He is best remembered for his work which chronicles the Great Wars of Italy. Giovio is also remembered for authoring Historiarum sui temporis libri XLV, an acclaimed work of contemporary history.

 30 
Pietro Verri
(Economist)

Pietro Verri
2
Birthdate: December 12, 1728
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Milan, Italy
Died: June 28, 1797

Author of numerous literary, historical, and economic works, Pietro Verri was a leader of Milanese academy and moving force behind Società dei Pugni. Also a distinguished public administrator and political economist employed with the Milanese government, he has been credited with abolition of tax farming. Some of his important works are Riflessioni sulle leggi vincolanti and Meditazioni sull’ economia politica.

 31 

Arnaldo Momigliano
0
Birthdate: September 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Caraglio, Italy
Died: September 1, 1987

 32 

Lodovico Antonio Muratori
1
Birthdate: October 21, 1672
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vignola, Italy
Died: January 23, 1750

Best known for discovering the Muratorian Fragment, Lodovico Antonio Muratori was a pioneer of Italian historiography. He began his career as a priest and joined the Ambrosian library of Milan. He is remembered for his works such as Anecdota and Annali d’Italia. He was also against orthodox religious beliefs.

 33 
Lea Vergine
(Art historian)

Lea Vergine
2
Birthdate: March 5, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: October 20, 2020

Lea Vergine was an Italian art historian best remembered for her collaborations with several prestigious journals, such as Corriere della Sera. An early exponent of performance art, Lea Vergine is also remembered for her book Body Art and Performance. Apart from working towards the betterment of her own career, Lea Vergine also helped promote Carol Rama's career.

 34 
Enrico Barone
(Economist)

Enrico Barone
1
Birthdate: December 22, 1859
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: May 14, 1924

Initially an army officer Enrico Barone taught military history at the Officers’ Training School before he became a professor at the University of Rome. An avid economist, too, he contributed to the journal Giornale degli Economisti and is best remembered for his work on economic equilibrium.

 35 

Marino Sanuto the Younger
1
Birthdate: May 22, 1466
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: April 4, 1536

 36 

Salimbene Di Adam
1
Birthdate: October 9, 1221
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Parma, Italy
Died: 1290 AD

 37 

Albertino Mussato
1
Birthdate: 1261 AD
Birthplace: Padua, Italy
Died: May 31, 1329

 38 

Luigi Albertini
1
Birthdate: October 19, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Ancona, Italy
Died: December 29, 1941

 39 
Filippo Baldinucci
(Art historian)

Filippo Baldinucci
1
Birthdate: June 3, 1625
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: January 10, 1696

 40 
Arturo Schwarz
(Former Art historian)

Arturo Schwarz
0
Birthdate: February 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Alexandria, Egypt
Died: June 23, 2021

 41 
Antonio Bonfini
(Historian)

Antonio Bonfini
1
Birthdate: 1434 AD
Birthplace: Patrignone, Italy
Died: 1503 AD

 42 
Valerius Antias
(Historian, Annalist)

Valerius Antias
0
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Anzio, Italy

 43 
Gino Capponi
(Statesman)

Gino Capponi
1
Birthdate: September 13, 1792
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: February 3, 1876

 44 

Luigi Carlo Farini
1
Birthdate: October 22, 1812
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Russi, Italy
Died: August 1, 1866

 45 
Vincenzo Cuoco
(Historian)

Vincenzo Cuoco
1
Birthdate: October 1, 1770
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Molise, Italy
Died: December 14, 1823

 46 

Liutprand of Cremona
2
Birthdate: 0920 AD
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: 0972 AD

Born into an aristocratic family, Liutprand of Cremona began his career as a page of Hugh of Arles. He later served as the Bishop of Cremona. He also penned works such as Antapodosis and Historia Ottonis. Though riddled with prejudices, his works are of immense historical value.

 47 

Marco Santagata
1
Birthdate: April 28, 1947
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Zocca, Italy
Died: November 9, 2020

 48 
Anna Banti
(Writer)

Anna Banti
1
Birthdate: June 27, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 2, 1985

 49 
Philistus
(Historian)

Philistus
1
Birthdate: 0432 AD
Birthplace: Syracuse, Italy
Died: 0356 AD

 50 

Dino Compagni
1
Birthdate: 1255 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: February 26, 1324