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Mark Somos

LL.M (Sussex), Ph.D (Harv.), Ph.D (Lugd.Bat.), FRHistS. Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Experienced Researcher and Senior Research Affiliate

Academic Career:

Since 2012: Senior Visiting Research Fellow, Sussex Law School, UK

01-03/2017: Balsdon Senior Fellow. British School at Rome, Italy

2016: Lecturer in Political Science. Yale University, USA

2015-2016: Visiting Scholar. Department of Government, Harvard University, USA

2014-2015: Lecturer on Leadership Studies. Jonathan M. Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service and the Department of Political Science, Tufts University, USA

2014-15: Research Fellow. Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, USA

2014-2015: Affiliated Scholar, Institutions of Democracy and National Security programs. The Tobin Project, USA

2012-2014: Research Director. Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, Harvard University, USA

2012-2014: Lecturer on Law. Harvard University, USA

2011-2012: Postdoctoral Research Fellow. Rechtskulturen, Research Network Recht im Kontext, Forum Transregionale Studien, at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin and Humboldt-Universität, Juristische Fakultät, Berlin, Germany

2008-2011: Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. Sussex Centre for Intellectual History. Brighton, UK



2014: Ph.D in Law, Leiden University, The Netherlands

2012: LL.M in Law and International Security (Distinction), University of Sussex, UK

2007: Ph.D in Political Science, Harvard University, USA

2006: A.M. in Government and Social Policy, Harvard University, USA

2000: M.Phil., Political Thought and Intellectual History, University of Cambridge, UK

1999: B.A. (Honours) in History (First Class), University of Cambridge, UK



  • Synecdochic Representation: How the History of Political Thought can Fill Gaps in Political Theory. In: Politics. Rivista di Studi Politici 9, 1-16 (2018). download
  • The Urgent, the Plausible and the Irreparable: The Significance of Lowering ICJ Thresholds for Provisional Measures. In: Völkerrechtsblog. Max-Planck-Institut für ausländisches öffentliches Recht und Völkerrecht, Heidelberg 2018 (with Tom Sparks). download
  • Sex, Religion and a Singular Anatomist. In: Nature 560:7718, 304-305 (2018) (with Daniel Margocsy and Stephen N. Joffe). download
  • The Fabrica in Pécs. In: Per Aspera Ad Astra V, 124-131 (2018) (with Daniel Margocsy and Stephen N. Joffe). download
  • The Fabrica of Andreas Vesalius: A Worldwide Descriptive Census, Ownership, and Annotations of the 1543 and 1555 Edition. Brill, Leiden, 2018, 518 p. (with Daniel Margocsy and Stephen Joffe) download
  • Boston in the State of Nature, 1761-1765: The Birth of an American Constitutional Trope. In: Jus Gentium: Journal of International Legal History 3:1, 63-113 (2018). download
  • Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought. Brill, Leiden, 2017, 481 p. (editor with Laszlo Kontler) download
  • Pirating Mare Liberum (1609). In: Grotiana 38, 176-210 (2017). download
  • Introduction: Trust, Happiness, and the History of European Political Thought. In: Trust and Happiness in the History of European Political Thought, Laszlo Kontler and Mark Somos (eds.), Brill, Leiden 2017, 1-15 (with László Kontler). download
  • The Roman Census and Reception of Vesalius’s "De humani corporis fabrica". In: Papers of the British School at Rome 85, 335-336 (2017). download
  • George Ticknor’s "Progress of Politicks" (1816): An American Reception of German Comparative Constitutional Thought. In: MPIL Working Papers, 2017, 2017-20. download
  • John Warren’s "Lectures on Anatomy", 1783-1812. In: History of Universities XXXI, 125-156 (2017). download
  • Harrington’s Project: The Balance of Money, a Republican Constitution for Europe, and England’s Patronage of the World. In: Commerce and Peace in the Enlightenment, Isaac Nakhimovsky and Richard Whatmore Bela Kapossy (ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2017, 20-43. download
  • Vesalius’ Fabrica: A Report on the Worldwide Census of the 1543 and 1555 Editions. In: Social History of Medicine 30:1, 201-223 (2017) (with Dániel Margócsy and Stephen Joffe). download
  • Petrus Paaw’s Sources. In: Print Quarterly XXXIII:3, 295-295 (2016) (with Dániel Margócsy and Stephen Joffe). download
  • Jacques De Gheyn II and Vesalius. In: Print Quarterly XXXIII:3, 293-295 (2016) (with Dániel Margócsy and Stephen Joffe). download
  • Reason and Scepticism. In: A Companion to Intellectual History, Richard Whatmore and Brian Young (ed.). Wiley-Blackwell, UK 2016, 417-437. download
  • Bible Interpretation and the Constitution of the Christian Commonwealth in Hobbes’s Leviathan, Part III. In: Storia del pensiero politico 4:2, 175-201 (2015). download


