David Peterson Professor of History, Chair of the Department of History

David Peterson

Newcomb Hall 203
Curriculum Vitae


  • Ph.D. 1985 Cornell University
  • M.A. 1977 Cornell University
  • M.Litt. 1975 Edinburgh University
  • B.A. 1973 College of William and Mary


The relationship between religion and politics, church history and political thought, especially in medieval and Renaissance Italy


European Medieval, Renaissance and Reformation history; European Medieval and Renaissance church history and political thought; Dante, and Machiavelli

Current Research

Professor Peterson is writing a book on Power and the Sacred: Religion, Politics and the Church in Renaissance Florence, 1375-1460. It explores religion's influence on Florentine politics and social life, and politics' impact on the Florentine church when Florence was shaping the culture of early Renaissance Italy.