This essay highlights the personality and activity of professor Claudio Donati, an internationally renowned historian prematurely disappeared in 2008. His rigour in method and his commitment to historical research combined with a dedication to university education and social involvement. In all these fields he always showed his peculiar intellectual curiosity, his passion for knowledge, and his ironical subtlety in developing all the components of the historical profession. Essential aspects of his activity as a researcher as well as a teacher were the attention to periodization and historical contextualization, and a firm and constant recourse to primary archival sources. His deep historical knowledge was coupled with his great humanity and his constant openness in communicating with colleagues and students.
Keywords: Early modern history, biography, Claudio Donati