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School of History

Dr Stefano Locatelli


Leverhulme Early Career Fellow


I am a historian of late medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, specialising in the monetary history of the Italian peninsula between 1200 and 1500. I completed my PhD in Economic and Social History at the University of Manchester. Prior to joining Queen Mary, I was awarded research fellowships by the Italian Institute for Historical Studies at Naples, the UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University.


Research Interests:

My research treats money and its most direct manifestation, coinage, as a product of human activity, thus challenging a conceptualisation of money as a medium detached from the people and institutions that used it. By combining archaeological evidence (2019) with a wide range of written sources – from public and fiscal records, to notarial registers, chronicles, and private correspondence - my articles and book chapters have explored the complexities of money’s interlinked economic (2017), cultural (2016, 2020), and political (2018) meanings. In this regard, my forthcoming monograph will offer a significant revision of the existing consensus around the most used late medieval currency, the Florentine gold florin, showing that it was not employed exclusively for long-distance trade, but that it simultaneously penetrated networks of power between the Florentine merchants, the Angevin Crown, and the Papacy, thus becoming a political agent of change in its own right, one that enabled military victories and in turn enhanced the status of the money operators. This work will also enrich current interpretations of the Commercial Revolution (1000-1300) by presenting it as an historical process with strong political and social dimensions, thus providing a framework for the integrated study of material culture and economic practices.


The Gold Florin of Florence. Political Economy and the Culture of Money in the Middle Ages, Manchester University Press, Artes Liberales book series (95,000 words) – Set to appear in 2023.

‘Gli strumenti del potere: per un’analisi della decima universale di papa Gregorio X nel Regno di Sicilia 1274-1280’, Eurostudium3w 56 (Jan-Jun 2021), 101-13.

‘Florins and Ducats in the Kingdom of Sicily: The Syracuse Hoard (1313-c.1369)’, The Numismatic Chronicle 179 (2019), 299-340.

‘Genoa, Florence and the Mediterranean: New Perspectives on the Return to Gold in the Thirteenth Century’, with M. Baldassarri, Revue Numismatique 175 (2018), 433-75.

Book chapters
‘Objects for History: The Coins of South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia in the British Museum’, with L. Travaini, in The Italian Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 1: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, ed. with B. Cook, G. Sarcinelli, and L. Travaini (Bari: The Trustees of the British Museum & Edizioni D’Andrea, 2020), pp. 23-53.

‘Aspects of the Monetary Circulation of the Kingdoms of Naples and Sicily in the Sixteenth Century. Two Unpublished Coin Hoards from the Island of Lipari’, in XV International Numismatic Congress Taormina 2015. Proceedings, ed. by M.C. Caltabiano (Rome: Arbor Sapientiae, 2017) vol. I, pp. 1138-42.

‘La Città nelle Mani del Santo: Studi di Iconografia Monetale’, with L. Travaini, in Moneta e identità territoriale: dalla polis antica alla civitas medievale, ed. by A.L. Morelli and E. Filippini (Reggio Calabria: Falzea, 2016), pp. 261-8.

Edited volumes
The Italian Coins in the British Museum, Vol. 1: South Italy, Sicily, Sardinia, ed. with B. Cook, G. Sarcinelli, and L. Travaini (Bari: The Trustees of the British Museum & Edizioni D’Andrea, 2020) (580 pages).

Encyclopaedic entries
‘Money in Renaissance Sicily and Southern Italy’, Routledge Encyclopedia of the Renaissance World (RERW) – Forthcoming (December 2022).

Book reviews
Invited book review of ‘C. D’Ercole, M. Romani (eds.), Moneta. Storia non lineare di un oggetto istituzionale, special issue of Cheiron 1-2.2019 (FrancoAngeli)’, Società e Storia 177 – forthcoming.

Invited book review of ‘W.R. Day Jr, M. Matzke, A. Saccocci (eds.), Medieval European Coinage: With a Catalogue of the Coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, vol. 12, Italy I: Northern Italy (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2016)’; Archivio Storico Italiano CLXXVI:658 (2018), pp. 766-7.

Public Engagement

Organiser of the Online Exhibition ‘Tails You Lose: Money in a Time of Crisis’, funded by ESRC and The Manchester Museum (forthcoming)

Interview for the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera (available online at

Elevator Pitch – PhD presentation recorded by the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, University of Manchester and available on YouTube.

Volunteer at the Coins and Medals Department of The British Museum, London.

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