Micha Lazarus

Frances Yates Long-Term Research Fellow



Micha Lazarus is Frances A. Yates Long Term Research Fellow at the Warburg Institute. Educated at Oxford, Berkeley, and the Hebrew University, his first book, Aristotle’s ‘Poetics’ in Renaissance England, is forthcoming from Oxford University Press, and his second, Alexander Nowell’s Early Life and Books, is forthcoming from The Bibliographical Society.

Micha works principally on classical reception in Renaissance and Reformation Europe, and in particular on the influence of Greek literary theory in sixteenth-century England. He has published widely on the history of criticism in Renaissance Europe, as well as on Greek learning and literacy in England, book history, Reformation tragedy, Anglo-Italian madrigals, lyric poetics, and the literary history of centaurs. From 2015-2019 he was Research Fellow at Trinity College, Cambridge, and has held further fellowships at the Harry Ransom Center (2016), Dumbarton Oaks (2017), the Renaissance Society of America (2018), and the Folger Shakespeare Library (2019). He was awarded the Gordon Duff Prize in book history from the Bodleian Libraries in 2012, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Historical Society in 2020.

At the Warburg, Micha will turn to an extraordinary moment in which ancient literature occupied the heart of the Reformation. From the 1530s to the 1550s a school of literary thought coalesced around Philip Melanchthon and his circle at Wittenberg. Disseminated through Latin editions of the classical poets and dramatists, the Wittenberg school’s reading of the classical corpus radiated across northern Europe, stimulating fresh literary experiment and providing a vocabulary for the lived experience of political and confessional schism. Yet this vast and influential body of critical literature has largely fallen between the disciplinary cracks of modern scholarship. Through a monograph (Reforming the Classics), and an anthology of primary texts in translation (Reformation Literary Criticism), this project explores how classical and Christian texts combined into a single culture in Reformation thought.




Aristotle’s Poetics in Renaissance England (Oxford University Press, forthcoming)

Alexander Nowell’s Early Life and Books (Bibliographical Society, forthcoming)


Edited volumes

Poetics before Modernity: Literary Theory in the West from Antiquity to 1700, co-edited with Vladimir Brljak (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, c.2022)

Artes poeticae: Formations and Transformations, 1500-1700, co-edited with Vladimir Brljak, special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (forthcoming, 2021)


Articles and book chapters

‘Birdsongs and Sonnets: Listening to Renaissance Lyric’, Huntington Library Quarterly (forthcoming, 2021)

‘The Chancellor and the Sheep: Herding Academics in the 1540s’, in An Anthology of Neo-Latin Literature in British Universities, ed. Lucy Nicholas and Gesine Manuwald (Bloomsbury, forthcoming, 2021)

‘Sublimity by fiat: New Light on the English Longinus’, in The Places of Early Modern Criticism, ed. Gavin Alexander, Emma Gilby, and Alexander Marr (Oxford University Press, forthcoming, 2021)

‘Inventory Booklists in Legal Context’, Transactions of the Cambridge Bibliographical Society (forthcoming, 2021)

‘Introduction: Poetics as Classical Reception’, in Artes poeticae: Formations and Transformations, 1500-1650, ed. Vladimir Brljak and Micha Lazarus, special issue of Classical Receptions Journal (forthcoming, 2021)

‘The Scholemaster’s Memories’, in Roger Ascham and His Sixteenth-Century World, ed. Lucy R. Nicholas and Ceri Law (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 226-47  [online here]

‘Ascham’s Bookshelf’, in Roger Ascham and His Sixteenth-Century World, ed. Lucy R. Nicholas and Ceri Law (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 297-320  [online here]

‘Tragedy at Wittenberg: Sophocles in Reformation Europe’, Renaissance Quarterly 73.1 (2020), 33-77  [online here]

‘Sound Aristotelians and How They Read’, in The Reception of Aristotle’s Poetics in the Italian Renaissance and Beyond: New Directions in Criticism, ed. Bryan Brazeau (Bloomsbury, 2020), 38-59  [online here]

‘First night nerves’, Westminster Abbey Review 6 (Summer, 2019), 43-47

‘«Anonymous to This Day»: Aristotle and the Question of Verse’, in «In Other Words»: Translating Philosophy in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, ed. David Lines and Anna L. Puliafito, Rivista di storia della filosofia 74.2 (2019), 267-85  [online here]

‘Samuel Daniel and Talon’s Rhetoric’, Notes and Queries 65.4 (2018), 560-64  [online here]

‘The Dramatic Prologues of Alexander Nowell: Accommodating the Classics at 1540s Westminster’, Review of English Studies 69.288 (2018), 32-55  [online here]

‘Poetry and Horseplay in Sidney’s Defence of Poesie’, The Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 79 (2016), 149-82  [online here]  [JSTOR]

‘Greek in Tudor England’, The Etheridge Project (British Library & Hellenic Institute of Royal Holloway, University of London, 2016), 8 pp.  [online here]

‘Aristotelian Criticism in Sixteenth-Century England’, in Oxford Handbooks Online (Oxford University Press, 2016), 30 pp.  [online here]

‘Sidney’s Greek Poetics’, Studies in Philology 112.3 (2015), 504-36  [online here]  [JSTOR]

‘Greek Literacy in Sixteenth-century England’, Renaissance Studies 29.3 (2015), 433-58  [online here]

‘Silent Years and Speaking Books: Nicholas Udall in 1533’, Notes and Queries 62.1 (2015), 35-39  [online here]

‘Did Thomas Linacre bring Aristotle’s Poetics to England?’, under consideration at Bodleian Library Record


Book reviews

Review of Mark A. Lotito, The Reformation of Historical Thought (Brill, 2019), Renaissance Quarterly (forthcoming, 2021)

Review of R. M. Thomson, The Fox and the Bees: The Early Library of Corpus Christi College, Oxford (Cambridge, 2018), Speculum (forthcoming, 2021)

Review of Tamara Atkin and Laura Estill (eds.), Early British Drama in Manuscript (Turnhout, 2019), The Library (forthcoming, 2021)

Review of Jonathan Bate, How the Classics Made Shakespeare (Princeton, 2019), Translation and Literature 29.1 (2020), 154-61  [online here]