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Fire, Security, and Modernities, 1400 to 1900
Over 8,200 large city fires broke out between 1000 and 1939 CE in Central Europe. Prometheus Tamed inquires into the long-term history of that fire ecology, its local and regional frequencies, its relationship to climate history. It asks for the visual and narrative representation of that threat in every-day life. Institutional forms of fire insurance emerged in the form of private joint stock companies (the British model, starting in 1681) or in the form of cameralist fire insurances (the German model, starting in 1676). They contributed to shape and change society, transforming old communities of charitable solidarity into risk communities, finally supplemented by networks of cosmopolite aid. After 1830, insurance agencies expanded tremendously quickly all over the globe: Cultural clashes of Western and native perceptions of fire risk and of what is insurance can be studied as part of a critical archaeology of world risk society and the plurality of modernities.
The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History offers 400 years of early modern history in one work. Experts from all over the world have joined in a presentation of the scholarship on the great era between the mid-15th to the mid-19th centuries. The perspective is European. That does not mean, however, that the view on the rest of the world is blocked. On the contrary: the multifaceted interrelatedness of European and other cultures is scrutinized extensively.

The Encyclopedia of Early Modern History addresses major historical questions:
- which ideas, inventions, and events changed people’s lives?
- in which ways did living conditions change?
- how do political, social, and economic developments interlock?
- which major cultural currents have begun to become apparent?
- how did historical interpretation of certain phenomena change?
The individual articles are connected to one another as in a web of red threads. The reader who follows the threads will keep coming upon new
and unexpected contexts and links.
Over the course of his career, Andrea del Sarto (1486-1530) created altarpieces rich in theological complexity, elegant in formal execution, and dazzlingly brilliant in chromatic impact. This book investigates the spiritual dimensions of those works, focusing on six highly-significant panels. According to Steven J. Cody, the beauty and splendor of Andrea’s paintings speak to a profound engagement with Christian theories of spiritual renewal—an engagement that only intensified as Andrea matured into one of the most admired artists of his time. From this perspective, Andrea del Sarto — Splendor and Renewal in the Renaissance Altarpiece not only shines new light on a painter who has long deserved more scholarly attention; it also offers up fresh insights regarding the Renaissance altarpiece itself.
Representations of Venice and the Venetian Terraferma in the Renaissance
In Describing the City, Describing the State Sandra Toffolo presents a comprehensive analysis of descriptions of the city of Venice and the Venetian Terraferma in the Renaissance, when the Venetian mainland state was being created. Focusing on an extensive variety of descriptions, the book demonstrates that no one narrative of Venice prevailed in the early modern European imagination, and that authors continuously adapted geographical descriptions to changing political circumstances. In doing so, it shows the importance of studying geographical representation and early modern state formation together. Moreover, it challenges the long-standing concept of the myth of Venice, by showing that Renaissance observers never saw the city of Venice and the Venetian Terraferma in a monolithic way.
Equity in Early Modern Legal Scholarship takes the reader through the vast amount of legal writings on equity that were published in continental Europe in early modern times. The book offers the first comprehensive overview of the development of the legal concept of equity through the sixteenth and seventeenth century. During this time, equity scholarship broke with its medieval past and entered a lively debate on the nature and function of the concept. Lorenzo Maniscalco links these developments to the early modern identification of equity with Aristotelian epieikeia, a conceptual shift that brought down the barrier that divided theological and legal writings on equity and led to its development as a tool for the interpretation and amendment of legal rules.
The Exemplary Hercules explores the reception of the ancient Greek hero Herakles – the Roman Hercules – in European culture from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment and beyond. Each chapter considers a particular work or theme in detail, raising questions about the hero’s role as model of the princely ruler, and examining how the worthiness of this exemplary type came, in time, to be subverted. The volume is one of four to be published in the Metaforms series examining the extraordinarily persistent figuring of Herakles-Hercules in western culture up to the present day, drawing together scholars from a range of disciplines to offer a unique insight into the hero’s perennial, but changingly problematic, appeal.
Beauty, Invention, and Intelligence
This volume presents fourteen papers originally delivered at the international conference Filippino Lippi: Beauty, Invention and Intelligence, at the Dutch University Institute (NIKI), Florence in 2017. Filippino (1457-1504), although one of the most original and gifted artists of the Florentine renaissance, has attracted less scholarly attention than his father Fra Filippo Lippi or his master Botticelli, and very little has been published on him in English. This book, authored by leading Renaissance art historians, covers diverse aspects of Filippino Lippi’s art: his role in Botticelli’s workshop; his Lucchese patrons; his responses to Netherlandish painting; portraits; space and temporality; the restoration of the Strozzi Chapel in Santa Maria Novella, Florence; his immediate artistic legacy and nineteenth-century critical reception.
The Gouda Windows (1552-1572): Art and Catholic Renewal on the Eve of the Dutch Revolt offers the first complete analysis of the cycle of monumental Renaissance stained-glass windows donated to the Sint Janskerk in Gouda, after a fire gutted it in 1552. Central among the donors were king Philip II of Spain and bishop of Utrecht Joris van Egmond, who worked together to reform the Church. The inventor of the iconographic program, a close associate to the bishop as well as the king, strove to renew Catholic art by taking the words of Jesus as a starting point. Defining Catholic religion based on widely accepted biblical truths, the ensemble shows that the Mother Church can accommodate all true Christians.
Music as Theology in the Spanish Empire
Hearing Faith explores the ways Roman Catholics in the seventeenth-century Spanish Empire used music to connect faith and hearing. From the Royal Chapel in Madrid to Puebla Cathedral in colonial Mexico, communities celebrated Christmas and other feasts with villancicos, a widespread genre of vernacular poetry and devotional music. A large proportion of villancico texts directly address the nature of hearing and the power of music to connect people to God. By interpreting complex and fascinating examples of “music about music” in the context of contemporary theological writing, the book shows how Spanish Catholics embodied their beliefs about music, through music itself. Listening closely to these previously undiscovered and overlooked archival sources reveals how Spanish subjects listened and why.
From a modern point of view, the four volumes of the Atlantica of Olaus Rudbeck the elder (1630-1702) seem to be not only the climax of Gothicism, but a key example of an early modern polymath. In Odins Imperium Bernd Roling reconstructs Rudbeck’s immense influence at Scandinavian universities, the debates he provoked, his manifold reception in early modern academic culture and the role Rudbeckianism played as paradigm of science until the Swedish romanticism of the 19th century. Taking into account all branches of science, Bernd Roling illustrates in detail Rudbeck’s majestic impact on antiquarianism, national mythology, and also on religious sciences and linguistics, but also documents the massive criticism the scholar from Uppsala received almost immediately.