Francesco is a global intellectual historian, specialising in the early modern Persianate world and Persian, Arabic, and Latin primary sources. He holds a double doctoral degree in Comparative Literature (University of Limoges, France) and Asian Studies (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy). Before coming to Hong Kong, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Ca’ Foscari University’s “Marco Polo” Centre for Global Europe-Asia connections. At the Society of Fellows, his research will focus on the engagement of early modern Persian literati with Chinese civilisation. By analysing relevant Persian writings on the subject, the worldview they reflected, and how they informed contemporary ethnological and political thought, Francesco will explore
a hitherto little-studied facet of early modern globalisation, showing how the arrival, reception, and diffusion of new information about foreign societies sparked exciting intellectual debates among Persianate (and, more broadly, Islamicate) intellectuals.
Francesco has published several research articles in peer-reviewed journals, including Iranian Studies, Central Asiatic Journal, and Iran & the Caucasus. Additionally, he is currently at work on a co-authored monograph for Edinburgh University Press. Titled Writing Chinese History in Mongol Iran: Rashīd al-Dīn’s History of the Ruling Families of Cathay, this will be the first commented translation of the section on China from the great historical compendium by the Persian historian Rashīd al-Dīn (d. 1318), arguably the first scholar from Western Eurasia to systematically study the Chinese world based on East Asian sources.
Writing Chinese History in Mongol Iran: Rashīd al-Dīn’s History of the Ruling Families of Cathay, with Francesca Fiaschetti. Under contract with Edinburgh University Press.
Refereed journal articles
“Reconstructing Babel: Rashīd al-Dīn, Chinese Writing, and the Quest for a Universal Script in Mongol Iran”. Central Asiatic Journal, forthcoming.
“The Khan’s Great Continent: On taḥqīq and Rashīd al-Dīn’s Discovery of China”. Journal of Early Modern History, forthcoming.
“Traveling through an Ocean of Wonders: Muḥammad Rabīʿs Safīna-yi Sulaymānī and Southeast and East Asian Geography”. Iranian Studies, first view, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1017/irn.2022.22
“Prophets of the East: The Ilkhanid Historian Rashīd al-Dīn on the Buddha, Laozi and Confucius and the Question of his Chinese Sources (part 2)”, with Francesca Fiaschetti, Iran and the Caucasus 23/2, 2019, 145-166.
“Prophets of the East: The Ilkhanid Historian Rashīd al-Dīn on the Buddha, Laozi and Confucius and the Question of his Chinese Sources (part 1)”, with Francesca Fiaschetti, Iran and the Caucasus 23/1, 2019, 17-34.
“China, the Abode of Arts and Crafts: Emergence and Diffusion of a Persian Saying on China in Mongol Eurasia”, Ming Qing Yanjiu 22, 2018, 136-154.
“A Persian Matteo Ricci: Muḥammad Zamān’s 17th-Century Translation of De Christiana Expeditione apud Sinas”, with Stefano Pellò, in Guido Abbattista, Global Perspectives in Modern Italian Culture: Knowledge and Representation of the World in Italy from the Sixteenth to the Early Nineteenth Century, New York: Routledge, 2021, 146-160.