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Elisabeth Heijmans

In The Agency of Empire: Connections and Strategies in French Expansion (1686-1746) Elisabeth Heijmans places directors and their connections at the centre of the developments and operations of French overseas companies. The focus on directors’ decisions and networks challenges the conception of French overseas companies as highly centralized and controlled by the state.

Through the cases of companies operating in Pondicherry (Coromandel Coast) and Ouidah (Bight of Benin), Elisabeth Heijmans demonstrates the participation of actors not only in Paris but also in provinces, ports and trading posts in the French expansion. The analysis brings to the fore connections across imperial, cultural and religious boundaries in order to diverge from traditional national narratives of the French early modern empire.

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Edited by Stefan Winter and Mafalda Ade

Aleppo and its Hinterland in the Ottoman Period is a collection of eleven essays in English and French by leading scholars of Ottoman Syria, drawing on new research in Turkish, Levantine and other archival sources. Focusing on both the city and its place in the wider region, the collection examines trade guilds and Christian settlement in Aleppo, Turkmen and Bedouin tribes in Aleppo’s interior, international trade and the establishment of an Ottoman commercial tribunal in the Tanzimat period, Aleppo and the rise of the millet system, the Belgian consular presence, Sufi networks in the province of Aleppo, the countryside of Antioch under the Egyptian occupation, and the urban revolt of 1850.

With contributions from Enver Çakar, Elyse Semerdjian, Charles Wilkins, Stefan Winter, Mary Momdjian, Bruce Masters, Sylvain Cornac, Mafalda Ade, Feras Krimsti, Nicolas Jodoin, Stefan Knost.

The Brand of Print

Marketing Paratexts in the Early English Book Trade

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Andrea Silva

The Brand of Print offers a comprehensive analysis of the ways printers, publishers, stationers, and booksellers designed paratexts to market printed books as cultural commodities. This study traces envoys to the reader, visual design in title pages and tables of contents, and patron dedications, illustrating how the agents of print branded their markets by crafting relationships with readers and articulating the value of their labor in an increasingly competitive trade. Applying terms from contemporary marketing theory to the study of early modern paratexts, Andie Silva encourages a consideration of how print agents' labor and agency, made visible through paratextual design, continues to influence how we read, study, and digitize early modern texts.

A Humanist in Reformation Politics

Philipp Melanchthon on Political Philosophy and Natural Law

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Mads L. Jensen

This book is the first contextual account of the political philosophy and natural law theory of the German reformer Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560). Mads Langballe Jensen presents Melanchthon as a significant political thinker in his own right and an engaged scholar drawing on the intellectual arsenal of renaissance humanism to develop a new Protestant political philosophy. As such, he also shows how and why natural law theories first became integral to Protestant political thought in response to the political and religious conflicts of the Reformation. This study offers new, contextual studies of a wide range of Melanchthon's works including his early humanist orations, commentaries on Aristotle's ethics and politics, Melanchthon's own textbooks on moral and political philosophy, and polemical works.

Living under the Evil Pope

The Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV by Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan from Civitanova Marche (16th cent.)

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Martina Mampieri

In Living under the Evil Pope, Martina Mampieri presents the Hebrew Chronicle of Pope Paul IV, written in the second half of the sixteenth century by the Italian Jewish moneylender Benjamin Neḥemiah ben Elnathan (alias Guglielmo di Diodato) from Civitanova Marche. The text remained in manuscript for about four centuries until the Galician scholar Isaiah Sonne (1887-1960) published a Hebrew annotated edition of the chronicle in the 1930s. This remarkable source offers an account of the events of the Papal States during Paul IV’s pontificate (1555-59). Making use of broad archival materials, Martina Mampieri reflects on the nature of this work, its historical background, and contents, providing a revised edition of the Hebrew text as well as the first unabridged English translation and commentary.

