Dr. Paloma Martín-Esperanza Montilla
January 2023 - March 2023
Research Project: Invictus. The Roman Imperial Idea in the Renaissance European Monarchies: A Comparative Study
At the end of the 15th century, the diffusion of Italian humanism among the intellectual elites of the different European kingdoms became evident. Adapting to the circumstances of each territory, the ideas coming from Italy helped guide the long political reflection that accompanied the beginnings of the modern State. In this way, supported by classical sources, the humanists contributed to the redefinition of royal powers and of the concept of national identity, while they found emblematic figures and relevant historical episodes in historiography that served to compare the present with the past. In Renaissance Europe, the great protagonists of international politics found in the classical past and, particularly, in the resurrection of the Roman imperial idea, the best argument to legitimize their claims. The complex European international policy reactivated the struggle, between the different princes, for hegemony. They made great efforts to be the first, for which they used arguments that, drawn from the classical past, allowed them to build their imperial image, while that they found in the most remote facts an ancient genealogy, which placed their monarchies as the oldest.
The difficulty of the subject requires us to follow our own methodology that incorporates the assumptions of the new History of Ideas and the great framework of cultural History into the proposal of the Reception of Antiquity studies. We consider that this methodological proposal can help us to draw a comparative work that allows us to determine what influence the Roman imperial idea, reinterpreted by Italian humanism, exerted on European politics. Our project aims to reconstruct two main questions: what knowledge of the Roman past was held in European territories and what political use was made of it by the monarchies.
Dr. Paloma Martín-Esperanza Montilla is Research Associate in the Department of Ancient History, Medieval History and Palaeography and Diplomatics (2022-2023) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. She obtained her PhD in Ancient World Studies (Cum Laude Mention / International Mention) in 2022 from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (2022), with a thesis about the Reception of Classical Antiquity during the reign of the Catholic Monarchs (1475-1504). After receiving her doctorate, she was visiting researcher at the Warburg Institute (2019), the Università di Roma La Sapienza (2019) and the Università di Roma Tor Vergata (2018). Her main line of research is the study of historiography and Classical Culture in the Renaissance, with special emphasis on Italy-Spain cultural relations, although she also explores other fields linked to contemporary culture, such as archaeological collecting and of fashion. In addition, she has been a research fellow at the CSIC, from where she worked in the Hispano-Roman Mosaic Group, and in the Royal Academy of History, from where she collaborated in the preparation of the Catalog of Roman antiquities of that institution. She also participated in several international congresses, having seen the light of her work in scientific journals. She co-edited the monograph of the magazine Promoción y patronato regio. Relaciones papado-península ibérica (siglos XIV-XVI), with special emphasis on Spain-Italy cultural relations, and she also as published several articles, book chapters and book reviews. In addition, she combines research with the scientific popularization, which it successfully carries out through its collaboration with the mass media and through social media.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma (2022), "Antigüedad clásica, coleccionismo y propaganda en la diplomacia romana de los Reyes Católicos", in: Beatrice Cacciotti (ed.), Roma e la Spagna in dialogo. Interpretare, disegnare, collezionare l’antichità classica nel Rinascimento, Madrid: CSIC, 135-141.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma (2020a), "Política y mecenazgo anticuario en la Roma del Renacimiento: el caso de Bernardino López de Carvajal", Anuario de Historia de la Iglesia 29, 347-373.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma / Tello Hernández, Esther, eds., (2020b), Promoción y patronato regio. Relaciones Papado-Península Ibérica (siglos XIV-XVI), eHumanista 43, 60-199.
Martín-Esperanza, P.aloma (2019): "L’influenza della classicità nella moda italiana contemporanea", Forma Urbis. Editorial Service System Fondazione Dià Cultura 5/6, 40-42.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma (2018a), "Identidad y Estética: la Antigüedad clásica en la moda italiana contemporánea", Classico Contemporaneo 4, 16-38.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma (2018b): "Alejandro VI y las antigüedades de Roma: coleccionismo, excavaciones y spolia", Revista Borja. Revista de l’IIEB 6, 1-28.
Martín-Esperanza, Paloma (2017): "Mercurio en el lararium. Cuatro figuras romanas de bronce de la Real Academia de la Historia", Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia 214.3, 407-429.
Martín-Esperanza, P. (2015): “Los mosaicos romanos de la colección de antigüedades de la Real Academia de la Historia”, Boletín de la Real Academia de la Historia. Real Academia de la Historia CCXII-3, pp. 377-403.