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History Department
History Department

Martina Saltamacchia


Director, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Assistant Professor of History

287J ASH, 402-554-4826 (email)

2013 Ph.D. in Medieval History - Rutgers University
2011 Ph.D. in Economic and Social History - Bocconi University (Milan, Italy)
2004 Laurea in Economics - Bocconi University (Milan, Italy)

Martina Saltamacchia specializes in Medieval Italian History. Her current project centers on Marco Carelli, a very wealthy Milanese merchant who in 1390 decided to donate nearly all of his immense patrimony to jump start the construction of Milan’s great new cathedral.

Her undergraduate thesis on the construction of the Cathedral of Milan in the XIV century and the people who donated money and goods for the work was published as Milano: Un Popolo e il suo Duomo (Marietti: Genova, 2007), and revised with integrated material from new research as Costruire Cattedrali (Marietti: Genova, 2011). Her analysis reversed the classic interpretation by historians who attributed the cathedral’s construction to Prince Gian Galeazzo Visconti. Starting from the study of the Registers of Donations, Saltamacchia demonstrated, instead, that nearly all the revenue supporting the construction came not from the prince, but from the Milanese people, who contributed thousands of small offerings– an egg, a piece of cheese, or a little coin.

Most recently, she published “The Prince and the Prostitute: Competing Sovereignties in Fourteenth-Century Milan,” in Law and Sovereignty in the Middle Ages and Renaissance (Turnhout: Brepols, 2011).

She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Fellowship, two Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Summer Research Grants, a Medieval Academy of America E. K. Rand Dissertation Grant, the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research - Rutgers University, and a Rotary Club Ambassadorial Scholar Fellowship.

Frequently Taught Courses
• Medieval Europe
• Medieval Merchants
• The Crusades
• Castles and Cathedrals
• World Civilizations I

Clio, one of the nine Greek muses, was later referred to as the Muse of History. A daughter of Zeus, Clio was highly regarded for her brilliant poetry and heroic acts. Her image usually includes a parchment scroll (an ancient source of record), a set of tablets (another ancient source of records), books, and/or a clarion (or trumpet). The image of Clio on this web page was taken from a 1624 painting by Giovanni Baglione entitled, Clio, Muse of History. It is housed in Musee des Beaux-Arts, Arras, France.