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Angelica Groom

The book examines the role 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. The book seeks to nuance the myth promoted by the Medici themselves that theirs was the most successful princely seraglio in early modern Europe.
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The Rites Controversies in the Early Modern World is a collection of fourteen articles focusing on debates concerning the nature of “rites” raging in intellectual circles of Europe, Asia and America in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The controversy started in Jesuit Asian missions where the method of accommodation, based on translation of Christianity into Asian cultural idioms, created a distinction between civic and religious customs. Civic customs were defined as those that could be included into Christianity and permitted to the new converts. However, there was no universal consensus among the various actors in these controversies as to how to establish criteria for distinguishing civility from religion. The controversy had not been resolved, but opened the way to radical religious scepticism.

Contributors are: Claudia Brosseder, Michela Catto, Gita Dharampal-Frick, Pierre Antoine Fabre, Ana Carolina Hosne, Ronnie Po-Chia Hsia, Giuseppe Marcocci, Ovidiu Olar, Sabina Pavone, István Perczel, Nicholas Standaert, Margherita Trento, Guillermo Wilde and Ines G. Županov.
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In the Name of the Battle against Piracy:

Ideas and Practices in State Monopoly of Maritime Violence in Europe and Asia in the Period of Transition

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In the Name of the Battle against Piracy discusses antipiracy campaigns in Europe and Asia in the 16th-19th centuries. Nine contributors argue how important antipiracy campaigns were for the establishment of a (colonial) state, because piracy was a threat not only to maritime commerce, but also to its sovereignty.

'Battle against piracy' offered a good reason for a state to claim its authority as the sole protector of people, and to establish peace, order, and sovereignty. In fact, as the contributors explain, the story was not that simple, because states sometimes attempted to make economic and political use of piracy, while private interests were strongly involved in antipiracy politics. State formation processes were not clearly separated from non-state elements.

Contributors are: Kudo Akihito, Satsuma Shinsuke, Suzuki Hideaki, Lakshmi Sabramanian, Ota Atsushi, James Francis Warren, Fujita Tatsuo, Murakami Ei, and Toyooka Yasufumi.

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Francesco Benci's Quinque Martyres

Introduction, Translation and Commentary

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Paul G. Gwynne

In 1583, five Jesuit brothers set out with the intention of founding a new church and mission in India. Their dream was almost immediately, and brutally, terminated by local opposition. When their massacre was announced in Rome, it was treated as martyrdom. Francesco Benci, professor of rhetoric at the Collegium Romanum, immediately set about celebrating their deaths in a new type of epic, distinct from, yet dependent upon, the classical tradition: Quinque martyres e Societate Iesu in India.
This is the first critical edition and translation of this important text. The commentary highlights both the classical sources and the historical and religious context of the mission. The introduction outlines Benci’s career and stresses his role as the founder of this vibrant new genre.

This volume is the first one for a new subseries in the 'Jesuit Studies' series: 'Jesuit Neo-Latin Library'.
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Leonard Blussé and Nie Dening

In The Chinese Annals of Batavia, the Kai Ba Lidai Shiji and Other Stories (1610-1795) Leonard Blussé and Nie Dening open up a veritable treasure trove of Chinese archival sources about the autonomous history of Chinese Batavia. The main part of this study is devoted to the annotated translation of a unique historical study of the Chinese community of Batavia (Jakarta) written by an anonymous Chinese author at the end of the 18th century, the Kai Ba Lidai Shiji. This historical document and a selection of other Chinese contemporary sources throw new light on a tragic event in the history of Southeast Asia’s overseas Chinese: the massacre of Batavia’s Chinese community in 1740.
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Prince, Pen, and Sword offers a synoptic interpretation of rulers and elites in Eurasia from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century. Four core chapters zoom in on the tensions and connections at court, on the nexus between rulers and religious authority, on the status, function, and self-perceptions of military and administrative elites respectively. Two additional concise chapters provide a focused analysis of the construction of specific dynasties (the Golden Horde and the Habsburgs) and narratives of kingship found in fiction throughout Eurasia. The contributors and editors, authorities in their fields, systematically bring together specialised literature on numerous Eurasian kingdoms and empires. This book is a careful and thought-provoking experiment in the global, comparative and connected history of rulers and elites.