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Editor: Kevin Ingram
Converso and Morisco are the terms applied to those Jews and Muslims who converted to Christianity in large numbers and usually under duress in late Medieval Spain. The Converso and Morisco Studies publications will examine the implications of these mass conversions for the converts themselves, for their heirs (also referred to as Conversos and Moriscos) and for Medieval and Modern Spanish culture. As the essays in this collection attest, the study of the Converso and Morisco phenomena is not only important for those scholars focused on Spanish society and culture, but for academics everywhere interested in the issues of identity, Otherness, nationalism, religious intolerance and the challenges of modernity.
A Companion to Late Medieval and Early Modern Siena presents chapters by prominent scholars on the powerful commune that birthed a pope, sheltered saints, built banking institutions that have thrived for nearly 1000 years, and nurtured vibrant communities of artists and intellectuals. This multi-disciplinary book, edited by Santa Casciani and Heather Richardson Hayton, redresses scholarly imbalances of the past by introducing early period Siena to a wider audience. Focusing mostly on the 12th to 16th centuries, each chapter explores how the Sienese crafted a distinctive civic identity that remains intact still. Modern readers will find Siena’s responses to plague, political factionalism, and aggression from powerful neighbours particularly relevant.
Contributors are: Mario Ascheri, Saverio Luigi Battente, Elena Brizio, Santa Casciani, Konrad Eisenbichler, Bradley Franco, Fabrizio Nevola, Anna Peterson, Colleen Reardon, Sheri Shaneyfelt, Jane Tylus, Andrea Beth Wenz, Demetrio Yocum.
This companion volume seeks to trace the development of ideas relating to death, burial, and the remembrance of the dead in Europe from ca.1300-1700. Examining attitudes to death from a range of disciplinary perspectives, it synthesises current trends in scholarship, challenging the old view that the Black Death and the Protestant Reformations fundamentally altered ideas about death.

Instead, it shows how people prepared for death; how death and dying were imagined in art and literature; and how practices and beliefs appeared, disappeared, changed, or strengthen over time as different regions and communities reacted to the changing world around them. Overall, it serves as an indispensable introduction to the subject of death, burial, and commemoration in thirteenth to eighteenth century Europe.

Contributors are: Ruth Atherton, Stephen Bates, Philip Booth, Zachary Chitwood, Ralph Dekoninck, Freddy C. Dominguez, Anna M. Duch, Jackie Eales, Madeleine Gray, Polina Ignatova, Robert Marcoux, Christopher Ocker, Gordon D. Raeburn, Ludwig Steindorff, Elizabeth Tingle, and Christina Welch.
Consuls, Missionaries, and Spies in Premodern Diplomacy
Because of the overarching shadow of ‘the state’ in all things diplomatic, traditional diplomatic history has neglected the study of any actors in foreign relations other than state diplomats, such as ambassadors. This volume focuses on the question of how and why consuls, missionaries, and spies not formally tied to the state or a prince could play a role in premodern diplomatic relations. It highlights their multiple loyalties, their volatility, and the porous boundaries of diplomatic activity. Historical research on non-state actors – in the context of the so-called new diplomatic history – is all the more urgent as it demonstrates their undeniably significant contributions to the formation of Europe’s international relations.

Contributors are: Maurits Ebben, Dante Fedele, Alan Marshall, Jacques Paviot, Felicia Roșu, Jean-Baptiste Santamaria, Louis Sicking, and John Watkins.
Author: Kira Robison
Healers in the Making investigates medical instruction at the University of Bologna using the lens of practical medicine, focusing on both anatomical and surgical instruction and showing that teaching medicine between the late thirteenth and mid-sixteenth centuries was a consciously constructed and vigorous project that required ongoing local political and cultural negotiations beyond books and curriculum. Using municipal, institutional, and medical texts, Kira Robison examines the outward structures of academic and civic power involved in the formation of medical authority and illuminates the innovations in practical medical pedagogy that occurred during this era. In this way, Robison re-examines academic medicine, the professors, and students, returning them to the context of the medical marketplace within a dynamic and flourishing urban landscape.
Gender and Exemplarity in Medieval and Early Modern Spain gathers a series of studies on the interplay between gender, sanctity and exemplarity in regard to literary production in the Iberian peninsula. The first section examines how women were con¬strued as saintly examples through narratives, mostly composed by male writers; the second focuses on the use made of exemplary life-accounts by women writers in order to fashion their own social identity and their role as authors.
The volume includes studies on relevant models (Mary Magdalen, Virgin Mary, living saints), means of transmission, sponsorship and agency (reading circles, print, patronage), and female writers (Leonor López de Córdoba, Isabel de Villena, Teresa of Ávila) involved in creating textual exemplars for women.

