Atlas of Renaissance Antiquarianism


ATRA – Atlas of Renaissance Antiquarianism is a digital system that maps the circulation of antiquarian learning in Renaissance Europe. Its purpose is to contribute to the promotion of new knowledge on antiquarian studies in the Renaissance and demonstrate how the antiquarian approach – that based the growth of thought on documented sources and empirical evidence – played a primary role in the evolution of the entire cultural/intellectual life of Early Modern times.

The ATRA database collects, confronts and interconnects published and unpublished letters of humanists and scholars who participated in spreading the antiquarian method. The content of each letter is recorded and studied; issues and debates of the time investigated and reconstructed. The materials considered are written in Latin, Italian, French, Spanish, German and English collected from all regions of Europe.

The assortment provides in-depth coverage of all aspects of Renaissance antiquarian learning and fills the present gap with a complete analysis on the subject.

Antiquarian erudition is by nature a crossroad of disciplines and, as such, many are the fields of study that emerge from the letters gathered: Archeology, Architecture, Arts, Astronomy, Botany, Collecting, Chronology, Education, Emblematics, Ethnology, Geography, Historiography, Law, Linguistics, Literature, Medicine, Mnemonics, Music, Mythology, Numismatics, Oceanography, Paleography, Paleontology, Philology, Philosophy, Publishing, Theater, Theology, Zoology.


This project develops an advanced online database that links the antiquarian information in one single coordinated system. The main intent is:

  • allow the interconnection of data that otherwise would probably never come into contact
  • bring to the surface issues not yet identified and categorized by modern scholars
  • enable the discovery of new cultural itineraries and convergences in Renaissance scholarship
  • trace the paths that led to parallel or independent ideas
  • uncover new trends of thought that can help better understand the evolution of Renaissance civilization and spirit

Innovative and revolutionary interpretative pathways will come to light, conferring a renewed awareness of the concept of Renaissance antiquarianism and offering to the entire academic community further instruments to investigate the History of Ideas.




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Damiano Acciarino
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Advisory Board

Stefan Bauer
Royal Holloway University of London

Lorenzo Calvelli
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Eliana Carrara
University of Genoa

Monica Centanni
Università Iuav di Venezia

John Cunnally
Iowa State University

Riccardo Drusi
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Konrad Eisenbichler
University of Toronto

Anja-Silvia Goeing
Harvard University

Peter Miller
Bard Graduate Center

Marianna Pade
Aarus University

Zur Shalev
University of Haifa

Willian Stenhouse
Yeshiva University

Ginette Vagenheim
Université de Rouen

Angus Vine
University of Stirling


Carla De Nardin
Ca' Foscari University of Venice

Giovanni Grandi
University of Parma

Antonio Pistellato
Ca' Foscari University of Venice


University of Toronto
IUAV classicA
Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH)
Centro di studi medievali e rinascimentali Emmanuele Antonio Cicogna