The Strait Gate: Thresholds and Power in Western History. Yale University Press, 2015

“An engrossing and powerfully illuminating history of our most intimate surroundings
Joseph Koerner (Harvard University)

“A wide-open book, erudite, deep, nimble, graceful and fun.”
Thomas V. Cohen (York University)

“This is a splendid work of cultural history.  By examining the vast array of overt and hidden meanings that came to be attached to doors in early modern Europe, the author provides an enticing gateway to a rarely considered aspect of pre-modern life.”
Christopher R. Friedrichs (University of British Columbia)

“Daniel Jütte’s The Strait Gate is … my pick for the most interesting architectural book of the last year (it came out in 2015).”
Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG (Building Blog),

The Strait Gate constitutes an important contribution to cultural history, illuminating our understanding of the early modern world. Its well-chosen illustrations provide apt support for the text.”
Jill Steward, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

“From the wealth of sources and information obviously at his dispoal Jütte has judiciously selected telling anecdotes from a wide range of periods and place to make a book that is simultaneously accessible and erudite, wide-ranging and detailed. [It] should be welcomed by scholars, teachers at all levels, and general readers alike.”
Benjamin Garstad, Sixteenth Century Journal

The Strait Gate can be warmly recommended, both as a survey of an original topic in its own right and as a thought-provoking example of the new cultural history more generally.”
Beat Kümin, Renaissance Quarterly

The Age of Secrecy: Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400–1800. Yale University Press, 2015 (first published in German as Das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses: Juden, Christen und die Ökonomie des Geheimen, 1400–1800)


Winner of the Bruno-Heck-Wissenschaftspreis (Konrad Adenauer Foundation), 2011.

Winner of the Ph.D. Thesis Prize, European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism, 2011.

Winner of the Ruprecht-Karls-Preis (University of Heidelberg), 2012.

Winner of the Dissertation Prize of the Dr. Gerhard Ott Foundation, 2013


“An important, widely researched, and fascinating contribution to our understanding of both early modern European history and Jewish history.”
Natalie Zemon Davis (University of Toronto)

“This absorbing and pioneering book […] is an important addition to the history of early modern Jewish science and culture and to the growing body of scholarship on secrecy and books of secrets in early modern Europe. […] A work grounded in impressive research in archival and early printed sources, The Age of Secrecy will be of great interest to historians of science and early modern culture.”
William Eamon, American Historical Review

“How the exchange of secrets […] affected Jewish-Christian relations is […] a much less researched topic, which Daniel Jütte investigates in this elegant and energetically erudite study. Jütte repeatedly reminds of us the blurred lines between science, technology, and magic in early modenr Europe, and we can only be grateful to him for this.”
Francesca Bregoli, Renaissance Quarterly

“Exploring the nuanced and intricate role of Jews in the early modern economoy of secrets, The Age of Secrecy is a powerful portrait of a long-ignored aspect of Jewish and scientific history.”
Katherine Walker, Sixteenth Century Journal

“This outstanding and in many ways path-breaking work is a remarkable example of careful and detailed engagement with a wide range of scholarship and creative and careful attention to both familiar and little-discussed sources. As such, it will be a valuable resource for scholars in many fields, and it helps to further the study of early modern Jewish history, early modern science, and the culture of the early modern world.”
Dean Phillip Bell, Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies

“Daniel Jütte’s elegantly written dissertation is brimming with ideas and offers a new appraisal of the relations between Christian and Jewish ‘knowledge-cultures.’ […] Daniel Jütte’s book reveals a world that has not yet been disenchanted.”
Urs Hafner, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“Jütte skillfully combines his biographical explorations with a reassessement of the role of Jews in the early modern history of science.”
Rudolf Schlögl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“It is surprising that this aspect of the cultural history of Europe has received hardly any attention thus far. [….] Its exploration is one of the achievements of Daniel Jütte’s extremely stimulating book.” 
Dirk Pilz, Frankfurter Rundschau

“Daniel Jütte succeeds in describing and explaining the complex contexts and commercialization of early modern secret sciences – and at the same time, he writes in an exemplarily crisp and vivid style. […] A riveting book.”
Volker Reinhardt (Université de Fribourg), Damals: Das Magazin für Geschichte und Kultur

“With The Age of Secrecy, Daniel Jütte adds to Jewish history a highly interesting discussion inspired by the history of mentalities, giving rise to important impulses for future studies. […] The book is brilliant in its richly varied and even light-footed style, which has the potential to capture not only an academic audience, but also a broad readership to the very last page.”
Reinhard Buchberger (Vienna City Library), Historische Zeitschrift

Das Zeitalter des Geheimnisses is a learned and well-written analysis of the discursive function of secrecy in the period between 1400 and 1800…[I]t contributes to our understanding of the pluralistic dynamics in the European history of religion, both with regard to religious pluralism and to the pluralisms of societal domains, such as economy, science, and politics. ”
Kocku von Stuckrad (University of Groningen), Journal of Religion in Europe

“[Writing] in an articulate and crisp way, Jütte analyzes a time when secrets not only created an aura of fear and mystery among the wary and unwary, but also generated economic and political power.”
Jacobo Kaufmann (Jerusalem), Raíces: Revista judía de cultura

Meshullam da Volterra: Von der Toskana in den Orient: Ein Renaissance-Kaufmann auf Reisen (Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2012) / Meshullam da Volterra: From Tuscany to the Orient: The Journey of a Renaissance Merchant. Translation from the Hebrew, with an introduction and commentary

“Some of the sites of cultural heritage which he [Meshullam da Volterra] describes are now constantly in danger of being destroyed. Literary testimonies such as this one are thus particulary precious, especially when they are edited in such a fine way as in this edition.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“In 1481, Meshullam da Volterra travelled from Kairo via Jerusalem to Damascus, and his Hebrew travelogue is the account of an adventure that lasted six months – it is now for the first time available in a German translation that was edited and annotated by historian Daniel Jütte.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung

“It is Daniel Jütte’s lasting achievement as editor to have made this highly interesting text available to a broad academic public. […] The extensive notes section and the high quality of this volume make it a very fine introduction to the world of the late medieval Orient.”

Vierteljahrschrift für Sozial- und Wirtschaftsgeschichte

“A highly informative and very readable text – and the latter is, in particular, due to the effort of the editor.“

“It is the achievement of Harvard historian Daniel Jütte that the observations of the Florentine Jew Meshullam da Volterra are now, for the time, accessible to German readers in a meticulously annotated edition.”

Stuttgarter Zeitung

“[This edition] is a delight in many respects: it is a gripping read […] but also an insightful description of a culture that was as foreign to Europeans as it was nearby; in short, this is also a very suitable source for the classroom.”

Geschichte für heute

“[In addition to the] expert introduction, Jütte explains in the extensive commentary section the historical, geographical, and biblical subject matter. […] He and the Press have also made great efforts toward an appealing layout; the result is an exceedingly beautiful book.”

 Das historisch-politische Buch

(All translations of foreign-language review quotes: D.J.).