Adam Beaver is a historian of late medieval and early modern Spain. His research focuses primarily on Spaniards’ interactions with the Levant, both real and imaginary. His first book project, Hebrew's Empire: The Bible in Spain, 1000–1800, traces the fate of Sephardic legends about the composition and transmission of the Bible from their origins in Muslim-Jewish polemics in Al-Andalus through their surprising "second act" in humanist historiography of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. The book aims both to insert Spain into the new historiography on early modern Christian hebraism, and to suggest new ways to understand the medieval origins of "national" mythologies in the Renaissance.
In addition to revising Hebrew's Empire for publication, he is presently working on a new project focused on the Italian-turned-Spanish humanist Pietro Martire d’Anghiera’s 1502 embassy to Mamluk Egypt, conducted at the behest of Spain’s Catholic Monarchs. Part of a larger survey of early modern Europeans’ attempts to write the history of the ancient Near East, the Martire project questions Edward Saïd’s controversial sketch of the origins of Orientalism.
Prior to joining the faculty at Princeton, Prof. Beaver was the Assistant Director of Undergraduate Studies in History at Harvard University, where he also received his A.B. (2000), A.M. (2003), and Ph.D. (2008). He also holds an M.St. (2001) from the University of Oxford.
Prof. Beaver currently offers courses on early modern Iberia and the premodern Mediterranean world.
1. "What do Christian Hebraists Have to do with the Cultural History of Judaism?" Jewish Quarterly Review 104.2 (2014): 263-274.
2. "From Jerusalem to Toledo: Replica, Landscape, and the Nation in Renaissance Iberia." Past & Present 218 (February 2013): 55-90.
3. "Scholarly Pilgrims: Antiquarian Visions of the Holy Land." In Sacred History: Uses of the Christian Past in the Renaissance World, ed. Katherine van Liere, Simon Ditchfield, and Howard Louthan (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012), 267-283.