Eloise Davies

Assistant Professor of Humanities

Eloise Davies will be Assistant Professor of Humanities starting in Summer 2024. Before that she was Departmental Lecturer in Political Theory at the University of Oxford. Davies’s main area of research is seventeenth-century England and Venice, two maritime empires which became focal points for European debate about sovereignty and Church-State relations in the wake of the Reformation. Her research into seventeenth-century Anglo-Venetian relations has been awarded the Sir John Neale Prize for Early Modern British History and the Society for Court Studies Essay Prize. She is also interested in medieval political thought, especially the political thought of the fourteenth-century saint and mystic Catherine of Siena and her milieu. Her work has appeared in English Historical Review, Renaissance Studies, Historical Research and Court Historian. She has also written for Engelsberg Ideas.

Current Project

Davies’s current book project, The Venetian Connection: England, Venice and Stuart Religious Politics, 1603–1714, is nearing completion. The Venetian Connection explores the intellectual fallout of the Venetian Interdict controversy, a major international crisis in which the Pope excommunicated the Venetian government and banned religious services across the Venetian territory. Polemical battles with the Papacy played a crucial, but often overlooked role, in shaping ideas of sovereignty during the seventeenth century. Davies’s book will trace how English and Venetian writers, including Paolo Sarpi, defined their own conceptions of sovereignty against those put forward by their pro-papal rivals.


  • Ph.D. in History, Cambridge University, 2021
  • M.Phil. in Political Thought and Intellectual History (with distinction), Cambridge University, 2017
  • B.A. in History, Cambridge University (First Class Honours), 2016

Publications - Articles

‘England’s Lost Renaissance? Anglo-Venetian politics between the household of Prince Henry and the court of James VI & I’The Court Historian 28:3 (2023), pp. 201–219. Awarded the Society for Court Studies Essay Prize

‘The English Sarpi and the Glorious Revolution’Paolo Sarpi tra Italia e Inghilterra, ed. Vittorio Frajese, Bruniana & Campanelliana 29:1 (2023), pp. 169–179.

‘Sarpi, Micanzio and Bedell: a new source for the Anglo-Venetian encounter at Santa Maria dei Servi, 1607-1611’, in La chiesa di Santa Maria dei Servi e la comunità veneziana dei Servi di Maria (secoli XIV-XIX), eds. Eveline Baseggio, Tiziana Franco and Luca Molà (Viella, 2023), pp. 349–363

‘Beyond the Jesuit College: the Role of Cambridge’s ‘Puritan’ Colleges in European Politics and Diplomacy, 1603–1625’The Mind is its Own Place? Early Modern Intellectual History in an Institutional Context, eds. Alex Beeton, Eli P. Bernstein, Emily Kent and René Winkler, History of Universities 36:2 (September 2023), pp. 25–46.

‘Reformed but not converted: Paolo Sarpi, the English mission in Venice and conceptions of religious change’Historical Research 95:269 (August 2022), pp. 334–347. Awarded the Sir John Neale Prize for Early Modern British History

‘Catherine of Siena: a Dominican political thinker in fourteenth-century Italy’Renaissance Studies 35:2 (April 2021), pp. 237–254

‘English Politics and the Blasphemy Act of 1698’The English Historical Review 135:575 (August 2020), pp. 804–835. Awarded the History of Parliament Trust Dissertation Prize

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