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An Iconological Analysis of the Relationships between Art, Science and Power
In Early Modern Thesis Prints in the Southern Netherlands, Gwendoline de Mûelenaere offers an account of the practice of producing illustrated thesis prints in the seventeenth-century Southern Low Countries. She argues that the evolution of the thesis print genre gave rise to the creation of a specific visual language combining efficiently various figurative registers of a historical and symbolic nature. The book offers a reflection on the representation of knowledge and its public recognition in the context of academic defenses.

Early Modern Thesis Prints makes a timely contribution to our understanding of early modern print culture and more specifically to the expanding field of study concerned with the role of visual materials in early modern thought.
Volume Editors: Kirsty Bell and Philippe Kaenel
How has reproduction transformed works of art and literature, their dissemination and their reception? And how does it continue to do so? In what ways have our definitions and practices of reproduction changed over the last centuries thanks to new printing, photographic and digital techniques? These questions are timely. From the medieval copy to contemporary digital culture, including the rise of the printing press and engraving techniques in the Renaissance and the Ancien Régime, myriad modes of reproduction informed both our access to texts and images and our ways of reading, seeing, understanding, discovering and questioning the world.

Dans quelle mesure la reproduction transforme-t-elle les œuvres, leur diffusion et leur réception ? De quelles manières les conceptions et les usages de la reproduction ont-ils subi des transformations majeures au cours des derniers siècles avec la diffusion des pratiques d’impression, de la photographie et des techniques numériques ? Ces questions sont d’une actualité incontournable. De la copie médiévale à la culture numérique contemporaine, en passant par l’essor de l’imprimerie et les techniques de gravure à la Renaissance et sous l’Ancien Régime, les différents modes de reproduction informent non seulement nos accès aux textes et aux images, mais aussi nos manières de lire, de voir, de comprendre, découvrir et d’interroger le monde.
In Jesuit Art, Mia Mochizuki considers the artistic production of the pre-suppression Society of Jesus (1540–1773) from a global perspective. Geographic and medial expansion of the standard corpus changes not only the objects under analysis, it also affects the kinds of queries that arise. Mochizuki draws upon masterpieces and material culture from around the world to assess the signature structural innovations pioneered by Jesuits in the history of the image. When the question of a ‘Jesuit style’ is rehabilitated as an inquiry into sources for a spectrum of works, the Society’s investment in the functional potential of illustrated books reveals the traits that would come to define the modern image as internally networked, technologically defined, and innately subjective.
In the early modern period, images of revolts and violence became increasingly important tools to legitimize or contest political structures. This volume offers the first in-depth analysis of how early modern people produced and consumed violent imagery and assesses its role in memory practices, political mobilization, and the negotiation of cruelty and justice.

Critically evaluating the traditional focus on Western European imagery, the case studies in this book draw on evidence from Russia, China, Hungary, Portugal, Germany, North America, and other regions. The contributors highlight the distinctions among visual cultures of violence, as well as their entanglements in networks of intensive transregional communication, early globalization, and European colonization.

Contributors include: Monika Barget, David de Boer, Nóra G. Etényi, Fabian Fechner, Joana Fraga, Malte Griesse, Alain Hugon, Gleb Kazakov, Nancy Kollmann, Ya-Chen Ma, Galina Tirnanić, and Ramon Voges.
This volume sheds light on the historical background and political circumstances that encouraged the dialogue between Eastern-European Christians and Arabic-speaking Christians of the Middle East in Ottoman times, as well as the means employed in pursuing this dialogue for several centuries. The ties that connected Eastern European Christianity with Arabic-speaking Christians in the 16th-19th centuries are the focus of this book. Contributors address the Arabic-speaking hierarchs’ and scholars’ connections with patriarchs and rulers of Constantinople, the Romanian Principalities, Kyiv, and the Tsardom of Moscow, the circulation of literature, models, iconography, and knowhow between the Middle East and Eastern Europe, and research dedicated to them by Eastern European scholars.

