Italian Communication on the Revolt in the Low Countries (1566–1648)


This groundbreaking book is the first comprehensive study of Italian communication on the Revolt in the Low Countries. Nina Lamal provides a compelling account of the deep Italian involvement in this long conflict, also known as the Eighty Years’ War. Drawing upon a wide range of sources in manuscript and print, including newsletters, printed pamphlets, political treatises and historical narratives, Lamal investigates how news on the conflict was brought to the Italian peninsula, and how it influenced political debates as well as historical discourses. She unravels why it had such an impact in this complex political environment. In doing so, she also casts new light on the meaning of the Revolt itself.

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Nina Lamal is a postdoctoral researcher at the Humanities Cluster at the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. She specialises in the history of communication, printing, early modern politics and diplomacy, as well as the history of the Low Countries and Italy.
List of Illustrations
Notes on Conventions

 1 Entangled Histories
 2 Early Modern Communication

1 Italian News Networks
 1 A New Medium
 2 Antwerp in the Headlines
 3 Florentine Correspondents
 4 The Uses of Information in Medici Florence

2 ‘Much to the Dislike of Italy’: The First Political Debates (1577–1578)
 1 From Pacification to Rupture
 2 Di Castro and Reason of State
 3 Understanding the Low Countries
 4 Debating Practical Obstacles
 5 Fear of French Involvement

3 Promoting Spanish-Habsburg Power through Print
 1 A Developing Market for News
 2 Controlling the Narrative from Oral to Print
 3 Selective Narratives of Violence
 4 Promoting Habsburg Pacification and Policy
 5 ‘Greater than Alexander the Great’

4 Crafting Histories
 1 Defending Contemporary History
 2 Crafting a Pro-Habsburg Narrative
 3 Understanding the Present
 4 Claiming ‘Italian Virtue’: The First Italian History
 5 The Farnese Quest for a Suitable History Begins

5 ‘Nothing more than a Flea’: Debating and Describing New States (1598–1609)
 1 Debating the Dynastic Solution
 2 The Issue of Free Trade
 3 The Roman Past: Untameable Subjects
 4 Debating the Truce
 5 ‘A New Power in the World’: Describing a New State

6 The Rise of Confessional and Polemical News Pamphlets
 1 The Emergence of a Narrative Framework
 2 Making Spinola?
 3 Growing Divisions
 4 Polemical Instruments

7 The Development of Italian Historical Narratives
 1 The Authors and their Histories
 2 Italian Military Prowess
 3 Diverging Narratives
 4 Defending Farnese

This monograph will appeal to historians of early modern Italy and the Revolt in the Low Countries, as well as anyone interested in the history of communication, media, political ideas and historical narratives. Keywords: Early modern Italy, Low Countries, Dutch Revolt, Habsburg monarchy, news, media, correspondence, avvisi, soldiers, diplomats, historiography, Revolt in the Low Countries, printing, ragion di stato, history writing.
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