Elvira Tamus

PhD Candidate in History

I conduct my doctoral research on the actors of early sixteenth-century Franco-Hungarian diplomacy in the context of the Valois-Habsburg-Ottoman great power relations, with the supervision of Prof. Nora Berend. My microhistorical approach focuses on the relations, loyalties, communication, practices, health, and finances of diplomatic actors in order to explore how their agency contributed to high politics, and the ways in which the circulation of people and information created an interconnected geopolitical space between Central Europe and the Mediterranean.

I obtained my BA degree in History and French at the University of Leicester (UK) in 2019 and my MA degree in Medieval and Early Modern European History at Leiden University (The Netherlands) in 2020. I was a Research Intern at the Institute of History, Research Centre for the Humanities (Budapest, Hungary) in 2021. I was a Visiting Student at Sorbonne University (Paris, France) in 2022 and at the Université libre de Bruxelles (Belgium) in 2023.

Late medieval and early modern European political, diplomatic, and religious history, with a focus on Central Europe and the Mediterranean; relations between Jews, Christians and Muslims; the later crusades; geopolitics; new diplomatic history; microhistory; global history; and connected histories.

Cambridge History Faculty:

Transition and Induction Programme - supervisions on medieval history and seminars on study skills (2021-2022)

History for Schools outreach initiative - workshop on early modern Transylvania (2022)

Part IA Study Skills Course: seminars (2022-2023)

Part IA Outline Paper O5: Europe in the World, c. 1450-1780 - supervisions (2022-2023, 2023-2024)

Part I Paper 16: European History 1450-1760 - revision lecture on 'Encounter and Diversity in Europe' with sessions on 'War' and 'Ottomans and Europeans' (2023)

Part II Historical Argument and Practice Course: seminars on 'Empires' (2023, 2024)

Sutton Trust Summer School: seminar on diplomatic actors (2024)



GEC Academy - lectures and seminars on pre-modern and modern European and world history (2022, 2023, 2024)

Global History Lab (Department of History, Princeton University / Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities) - seminars on pre-modern and modern global history as well as qualitative research methods (2023-2024)

Lucy Cavendish College (Cambridge) - History subject taster session on 'Women in Diplomacy' in the Academic Attainment Programme (2024)

Radical Reformation and Catholic Renewal: Antitrinitarians and Jesuits at the Transylvanian Court, 1559-1602 (Debate & Dissent: Histories of Christian Approaches to Disagreement, Conference of the Christianity & History Forum, St John’s College, University of Cambridge, 11 May 2024). 

The ‘everyday craft’ of anti.Habsburg diplomatic actors and European great power politics, c. 1522-1542 (II Seminario Internacional Corte y Diplomacia «Entre público y privado. La cotidianidad de los agentes diplomáticos en las cortes europeas (ss. XV-XVIII)», Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 23 April 2024). 

Antonio Rincón, Hieronymus Łaski, and European Great Power Politics, c. 1522-1542 (Cambridge Workshop for the Early Modern Period, 29 January 2024).

Radical Reformation and Catholic Renewal: Antitrinitarians and Jesuits at the Transylvanian Court, 1559-1602 (Confraternitas Historica - Graduate Seminar, Sidney Sussex College, 23 January 2024).

Dangerous craft: Violence and diplomacy in early sixteenth-century Europe (Cambridge-Stockholm Doctoral Seminar on Violence, Stockholm University /Sweden/, 23 May 2023).

Diplomatic practices and the Ottoman expansion in early sixteenth-century Europe (Medieval History Graduate Workshop, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 9 March 2023).

‘The lily and the crescent’: Anti-Habsburg diplomacy in sixteenth-century Europe (Early Modern World History Workshop, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 1 December 2022).

Crossing Europe: Antonio Rincón’s diplomatic endeavours in the context of imperial affairs in the 1520s (‘Indirect Diplomacy: Cross-Imperial Contacts beyond Courts’ Conference, National Museum of Anthropology /Madrid, Spain/, 15 November 2022).

Franco-Hungarian envoys and the Ottoman Empire on the European diplomatic stage, 15221536 (1st International Congress on Ottoman and Turkish Studies – 'Important Figures Affecting Diplomacy from the Period of the Ottoman Empire to the Turkish Republic', Necmettin Erbakan University /Konya, Turkey/, online presentation, 21 October 2022).

German Lutheran princes and French diplomacy, 15311547 (‘The German influence in the medieval Europe’ Workshop No. 1, DAAD: German Academic Exchange Service, /Mannheim – Heidelberg, Germany/, 21 September 2022).

Shifting allegiances and dynastic struggles in 16th–century Hungary (International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, 6 July 2022).

Circulation of news between European courts in the 1520s (‘Exchange and Communication’ Workshop, Columbia-Cambridge Medieval History Exchange, online presentation, 10 June 2022).

