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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.
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
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)
Editor: Therese Martin
The Medieval Iberian Treasury in the Context of Cultural Interchange—expanded beyond the special issue of Medieval Encounters from which it was drawn—centers on the magnificent treasury of San Isidoro de León to address wider questions about the meanings of cross-cultural luxury goods in royal-ecclesiastical settings during the central Middle Ages. Now fully open access and with an updated introduction to ongoing research, an additional chapter, composite bibliographies, and indices, this multidisciplinary volume opens fresh ways into the investigation of medieval objects and textiles through historical, art historical, and technical analyses. Carbon-14 dating, iconography, and social history are among the methods applied to material and textual evidence, together shining new light on the display of rulership in medieval Iberia.

Contributors are Ana Cabrera Lafuente, María Judith Feliciano, Julie A. Harris, Jitske Jasperse, Therese Martin, Pamela A. Patton, Ana Rodríguez, and Nancy L. Wicker.
Byzantium in Eastern European Visual Culture in the Late Middle Ages, edited by Maria Alessia Rossi and Alice Isabella Sullivan, engages with issues of cultural contact and patronage, as well as the transformation and appropriation of Byzantine artistic, theological, and political models, alongside local traditions, across Eastern Europe. The regions of the Balkan Peninsula, the Carpathian Mountains, and early modern Russia have been treated in scholarship within limited frameworks or excluded altogether from art historical conversations. This volume encourages different readings of the artistic landscapes of Eastern Europe during the late medieval period, highlighting the cultural and artistic productions of individual centers. These ought to be considered individually and as part of larger networks, thus revealing their shared heritage and indebtedness to artistic and cultural models adopted from elsewhere, and especially from Byzantium.
Zoutleeuw's Church of Saint Leonard and Religious Material Culture in the Low Countries (c. 1450-1620)
The Matter of Piety provides the first in-depth study of Zoutleeuw’s exceptionally well-preserved pilgrimage church in a comparative perspective, and revaluates religious art and material culture in Netherlandish piety from the late Middle Ages through the crisis of iconoclasm and the Reformation to Catholic restoration. Analyzing the changing functions, outlooks, and meanings of devotional objects – monumental sacrament houses, cult statues and altarpieces, and small votive offerings or relics – Ruben Suykerbuyk revises dominant narratives about Catholic culture and patronage in the Low Countries. Rather than being a paralyzing force, the Reformation incited engaged counterinitiatives, and the vitality of late medieval devotion served as the fertile ground from which the Counter-Reformation organically grew under Protestant impulses.
Author: Kersti Markus
Focusing on visual sources and the cultural landscape, Kersti Markus offers a fresh perspective on the Baltic crusades in Visual Culture and Politics in the Baltic Sea Region, 1100-1250. The book examines how visual propaganda was used by the Danish rulers as an instrument in establishing supremacy in the Baltic Sea region.

In recent decades, Danish historians have highlighted the central role of the Valdemar dynasty and the bishops supporting them in the Baltic crusades, but visual sources show how the entire society was mentally prepared for a journey with redemption waiting at the end. A New Jerusalem was being built in Scandinavia, and the crusade to Livonia was conducted under the banner of Christ.
Tributes to Prof. John Lowden from his Students, Friends and Colleagues
The twenty-eight essays in this collection showcase cutting-edge research in manuscript studies, encompassing material from late antiquity to the Renaissance. The volume celebrates the exceptional contribution of John Lowden to the study of medieval books. The authors explore some of the themes and questions raised in John’s work, tackling issues of meaning, making, patronage, the book as an object, relationships between text and image, and the transmission of ideas. They combine John’s commitment to the close scrutiny of manuscripts with an interrogation of what the books meant in their own time and what they mean to us now.
Sacred Skin offers the first systematic evaluation of the dissemination and development of the cult of St. Bartholomew in Spain. Exploring the paradoxes of hagiographic representation and their ambivalent effect on the observer, the book focuses on literary and visual testimonies produced from the emergence of a distinctive vernacular voice through to the formalization of Bartholomew’s saintly identity and his transformation into a key expression of Iberian consciousness. Drawing on and extending advances in cultural criticism, particularly theories of selfhood and the complex ontology of the human body, its five chapters probe the evolution of hagiographic conventions, demonstrating how flaying poses a unique challenge to our understanding of the nature and meaning of identity.
Editor: Samantha Kelly
A Companion to Medieval Ethiopia and Eritrea introduces readers to current research on major topics in the history and cultures of the Ethiopian-Eritrean region from the seventh century to the mid-sixteenth, with insights into foundational late-antique developments where appropriate. Multiconfessional in scope, it includes in its purview both the Christian kingdom and the Islamic and local-religious societies that have attracted increasing attention in recent decades, tracing their internal features, interrelations, and imbrication in broader networks stretching from Egypt and Yemen to Europe and India. Utilizing diverse source types and methodologies, its fifteen essays offer an up-to-date overview of the subject for students and nonspecialists, and are rich in material for researchers.

Contributors are Alessandro Bausi, Claire Bosc-Tiessé, Antonella Brita, Amélie Chekroun, Marie-Laure Derat, Deresse Ayenachew, François-Xavier Fauvelle, Emmanuel Fritsch, Alessandro Gori, Habtemichael Kidane, Margaux Herman, Bertrand Hirsch, Samantha Kelly, Gianfrancesco Lusini, Denis Nosnitsin, and Anaïs Wion.