Contributors are: Pablo Acosta-García, Andrew M. Beresford, Jimena Gamba Corradine, Ryan D. Giles, María Morrás, Lesley K. Twomey, Roa Vidal Doval, and Christopher van Ginhoven Rey.
Picturing Death: 1200-1600 explores the visual culture of mortality over the course of four centuries that witnessed a remarkable flourishing of imagery focused on the themes of death, dying, and the afterlife. In doing so, this volume sheds light on issues that unite two periods—the Middle Ages and the Renaissance—that are often understood as diametrically opposed. The studies collected here cover a broad visual terrain, from tomb sculpture to painted altarpieces, from manuscripts to printed books, and from minute carved objects to large-scale architecture. Taken together, they present a picture of the ways that images have helped humans understand their own mortality, and have incorporated the deceased into the communities of the living.

Jessica Barker, Katherine Boivin, Peter Bovenmyer, Xavier Dectot, Maja Dujakovic, Brigit Ferguson, Alison C. Fleming, Fredrika Jacobs, Henrike C. Lange, Robert Marcoux, Walter S. Melion, Stephen Perkinson, Johanna Scheel, Mary Silcox, Judith Steinhoff, Noa Turel
Marine Insurance in Renaissance Florence
Risky Markets explores a crucial moment in the history of insurance, when tools designed to tackle sea risks were in their first making. Renaissance Florence is the setting for one of the first attempts to develop a market specialized in protecting maritime trade. Drawing on a unique collection of sources, the book provides a wide ranging account about the players, institutions, business practices and organizations of the insurance business, shedding light on the forecasting techniques underwriters used. Ceccarelli shows that the market was a small club where trust relations and shared codes of conduct prevail over competition. In a world without probability this was the way by which a business community managed transforming uncertainty into a calculable risk.
The Relic Book in Late-Medieval Religiosity and Early Modern Aesthetics
Author: Livia Cárdenas
Translator: Kathleen Anne Simon
This study is the first fundamental analysis and synopsis of the printed relic-book genre. Printed relic books represent, both by image and text, precious reliquaries, which were presented to the faithful audience during special liturgical feasts, the display of relics. This study brings into focus the specific aesthetics of these relic books and explores the immense influence that patrons had on figuration as well as on the forms of these books. The analysis focuses on the interaction of image and text as manifestation of authenticity. This book then contributes to clarifying the complex medial role of printing with movable type in its early period and offers a novel interpretation of the cultural significance of artefacts in the Renaissance.

This book is a translation of Die Textur des Bildes: Das Heiltumsbuch im Kontext religiöser Medialität des Spätmittelalters (De Gruyter, 2013)
Author: Sonja Lavaert

Abstract

In the spirit of the new naturalism, Adriaan Koerbagh defends in Een Ligt schijnende in duystere plaatsen (1668) the freedom to philosophize with a fundamental critique of religion and metaphysics. He links this criticism to the politically radical, anti-hierarchical idea of universal equality and freedom. Moreover, by writing in Dutch, he addresses a broad audience with this explosive mixture of ideas. At the very center of his naturalism is the idea of an indifferent God or nature. He criticizes, unmasks, and translates improper language that is aimed at deception and oppression, and leads to violence. His loanword dictionary Een Bloemhof van allerley lieflijkheyd sonder verdriet (1668) can be seen as the preparatory handwork to this critical project. Koerbagh thereby places himself in the line of the clandestine freethinkers such as Vanini, the anonymous authors of Theophrastus redivivus and De jure ecclesiasticorum, Spinoza, and the clandestine text written ‘in the spirit of Spinoza,’ Traité des trois imposteurs. I will illustrate this genealogical line and thus illuminate the significance of this (politically) subversive thinker for the radical Enlightenment.

In: Church History and Religious Culture