Mouradgea d’Ohsson’s Tableau général de l’Empire othoman offered the Enlightenment Republic of Letters its most authoritative work on Islam and the Ottomans, also a practical reference work for kings and statesmen. Profusely illustrated and opening deep insights into illustrated book production in this period, this is also the richest collection of visual documentation on the Ottomans in a hundred years. Shaped by the author’s personal struggles, the work yet commands recognition in its own totality as a monument to inter-cultural understanding. In form one of the great taxonomic works of Enlightenment thought, this is a work of advocacy in the cause of reform and amity among France, Sweden, and the Ottoman Empire.
Mapping German Cities in Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia
Jasper Cornelis van Putten
In Networked Nation: Mapping German Cities in Sebastian Münster’s 'Cosmographia', Jasper van Putten examines the groundbreaking woodcut city views in the German humanist Sebastian Münster’s Cosmographia. This description of the world, published in Basel from 1544 to 1628, glorified the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and engendered the city book genre. Van Putten argues that Münster’s network of city view makers and contributors—from German princes and artists to Swiss woodcutters, draftsmen, and printers—expressed their local and national cultural identities in the views. The Cosmographia, and the city books it inspired, offer insights into the development of German and Swiss identity from 1550 to Switzerland’s independence from the empire in 1648.
Masterpiece of medieval manuscript production and decoration, its Latin text glossed throughout in Old English, the Lindisfarne Gospels is a vital witness to the book culture, art, and Christianity of the Anglo-Saxons and their interactions with Ireland, Italy, and the wider world. The expert studies in this collection examine in turn the archaeology of Holy Island, relations between Ireland and Northumbria, early Northumbrian book culture, the relationship of the Lindisfarne Gospels to the Church universal, the canon table apparatus of the manuscript, the decoration of its Canon Tables, its systems of liturgical readings, the mathematical principles underlying the design of its carpet pages, points of comparison and contrast with the Book of Durrow, the Latin and Old English texts, the nature of the glossator’s ink, and the meaning of enigmatic words and phrases within the vernacular gloss. Approaching the material from a series of new perspectives, the contributors shed new light on numerous aspects of this magnificent manuscript, its milieux, and its significance.