Main Focus

I am a historian of early modern Europe, with a primary interest in southern Italy. My work has mostly focused on the history of justice, violence and civil conflict. I have a major interest in the bloody civil conflicts known as the Neapolitan
Revolution of 1647-8 and the difficult years following this and the devastating plague of 1656. My forthcoming monograph focuses on enmity and reconciliation between justice, politics and community in the early modern Kingdom of Naples.

In current research, as well as continuing my work on the emotional aspects of the everyday navigation of justice, I am exploring the transnational careers of southern Italian bandits and the effect of military billeting in communities around the Spanish Empire.

  • History of justice and violence
  • History of emotions
  • History of power, community and governance
  • Early modern European history
  • History of southern Italy; Spanish Naples
  • The Neapolitan rebellion of 1647-8


Changing the Feeling Rules. How Emotions Reshape Social Relations, c. 1700 to today (Collaborative Project)

Government of the Passions: The Emotional Politics of Justice in the European Spanish Empire, ca. 1500-1700

Curriculum Vitae

  • PhD in History, University of Cambridge (2011-2015): 'Enmity and Peace-Making in the Kingdom of Naples, c. 1600-1700'
  • Robert Owen Bishop Research Scholar, Christ's College, University of Cambridge (2009-2010)
  • MPhil in Early Modern History, University of Cambridge (2009)
  • BA in History, University of Cambridge (2008)

Selected Publications

Cummins, Stephen, 'Forgiving Crimes in the Kingdom of Naples', in Stephen Cummins and Laura Kounine (eds.), Cultures of Conflict Resolution in Early Modern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015).

Cummins, Stephen, with Laura Kounine, 'Introduction: Confronting Conflict in Early Modern Europe', in Stephen Cummins and Laura Kounine (eds.), Cultures of Conflict Resolution in Early Modern Europe (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015).

Cummins, Stephen, 'Encountering Spain in Early Modern Naples' in Miles Pattenden and Piers Baker-Bates (eds.), The Spanish Presence in Sixteenth-Century Italy: Images of Iberia (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 43-62.

Cummins, Stephen, 'Negotiating Justice and Passion in European Legal Cultures, ca. 1500-1800', Legal History / Rechtsgeschichte (2017): 252-62.

Cummins, Stephen, 'Missionaries: False reverence, irreverence and the rethinking of Christian mission in China and India' in B. Gammerl, P. Nielsen and M. Pernau (eds), Encounters with Emotions: negotiating cultural differences since early modernity (pp.37-60) (New York: Berghahn, 2019).

Cummins, Stephen, 'Jesuit peace-making in the Kingdom of Naples: Aspects of reconciliation in early-modern Europe'. In R. Kerr, H. Redwood, & J. Gow (Eds.), Reconciliation after war: Historical perspectives on transitional justice (pp. 33-49). (London: Routledge, 2021).

Cummins, Stephen & Stille, M. (2021). Religious emotions and emotions in religion: The case of sermons. Journal of Religious History, 45(1), 3-24. doi:10.1111/1467-9809.12726.

Cummins, Stephen, 'Memories and Fantasies of Regime Change in Spanish Naples' in Alexander Lee and Brian Jeffrey Maxson (eds) The Culture and Politics of Regime Change in Italy, c.1494-1559 Routledge, 2023.

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