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Mark A. Lotito

In The Reformation of Historical Thought, Mark Lotito re-examines the development of Western historiography by concentrating on Philipp Melanchthon (1497-1560) and his universal history, Carion’s Chronicle (1532). With the Chronicle, Melanchthon overturned the medieval papal view of history, and he offered a distinctly Wittenberg perspective on the foundations of the “modern” European world. Through its immense popularity, the Chronicle assumed extraordinary significance across the divides of language, geography and confession. Indeed, Melanchthon’s intervention would become the point of departure for theologians, historians and jurists to debate the past, present and future of the Holy Roman Empire. Through the Chronicle, the Wittenberg reformation of historical thought became an integral aspect of European intellectual culture for the centuries that followed.

Riches and Reform

Ecclesiastical Wealth in St Andrews, c.1520-1580

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Elizabeth Rhodes

The Scottish Reformation is often presumed to have had little economic impact. Traditionally, scholars maintained that Scotland’s late medieval church gradually secularised its estates, and that the religious changes of 1560 barely disrupted an ongoing trend. In Riches and Reform Bess Rhodes challenges this assumption with a study of church finance in Scotland’s religious capital of St Andrews – a place once regarded as the ‘cheif and mother citie of the Realme’. Drawing on largely unpublished charters, rentals, and account books, Riches and Reform argues that in St Andrews the Reformation triggered a rapid, large-scale, and ultimately ruinous redistribution of ecclesiastical wealth. Communal assets built up over generations were suddenly dispersed through a combination of official policies, individual opportunism, and a crisis in local administration – leading the post-Reformation churches and city of St Andrews into ‘poverte and decay’.

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Edited by Neil Brown, Silke Ackermann and Feza Günergun

Scientific Instruments between East and West is a collection of essays on aspects of the transmission of knowledge about scientific instruments and the trade in such instruments between the Eastern and Western worlds, particularly from Europe to the Ottoman Empire. The contributors, from a variety of countries, draw on original Arabic and Ottoman Turkish manuscripts and other archival sources and publications dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries not previously studied for their relevance to the history of scientific instruments. This little-studied topic in the history of science was the subject of the 35th Scientific Instrument Symposium held in Istanbul in September 2016, where the original versions of these essays were delivered.

Contributors are Mahdi Abdeljaouad, Pierre Ageron, Hamid Bohloul, Patrice Bret, Gaye Danışan, Feza Günergun, Meltem Kocaman, Richard L. Kremer, Janet Laidla, Panagiotis Lazos, David Pantalony, Atilla Polat, Bernd Scholze, Konstantinos Skordoulis, Seyyed Hadi Tabatabaei, Anthony Turner, Hasan Umut, and George Vlahakis.

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Edited by Anne-Pascale Pouey-Mounou and Paul J. Smith

For this bilingual (English-French) anthology of early modern fictitious catalogues, selections were made from a multitude of texts, from the genre’s beginnings (Rabelais’s satirical catalogue of the Library of St.-Victor (1532)) to its French and Dutch specimens from around 1700. In thirteen chapters, written by specialists in the field, diverse texts containing fictitious booklists are presented and contextualized. Several of these texts are well known (by authors such as Fischart, Doni, and Le Noble), others – undeservedly – are less known, or even unrecorded. The anthology is preceded by a literary historical and theoretical introduction addressing the parodic and satirical aspects of the genre, and its relationship to other genres: theatre, novel, and pamphlet. Contributors include: Helwi Blom, Tobias Bulang, Raphaël Cappellen, Ronnie Ferguson, Dirk Geirnaert, Jelle Koopmans, Marijke Meijer Drees, Claudine Nédelec, Patrizia Pellizzari, Anne-Pascale Pouey-Mounou, Paul J. Smith, and Dirk Werle.

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions

The Academic Life of John Wallis (1616–1703)

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Jason M. Rampelt

Distinctions of Reason and Reasonable Distinctions is an intellectual biography of John Wallis (1616-1703), professor of mathematics at Oxford for over half a century. His career spans the political tumult of the English Civil Wars, the religious upheaval of the Church of England, and the fascinating developments in mathematics and natural philosophy. His ability to navigate this terrain and advance human learning in the academic world was facilitated by his use of the Jesuit Francisco Suarez’s theory of distinctions. This Roman Catholic’s philosophy in the hands of a Protestant divine fostered an instrumentalism necessary to bridge the old and new. With this tool, Wallis brought modern science into the university and helped form the Royal Society.