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City Views in the Habsburg and Medici Courts

Depictions of Rhetoric and Rule in the Sixteenth Century

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Ryan E. Gregg

In City Views in the Habsburg and Medici Courts, Ryan E. Gregg relates how Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, and Duke Cosimo I of Tuscany employed city view artists such as Anton van den Wyngaerde and Giovanni Stradano to aid in constructing authority. These artists produced a specific style of city view that shared affinity with Renaissance historiographic practice in its use of optical evidence and rhetorical techniques. History has tended to see city views as accurate recordings of built environments. Bringing together ancient and Renaissance texts, archival material, and fieldwork in the depicted locations, Gregg demonstrates that a close-knit school of city view artists instead manipulated settings to help persuade audiences of the truthfulness of their patrons’ official narratives.
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Daniela Kah

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Forts, Castles and Society in West Africa

Gold Coast and Dahomey, 1450 - 1960

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Long regarded as disturbing remnants of the Atlantic slave trade, the European forts and castles of West Africa have attained iconic positions as universally significant historical monuments and world heritage tourist destinations. This volume of original contributions by leading Africanists presents extensive new historical views of the forts in Ghana and Benin, providing both impetus and a scholarly basis for further research and fresh debate about their historical and geographical contexts; their role in the slave trade; the economic and political connections, centred on the forts, between the Europeans and local African polities; and their place in variously focused heritage studies and endeavours.

Contributors are Hermann W. von Hesse, Daniel Hopkins, Jon Olav Hove, Ole Justesen, Ineke van Kessel, Robin Law, John Kwadwo Osei-Tutu, Jarle Simensen, Selena Axelrod Winsnes†, Larry Yarak.
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A Companion to Medieval Toledo

Reconsidering the Canons

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A Companion to Medieval Toledo. Reconsidering the Canons explores the limits of “Convivencia” through new and problematized readings of material familiar to specialists and offers a thoughtful initiation for the non-specialist into the historical, cultural, and religious complexity of the iconic city of Toledo. The volume seeks to understand the history and cultural heritage of the city as a result of fluctuating coexistence. Divided into three themed sections,- the essays consider additional material, new transcriptions, and perspectives that contribute to more nuanced understandings of traditional texts or events. The volume places this cultural history and these new readings into current scholarly debates and invites its readers to do the same.
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This volume explores the various strategies by which appropriate pasts were construed in scholarship, literature, art, and architecture in order to create “national”, regional, or local identities in late medieval and early modern Europe. Because authority was based on lineage, political and territorial claims were underpinned by historical arguments, either true or otherwise. Literature, scholarship, art, and architecture were pivotal media that were used to give evidence of the impressive old lineage of states, regions, or families. These claims were related not only to classical antiquity but also to other periods that were regarded as antiquities, such as the Middle Ages, especially the chivalric age. The authors of this volume analyse these intriguing early modern constructions of “antiquity” and investigate the ways in which they were applied in political, intellectual and artistic contexts in the period of 1400–1700.

Contributors include: Barbara Arciszewska, Bianca De Divitiis, Karl Enenkel, Hubertus Günther,Thomas Haye, Harald Hendrix, Stephan Hoppe, Marc Laureys, Frédérique Lemerle, Coen Maas, Anne-Françoise Morel, Kristoffer Neville, Konrad Ottenheym, Yves Pauwels, Christian Peters, Christoph Pieper, David Rijser, Bernd Roling, Nuno Senos, Paul Smith, Pieter Vlaardingerbroek, and Matthew Walker.
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Angelica Groom

The book examines the roles that rare and exotic animals played in the cultural self-fashioning and the political imaging of the Medici court during the family’s reign, first as Dukes of Florence (1532-1569) and subsequently as Grand Dukes of Tuscany (1569-1737). The book opens with an examination of global practices in zoological collecting and cultural uses of animals. The Medici’s activities as collectors of exotic species, the menageries they established and their deployment of animals in the ceremonial life of the court and in their art are examined in relation to this wider global perspective. e book seeks to nuance the myth promoted by the Medici themselves that theirs was the most successful princely serraglio in early modern Europe.