  • Mare Clausum, Leviathan, and Oceana: Bible Criticism, Secularisation and Imperialism in Seventeenth-Century English Political and Legal Thought. In: In the Name of God: The Bible in the Colonial Discourse of Empire, . Carly L. Crouch and Jonathan Stökl (ed.). Brill, Leiden 2014, 85-133. download
  • The Lost Treasures of Sethos, Enlightened Prince of Egypt (1731). In: Athenian Legacies: European Debates on Citizenship, Paschalis Kitromilides (ed.). Leo S. Olschki, Florence 2014, 271-314. download
  • Beyond Minimalism: Didactic Secularisation in De Veritate. In: Grotiana 35:1, 119-157 (2014). download
  • Irenic Secularization and the Hebrew Republic in Harrington’s Oceana. In: European Contexts for English Republicanism, Gaby Mahlberg and Dirk Wiemann (ed.). Ashgate, Farnham 2013, 81-103. download
  • Selden’s Mare Clausum: The Secularisation of International Law and the Rise of Soft Imperialism. In: Journal of the History of International Law 14:2, 287-330 (2012). download
  • "Bonapartes and Sharks”: the Political Philosophy of Herman Melville. In: Storia del pensiero politico 1:2, 239-274 (2012) (with Isaac Schapira). download
  • Secularisation and the Leiden Circle. Brill, Leiden, Boston, 2011, 544 p. read
  • Wrestling with Machiavelli. In: History of European Ideas 37:2, 85-93 (2011) (with Ioannis Evrigenis). download
  • A Century of “Hate and Coarse Thinking”: Anti-Machiavellian Machiavellism in H.G. Wells, The New Machiavelli (1911). In: History of European Ideas 37:2, 137-152 (2011). download
  • “A Price Would Be Set Not Only Upon Our Friendship, But Upon Our Neutrality”: Alexander Hamilton and Early American State-Building. In: War and Trade: the Neutrality of Commerce in the Interstate System, Koen Stapelbroek (ed.). Collegium for Advanced Studies, Helsinki 2011, 184-211. download
  • Saint Augustine of Hippo, Step-Father of Liberalism. In: History of European Ideas 36:2, 237-251 (2010). download
  • Enter Secularisation: Heinsius’s De tragoediae constitutione. In: History of European Ideas 36:1, 19-38 (2010). download
  • Secularization in De Iure Praedae: From Bible Criticism to International Law. In: Property, Piracy and Punishment: Hugo Grotius on War and Booty in De iure praedae – Concepts and contexts, Hans W. Blom (ed.). Brill, Leiden 2009, 147-191. download


31 Jan 2019

Sanctions, state companies and secession: histories and laws of economic sovereignty



14 Dec 2018

Plausibility of rights and provisional measures

with Tom Sparks

Benevento, Italy


15 Nov 2018

Suárez v Grotius: James Brown Scott’s enduring revival

University of Leuven

12 Oct 2018

Houses without cities: switching between republican and anti-political self-sufficiency

University of Heidelberg

31 Jul 2018

A Jewish common law for the world: John Selden’s pursuit of international law

Fürth-Nürnberg, Jewish Museum of Franconia

27 Jun 2018

The travels of Grotius’ Mare liberum

Wolfenbüttel, Herzog August Library

12 Jun 2018

Geometry, skepticism, and standards of legal fiction: Dutch-British conceptualisations of territorial sovereignty

University of St Andrews

24 May 2018

Second Founders in Göttingen: the origins of modern German-American legal education

University of Münster

24 Mar 2018

Open and closed seas: the Grotius-Selden dialogue at the heart of liberal imperialism

University of Cambridge

13 Nov 2017

Sigonius’ method: a sixteenth-century Italian source of British imperial reform

University of Bologna School of Law details

06 Apr 2017

American States of Nature

Technische Universität Dresden

08 Mar 2017

Gender and power in the reception of Andreas Vesalius’ Fabrica: results from the census

British School at Rome, Italy details

15 Dec 2016

The rediscovery of Vesalius's Fabrica

Basel Graduate School of History, Switzerland details

14 Dec 2016

American states of nature: the rise of scientific constitutionalism, 1630-1816

Basel Graduate School of History, Switzerland details

03 Dec 2016

Synecdochic interest groups

Yale University. New Haven CT, USA details

14 Nov 2016

Open and closed seas: Grotius, Selden, and the modern international law of commerce

Macaulay Honors College, CUNY. New York NY, USA details

02 May 2016

Rediscovering Vesalius’ Fabrica

Centre for Anatomy and Human Identification. Dundee, UK

19 Feb 2016

American states of nature

Intellectual History Workshop, New York University

New York, USA

11 Dec 2015

Sigonio in projects to reform the British imperial constitution, 1752-1781

Royal Netherlands Institute

Rome, Italy

17 Sep 2015

The states of nature, 1651-1816

Heidelberg University, Germany

22 Apr 2015

American states of nature

John Carter Brown Library. Providence RI, USA

02 Feb 2015

American states of nature

The Huntington Library. San Marino CA, USA


Fall 2009, Spring 2010

The History of Human Rights

Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014

Institutional Corruption

Spring 2014

Introduction to Leadership Studies

Spring 2016, Fall 2016

Revolution, Rights, and Representation