Performing Splendour in Catholic and Protestant Contexts
A multidisciplinary international group of scholars study the concept of magnificence as a social construction in seventeenth-century Europe. Although this period is previously described as the ‘Age of Magnificence’, thus far no attempts have been made to look how the term and the concept of magnificence functioned. The authors focus on the way crucial ethical, religious, political, aesthetic, and cultural developments interacted with thought on magnificence in Catholic and Protestant contexts, analysing spectacular civic and courtly festivities and theatre, impressive displays of painting and sculpture in rich architectural settings, splendid gardens, exclusive etiquette, grand households, and learned treatises of moral philosophy.
Contributors are: Lindsay Alberts, Stijn Bussels, Jorge Fernández-Santos, Anne-Madeleine Goulet, Elizabeth den Hartog, Michèle-Caroline Heck, Miguel Hermoso Cuesta, José Eloy Hortal Muñoz, Félix Labrador Arroyo, Victoire Malenfer, Alessandro Metlica, Alessandra Mignatti, Anne-Françoise Morel, Matthias Roick, Kathrin Stocker, Klaas Tindemans, and Gijs Versteegen.
Author: Marcel Danesi
In Pi (π)in Nature, Art, and Culture Marcel Danesi revisits the importance of π as a pattern in the structure of reality, fitting in with the Pythagorean view of Order. Pi has cropped up in formulas that describe natural and physical structures which, on the surface, seem to have nothing to do with a circle, but might harbor the archetype of circularity as a principle.

Through π, this book thus revisits the implicit ancient Greek view that geometry was a “hermeneutic science,” a discipline aiming to investigate the connectivity among numbers, shapes, and natural phenomena. It also examines its manifestations in aesthetic, symbolic and cultural structures, which point to an abiding fascination with the circle as an unconscious archetype. Hermeneutic geometry is ultimately about the exploration of the meanings of geometric-mathematical notions to science and human life.
California Sojourns in Five Lessons
Site-Seeing Aesthetics: California Sojourns in Five Lessons takes the reader to Dodger Stadium, Fort Ross, Chinese Camp, the Winchester House, and letters from the Gold Country in a writing and reading of cultural time and site performance. These sojourns’ are informed by insights from among other literary and cultural studies, site-specific performance studies, human geography, archeology, and history into a kind of “literary chorography.” Along the road, the book considers how places come before us as dramatized, hybrid creations of layered and “haunted” scripts. In its interdisciplinary nature, Site-Seeing in California thus gestures to alternate paths into our time’s fascination with place, region, and memory, engaging also with questions of and dialogues between region and transnationalism in their aesthetic reflections.
Author: Sofia Zoitou
In Staging Holiness. The Case of Hospitaller Rhodes (ca. 1309-1522) Sofia Zoitou offers a study of the history of relic collections, devotional rituals and sites invested with special meaning in Rhodes, during a time when the island became one of the most frequented ports of call for ships carrying pilgrims from Venice to the Holy Land. Scrutinizing late medieval travel reports by pilgrims from all over Europe along with extant historical, archaeological, visual and material evidence, Sofia Zoitou traces the various forms of the Rhodian cultic sites’ evolution and perception, ultimately considered as an overall artistic strategy of the staging the sacred.
Das Buch untersucht allegorische Wandbilder des Trecento als Medien öffentlicher Bildpolitik und beleuchtet die künstlerischen Verfahren über die sie gesellschaftliche Wissensdiskurse mitbestimmen.
Mit Bildprogrammen wie dem Planeten-Lebensalter-Zyklus Guarientos in der Paduaner Eremitanikirche oder der sogenannten Allegorie des Wissens suchen institutionelle Auftraggeber sich an der Schnittstelle von gelehrter Wissenskultur und verfeinerter Bildkultur zu verorten. Ebenso exponierte wie kontroverse Wissensbestände aus den Bereichen von Philosophie, Theologie und Naturkunde gehen hier mit avancierten künstlerischen Lösungen einher. Anhand der Leitbegriffe Allegorie, Imitation und Medialität zeigt die Studie, inwiefern künstlerische Techniken und Handwerkswissen, Materialitäten und ästhetische Strategien die begrifflichen Gehalte konkretisieren, kontextualisieren oder semantisieren.
In À l’ombre des grandes puissances de Mésopotamie. Une histoire du Sūhu à l’époque néo-assyrienne, Philippe Clancier studies the Sūhu region of the Euphrates river, on the border of Assyria and Babylonia. He reconstructs its geography by presenting the fauna and flora, and by identifying sites and the layout of traffic routes. After going back to the 2nd millennium BC to explain the origin of its main dynasty, he highlights the partition of Sūhu into two main kingdoms before its reunification in the 8th century BC and its later conquest by Assyria. Thanks to an interdisciplinary approach that combines written sources, archaeological data and travellers’ accounts, Philippe Clancier offers for the first time a history of this region in the neo-Assyrian period.
From the 16th through to the 18th century, printed disputations were the main academic output of universities. This genre is especially attractive as it deals with the most significant cultural and scientific innovations of the early modern period, such as the printing revolution and the development of new methods in philosophy, education and scholarly exchange via personal networks.
Until recently, academic disputations have attracted comparatively little scholarly attention. This volume provides for the first time a comprehensive study of the early modern disputation culture, both through theoretical discussions and overviews, and numerous case studies that analyze particular features of disputations in various European regions.