Franco-Hungarian diplomatic relations in the context of the Italian Wars and the Habsburg-Ottoman rivalry, 15191541 (PhD Presentation Day, Faculty of History, University of Cambridge, 4 March 2022).

Franco-Hungarian relations and European imperial rivalries, 15191541 (Research Seminar, Centre for Early Modern Studies, Eötvös Loránd University /Budapest, Hungary/, online presentation, 17 November 2021).

The memory of the Battle of Mohács ('Forging and Forgetting: The (Re)writing of history, community and memory', Early Medieval–Medieval–Reformation–Renaissance–Early Modern Postgraduate Forum 10th Annual Symposium, University of Birmingham, online presentation, 6 June 2021).

Franco-Hungarian diplomacy in the context of the Italian Wars and the Habsburg-Ottoman rivalry, 15221540 (Alumni Seminar, 'Decolonial, global, and subaltern perspectives in Medieval History' Seminar Series, The Leicester Medieval Research Centre, online presentation, 1 June 2021).

Between the Habsburgs and the Ottomans: The partition of the Kingdom of Hungary, 15261570 (‘Division, Dispute and Debate in the Early Modern World, c. 1500–1750’ – Cabinet of Curiosities Online Symposium, University of York, online presentation, 27 April 2021).

Foreign influences on Transylvania’s political elite and court community, 15591602 (Fall 2020 Seminar Series “Public Space and Community”, The Late Antique and Medieval Postgraduate Society, University of Edinburgh, online presentation, 26 October 2020).

The development of Antitrinitarianism in Transylvania, 1558–1588 (History, Politics and International Relations Postgraduate Conference, University of Leicester, online presentation, 9 September 2020).

The legacy of St John of Capistrano in the Hungarian Catholic Church (Virtual International Medieval Congress, University of Leeds, online presentation, 8 July 2020).

I co-organised the 'Central European Interdisciplinary Summer School, c. 12001700', hosted online by the University of Pécs (Hungary) in July 2022; the 'Cross-cultural entanglements in the Mediterranean and beyond, 1200–1600' conference, held at St Catharine's College (Cambridge) in October 2022; and the 'Primary Sources Workshop on Christian-Muslim Relations and the Ottoman Expansion (1396-1699)', held online in October 2023. In addition, I co-organised three Graduate Seminars for Confraternitas Historica, the History society of Sidney Sussex College.

In 2021, I was an Editor of Carnival: Journal of the International Students of History Association (ISHA). In 2021–2022, I co-convened the History Faculty's Workshop for the Early Modern Period. Since 2021, I have been working as a Research Assistant at The Centre for Geopolitics (Cambridge) where I have co-organised conferences, seminars, study group sessions, book launches, and summer schools. 

Since autumn 2023, I have been working as the Graduate Digital Communications Coordinator of the History Faculty's Early Modern History Subject Group.


Tags & Themes


Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, CB2 3HU


Key publications

‘Indirect diplomacy across Europe: The encounters of Antonio Rincón and Hieronymus Łaski in the 1520s’ in Marcelo Correa and Miguel Soto Garrido (eds.), Indirect Diplomacy: Cross-Imperial Contacts beyond Courts (Madrid: Revista Libros de la Corte, Monográfico 7, forthcoming in 2024). 

‘The development of Antitrinitarianism in Transylvania, 1555–1588’, Carnival: Journal of the International Students of History Association (ISHA), vol. XXI (2021), pp. 43-71.

‘The Perfect Ambassador? The Life and Career of the Early Modern French Diplomat Jean-Antoine de Mesmes d’Avaux’, The MHR (Midlands Historical Review), vol. 5 (2021), 20 May 2021.

‘The role of the Good Shepherd Committee in the international rescue activity for Jews in Hungary, 1942–1945’, STUDIA – Theological Journal of the Debrecen Reformed Theological University, 2019/2, pp. 40-49.

Blog posts

‘The Legacy of St John of Capistrano in Hungary’, CAMEDIEVAL, 27 February 2021.

‘Diplomatic Practices in Transition from the Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period – A Reading List’, CAMEDIEVAL, 22 May 2023.

Book reviews

'Review of Juan Rena and the Frontiers of Spanish Empire, 1500-1540, by Jose M. Escribano-Páez', The Sixteenth Century Journal, vol. 53, no. 4 (2022), pp. 1145-1147.

'Review of Confessional Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe, ed. by Roberta Anderson and Charlotte Backerra', Journal of the Northern Renaissance, 16 October 2022.

'Review of Framing the World: Classical Influences on Sixteenth-Century Geographical Thought, by Margaret Small', History: The Journal of the Historical Association, vol. 107, no. 376, (2022), pp. 581-582.