10/03/2021 – Dr. Nina Lamal : Hidden interventions: French involvement in the publication of the first Italian newspapers (1639-1660)

Webinar “Print and Power during the Early Modern Era”


Since 1559 the Spanish Habsburg monarchy dominated the Italian peninsula with Milan as their stronghold in Northern Italy and Naples in Southern Italy. Other independent states such as the Duchy of Savoy, Grand Duchy of Florence and the Republic of Genoa were firmly part of the Habsburg sphere of influence. Yet during the seventeenth century, France increasingly challenged this status-quo, known as pax hispanica, aiming to fulfil their long held ambition of claiming the kingdom of Naples or Sicily. Hence the French military interventions during the Neapolitan revolt in 1648 and Messina in 1675. The different French ministers during this period were or became increasingly aware of the need to intervene in the debates on the Italian peninsula in print. The ministers in Paris mobilised their network of clients, agents and ambassadors in Italian cities to produce pro-French publications. In their attempts to influence Italian audiences, French ministers and especially Giulio Mazarino seem to have turned their attention towards influencing newspaper coverage on the Italian peninsula quite early. These interventions were deemed necessary to persuade different Italian audiences to rebel against Spanish-Habsburg rule. In this talk, I will examine how the French ambassadors and agents developed a coherent strategy of ‘public diplomacy’ in the hope to advance French interests on the peninsula. 

Our speaker : Dr. Nina Lamal

Nina Lamal studied early modern history at KU Leuven. In 2014 she completed her PhD at KU Leuven and University of St Andrews on a thesis about the Italian interest in the Revolt in the Netherlands (1566-1648). After her PhD she worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Universal Short Title Catalogue (University of St Andrews) from 2015 to 2017. In 2017 she was awarded an FWO postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Antwerp for a project on the lasting importance of handwritten newsletters in the seventeenth century. Now she is working as a postdoctoral researcher at NL-Lab from the the Huygens Institute on the project Inventing Public Diplomacy in Early Modern Europe. At Huygens ING, she is responsible for publishing the correspondence of Christofforo Suriano, Venetian envoy to the Dutch Republic between 1616 and 1623.

Her research mainly focuses on the role of different media in early modern political culture. Currently, she is exploring why and how diplomats in the early modern period tried to influence a foreign audience in the Dutch Republic and German territories.

Practical information / informations pratiques

Time / Heure : 12h30-14h

Online meeting via Microsoft TEAMS / Réunion en ligne via Microsoft TEAMS


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