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Christian Feichtinger




Curriculum Vitae




My dissertation, with the provisional title Translatio Imperii and the Papacy in the Texts of Niccolò Machiavelli examines the political and historiographical writings of the former secretary of the Florentine republic, while being particularly focused on the discursive representation and the (re)imagination of sacred imperiality in the early modern era.

In consideration of the political developments in early modern Italy, linked to particular and partially overlapping conceptions of time, my interdisciplinary research project is centered on the representation of different concepts of imperiality as determined by the theory of the translation imperii, an allegedly set formula of world-historical meaning.

By exploring how the Machiavellian transformations of the translatio imperii as a model for the transfer of geopolitical power draft and orchestrate sacred imperiality, I investigate the role of the Pope as an ecclesiastical prince and as a possible reader of Machiavelli’s texts. To achieve this, the translatio and its inherent narrative forms and strategies are to be illuminated not only within historiography itself but also as a process potentially transcending the literary text and evolving across times, people and contexts. In an attempt to discuss the Discorsi sopra la prima deca di Tito Livio, Il Principe and the Istorie fiorentine as the founding history of a new (papal) Rome, the dissertation traces the functions of an ecclesiastical imperator against the background of a politically fragmented Italy, arguing for the Pope as the image of a savior in Machiavelli’s political thought.

The project contributes to the study of Machiavelli and Empires, analyzing the dynamics of the interpretation of political power throughout time and highlighting the ecclesiastical and sacred structures of rule as well as their adaptation to the changing historical framework and different conceptions of papal imperiality.