Lorenzo Calvelli

Visiting Fellow

  • Concentration
    Ancient History
    Università Ca' Foscari Venezia
    Research Project:
    Two Ancient Greek Crowns for the Doge of Venice

Lorenzo Calvelli is a tenured Lecturer in Ancient History at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. He was a Marie Curie graduate student at University College London and earned a PhD in «History and Archaeology of the Mediterranean countries» thanks to a cotutelle agreement between Ca' Foscari and the Université Paris X. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the Warburg Institute in London, at the Villa I Tatti in Florence (The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies), and at the Centro di Studi e Ricerche sui Diritti Antichi in Pavia. His research interests focus on classical and late-antique epigraphy, on architectural spolia and antiquarian collections in Venice and Rome, on early Christianity in the Adriatic region, and on the reception of antiquity. He is the author of numerous scholarly contributions on these topics, among which his monograph Cipro e la memoria dell'antico fra Medioevo e Rinascimento (Venice, 2009) He is a member of the Editorial Board of the series «Mediterranean Nexus», published by Brepols, and an Associate Editor of the online periodical «Current Epigraphy», based in the UK.

About the Research Project

Two Ancient Greek Crowns for the Doge of Venice

This project extends my prior research to explore the use of antiquities as a means of political and ideological communication in Venice in the late Renaissance. In particular, I intend to explain how archaeological artefacts and modern buildings, as well as references to Classical authors, were used to justify the Venetian rule of Crete and Cyprus. In the course of the 16th century, these territories became increasingly important, not only because of their strategic role in the Eastern Mediterranean, but also as a consequence of their status of kingdoms. In fact, Venetian dominion over Crete and Cyprus allowed the Doge to wear two royal crowns. The Venetians sought to emphasize the historicity of these royal titles in both islands through the contention that Venus and Jupiter, two deified mortals, had been respectively the first queen of Cyprus and the first king of Crete. Venice, the queen of the seas, was the legitimate and most obvious heir of the first rulers of these two kingdoms.


Previous Roles

  • Visiting Research Fellow
    2015 - 2015