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The Power of Cities

The Iberian Peninsula from Late Antiquity to the Early Modern Period

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Edited by Sabine Panzram

The Power of Cities focuses on Iberian cities during the lengthy transition from the late Roman to the early modern period, with a particular interest in the change from early Christianity, to the Islamic period, and on to the restoration of Christianity.
Drawing on case studies from cities such as Toledo, Cordoba, and Seville, it brings together for the first time recent research in urban studies that includes both archaeological and historical sources. Against the common portrayal of these cities characterised by discontinuities due to decadence, decline and invasions, it is instead a continuity, a so-called slow change, transformation, that can be regarded as the defining marker.
Sabine Panzram and the volume contributors provide available data sufficient to arrive at a new interpretation, understanding the history of cities as a continuum of structural changes, and suggesting to rewrite the history of the Iberian Peninsula from their perspective.
Contributors are Javier Arce, María Asenjo González, Antonio Irigoyen López, Alberto León Muñoz, Matthias Maser, Sabine Panzram, Gisela Ripoll, Torsten dos Santos Arnold, Isabel Toral-Niehoff, Fernando Valdés Fernández, and Klaus Weber.

Exceptional Crime in Early Modern Spain

Taxonomic and Intellectual Perspectives

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Elena del Río Parra

Exceptional Crime in Early Modern Spain accounts for the representation of violent and complex murders, analysing the role of the criminal, its portrayal through rhetorical devices, and its cultural and aesthetic impact.
Proteic traits allow for an understanding of how crime is constructed within the parameters of exception, borrowing from pre-existent forms while devising new patterns and categories such as criminography, the “star killer”, the staging of crimes as suicides, serial murders, and the faking of madness. These accounts aim at bewildering and shocking demanding readers through a carefully displayed cult to excessive behaviour. The arranged “economy of death” displayed in murder accounts will set them apart from other exceptional instances, as proven by their long-standing presence in subsequent centuries.

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Montserrat Piera

This book is devoted to medieval Iberian women, readers and writers. Focusing on the stories and texts women heard, visually experienced or read, and the stories that they rewrote, the work explores women’s experiences and cultural practices and their efforts to make sense of their place within their familial networks and communities. The study is based on two methodological and interpretive threads: a new paradigm to represent premodern reading and, a study of women’s writing, or, more precisely, women’s textualities, as a process of creating words but also acts, social practices, emotions and, ultimately, affectus, understood here as the embodiment of the ability to affect and be affected.