Skip to content
Brian Brege

Brian Brege

Contact Information:


518 Eggers Hall

Brian Brege

Assistant Professor, History Department

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2014


Brian Brege is a historian of early modern Europe and its engagement with the wider world. Animated by the complex and ambiguous interactions of knowledge, money and power in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, his research concerns the role of small powers and enterprising individuals in the creation of global capitalism and empire. His first book, "The Empire That Wasn't: The Grand Duchy of Tuscany’s Global Ambitions" (Harvard University Press, 2021) traces the ventures of late Renaissance Florentines as they sought knowledge, profit and power throughout the Americas, the Islamic world, maritime Asia and beyond. In the 2019-2020 academic year, he was in in Florence as a Harvard I Tatti Fellow researching his second book, "The Global Merchants of Florence: Florentine Patrician Families and Early Modern Capitalism" and developing a new collaborative venture on the Florentine world traveler Francesco Carletti.


Medieval and early modern Europe, history of globalization, the scientific revolution, diplomatic and imperial history