Contributors are Stefano Di Pietrantonio, Ioana Feodorov, Serge Frantsouzoff, Bernard Heyberger, Elena Korovtchenko, Sofia Melikyan, Charbel Nassif, Constantin A. Panchenko, Yulia Petrova, Vera Tchentsova, Mihai Ţipău and Carsten Walbiner.
Frontispieces and Title Pages in Early Modern Europe
Gateways to the Book investigates the complex image–text relationships between frontispieces and illustrated title pages on the one hand and texts on the other, in European books published between 1500 and 1800. Although interest in this broad field of research has increased in the past decades, many varieties of title pages and a great deal of printers and books remain as yet unstudied. The fifteen essays collected in this volume tackle this field with a great variety of academic approaches, asking how the images can be interpreted, how the texts and contexts shape their interpretation, and how they in turn shape the understanding of the text.
Author: Mihai Țipău


Greek was essential for the representatives of the Church of Antioch during their journey, especially in Constantinople and in the Romanian Principalities. Patriarch Makarios III and his son, the Archdeacon Paul, used Greek both in Church services and in their daily interactions with Greeks and Romanians. During his sojourn of almost two months in Constantinople, Paul of Aleppo was also interested in seeing and identifying the traces of Byzantine Empire that he was familiar with from his readings. He looked for the past glory of Byzantium even in the Romanian Principalities and in Russia. Knowledgeable in Byzantine history, Paul of Aleppo compares the information obtained from books with the realities on the ground. The result is an account that often surpasses those of the Western travelers in the East. The aim of the present paper is to trace the information about Byzantium and the Greeks in Paul of Aleppo’s travel account and to propose a new approach of this data for historians of the Byzantine heritage.

In: Arabic Christianity between the Ottoman Levant and Eastern Europe
Author: Charbel Nassif


In 1969, an exhibition of Lebanese and Syrian icons, under the scientific direction of Virgil Cândea and curated by Sylvia Agémian, took place at the Sursock Museum in Beirut. This exhibition revealed the existence of local artistic compositions between the 17th and the 19th centuries. After consultation with Lebanese specialists, these icons were labeled “Melkites” by Cândea. Fifty years later, this contribution aims to record the historiography of the Melkite art by looking at the research that was dedicated to it before 1969 and the 18 exhibitions that revealed the Melkite art to the Arab and European publics, as well as by reviewing the publications and significant scientific studies that allowed us to enrich our knowledge of this outstanding art form.

In: Arabic Christianity between the Ottoman Levant and Eastern Europe
Author: Yulia Petrova


The present contribution offers an overview of the collection of Arabic manuscripts preserved at the Institute of Manuscripts of the National Library of Ukraine in Kyiv named after V.I. Vernadsky. It was formed mostly in the 1920s–1930s in the context of the complex process of development of Oriental studies in Ukraine, mainly on the basis of the following sources: a) the private collection of Agathangel Krymsky that belonged to the Cabinet of Arabic and Iranian Philology at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences; b) manuscripts donated by Pr Antonin Kapustin to the Kyiv Theological Academy; c) the collection of the Polish nobleman Józef Jabłonowski that became a part of the library of the former University of St Vladimir. This chapter surveys the history of the formation and study of the collection of Arabic manuscripts in the National Library of Ukraine in Kyiv, with a special focus on the section of Christian Arabic manuscripts. The latter includes five Orthodox liturgical books, a manuscript of the Beirut Church Chronicle, and a manuscript copy of the Concise Epistle on How to Repent and Confess printed in Aleppo by Athanasius Dabbās in 1711, the last book that came out of his press.

In: Arabic Christianity between the Ottoman Levant and Eastern Europe


The Late Middle Ages were a period of decline for the Middle Eastern Christian peoples in general and their monastic movement in particular. Most of the Palestinian monks were of Balkan or Caucasian origin. They had few ties to the local Christian population and crucially depended on material and demographical support from their distant metropoles. The collapse of the Orthodox states of the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions in the 15th century caused a gradual abandonment of the monasteries in the Judean Desert. The Sinai Monastery of St Catherine was in a deep crisis in the last decades of Mamluk rule because of the lack of security and order in the sultanate. Around 1505, the monastery was captured and sacked by nomads. In the Middle Ages, the Monastery of St Catherine had been multiethnic. In the Ottoman period, however, the monastic community became almost exclusively Greek. In the late 15th and early 16th centuries, the political structure of Greek Orthodox civilization changed drastically. The Ottoman conquest of Syria and Egypt in 1516–1517 promoted an influx of monks and alms from the Balkans and the Romanian Principalities which caused the revival of the Judean Desert monasteries. In the late 1520’s and early 1530’s, the famous Mar Saba convent, which had been abandoned in the late 15th century, was resettled by a group of Slavic and Greek monks, with financial support from the rulers of Wallachia. The first head of Mar Saba was the former abbot of the Sinai Monastery Joachim Vlachos (the Wallachian). The brethren of Mar Saba—which had been multiethnic, albeit with a predominance of Serbs—received permanent support from the rulers of Moldavia and Wallachia, who belonged to the same Slavonic culture as the majority of the Sabaite community. Accumulating all these alms, the community of Mar Saba managed to survive in the barren desert among the aggressive nomads for another century.

In: Arabic Christianity between the Ottoman Levant and Eastern Europe