Dr Richard Calis

Research Fellow, Trinity College
Dr Richard Calis

I am a Research Fellow in History at Trinity College working on the cultural, religious and intellectual history of the early modern world. My first book project, The Discovery of Ottoman Greece: Knowledge, Encounter, and Belief in the Mediterranean World of Martin Crusius (1526-1607), reveals how three fields of inquiry now often studied separately—the Lutheran Reformation, the early modern Mediterranean, and the history of cultural encounter—were once a single arena of experience and investigation. My second book project recovers the work of 17th-century Lutherans, Calvinists, and Anglicans who proselytized in the Middle East through diplomacy, scholarship, and empire while also incorporating the perspectives of Eastern Christians who resisted European evangelizing. 

My research has been generously supported by, amongst others, the Renaissance Society of America, the Bibliographical Society of America, the DAAD, the Social Science Research Council and the Andrew W. Mellon foundation, the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies, a Josephine de Karman Fellowship and Princeton University's Harold W. Dodds Honorific Fellowship. I was also the recipient of the 2021 German Historical Institute’s Fritz Stern Prize for the best dissertation in German History written at a North American university.

Before coming to Cambridge, I received an MA and PhD from Princeton University and and a BA and MA from the University of Amsterdam. I have been a visiting researcher at the University of Tübingen (2017, 2019), the Descartes Centre of Utrecht University (2017), the University of Oxford (2018), and the Vossius Center of the University of Amsterdam (2020). I have taught at the universities of Amsterdam, Princeton, and Utrecht.

I supervise for Part I, Paper 16 (European History, 1450-1760) and also lecture, as part of this paper, on minorities in early modern Europe. 


Tags & Themes


Key Publications:

“The Impossible Reformation: Protestant Europe and the Greek Orthodox Church”, Past & Present (2023), Advance Article published on 3 September 2022. 

"Martin Crusius's Lost Byzantine Legacy", in: Nathanael Aschenbrenner and Jake Ransohoff (eds.), The Invention of Byzantium in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2021) 105-142.

“Reconstructing the Ottoman Greek World: Early Modern Ethnography in the Household of Martin Crusius.” Renaissance Quarterly 72.1 (2019): 148-93. Honorable Mention William Nelson Prize.

“Passing the Book: Cultures of Reading in the Winthrop Family, 1580–1730”, Past & Present 241 (2018): 69-141 (with Frederic Clark, Christian Flow, Anthony Grafton, Madeline McMahon, Jennifer Rampling).

“Building a Digital Bookwheel Together: Annotated Books Online and the History of Early Modern Reading Practices”, Bibliothecae.it III (2014): 63-80 (with Arnoud Visser).

Other Writing:

"A New History of Orientalism", Marginalia: Los Angelos Review of Books (2021).

Podcast with Pamela Long about her Engineering the Eternal City: Infrastructure, Topography, and the Culture of Knowledge in Late Sixteenth-Century Rome (Chicago University Press, 2018) for the Journal of the History of Ideas Blog. (together with Lilian Datchev)

“The Winthrops and their Books: A Transatlantic Tale”, The Junto: A Group Blog on Early American History (2015; with Madeline McMahon).

“Two Editors and their Theophrastus”, Journal of the History of Ideas Blog (2015).

“Personal Philology”, Journal of the History of Ideas Blog (2015).


Ulrike Strasser, Missionary Men in the Early Modern World: German Jesuits and Pacific Journeys (Amsterdam, 2020). Renaissance Studies 2022.

Ulinka Rublack (ed.), Protestant Empires: Globalizing the Reformations (Cambridge, 2020). German History 39.4 (2021): 628-629.

Carolyn Yerkes and Heather Hyde Minor, Piranesi Unbound (Princeton, 2021). International Journal of the Classical Tradition (2021).

Robert John Clines, A Jewish Jesuit in the Eastern Mediterranean (Cambridge, 2019). Mediterranean Historical Review 36.2 (2021): 286-288.

Floris Verhaart Classical Learning in Britain, France, and the Dutch Republic, 1690-1750:  Beyond the Ancients and the Moderns (Oxford, 2020). History of Humanities 6.2  (2021): 696-699.

Luca Scholz, Borders and Freedom of Movement in the Holy Roman Empire (Oxford: 2020). H-Soz Kult Online.

Karen Hollewand, The Banishment of Beverland. Sex, Sin, and Scholarship in the Seventeenth-Century Dutch Republic (Leiden, 2019). Early Modern Low Countries 4.2 (2020): 263-266.

Hannah Murphy, A New Order of Medicine. The Rise of Physicians in Reformation Nuremberg (Pittsburgh, 2019). H-Soz Kult Online