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Byzantium in the Time of Troubles

The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes (1057-1079)

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Eric McGeer and John Nesbitt

The years before and after the battle of Manzikert (1071) mark a turning point in the history of the Byzantine Empire. The invasions of the Seljuk Turks in the east and the encroachment of the Normans from the west altered the balance of power in the eastern Mediterranean and forced the Byzantines to confront new threats to their survival. These threats came at a time when internal rivalries made an effective military response all but impossible and led to a significant transformation of the Byzantine polity under the Komnenoi.
The Continuation of the Chronicle of John Skylitzes, now translated for the first time, provides a contemporary view of these troubled times. An extension of the principal source for the middle Byzantine period, and a subtle reworking of the History of Michael Attaleiates, the Continuation offers a high court official’s narrative of the events and personages that shaped the course of Byzantine history on the eve of the Crusades.

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Edited by Jeremy Armstrong and Matthew Trundle

Brill’s Companion to Sieges in the Ancient Mediterranean is a wide-ranging exploration of sieges and siege warfare as practiced and experienced by the cultures which lived around the ancient Mediterranean basin. From Pharaonic Egypt to Renaissance Italy, and from the Neo-Assyrian Empire to Hellenistic Greece and Roman Gaul, case studies by leading experts probe areas of both synergy and divergence within this distinctive form of warfare amongst the cultures in this broadly shared environment.

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Manuel Lomas

The development of the Spanish Navy in the early modern Mediterranean triggered a change in the balance of political and economic power for the coastal populations of the Hispanic Monarchy. The establishment of new permanent squadrons, endowed with very broad jurisdictional powers, was the cause of many conflicts with the local authorities and had a direct influence on the economic and production activities of the region. Manuel Lomas analyzes the progressive consolidation of these institutions in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, their influence on the mechanisms of justice and commerce, and how they contributed to the reconfiguration of the jurisdictional system that governed the maritime trade in the Mediterranean.

The Mandate of Heaven

Strategy, Revolution, and the First European Translation of 'Sunzi’s Art of War' (1772)

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Adam Parr

The Mandate of Heaven examines the first European version of Sunzi’s Art of War, which was translated from Chinese by Joseph Amiot, a French missionary in Beijing, and published in Paris in 1772. His work is presented in English for the first time. Amiot undertook this project following the suppression of the Society of Jesus in France with the aim of demonstrating the value of the China mission to the French government. He addressed his work to Henri Bertin, minister of state, beginning a thirty-year correspondence between the two men. Amiot framed his translation in order to promote a radical agenda using the Chinese doctrine of the “mandate of heaven.” This was picked up within the sinophile and radical circle of the physiocrats, who promoted China as a model for revolution in Europe. The work also arrived just as the concept of strategy was emerging in France. Thus Amiot’s Sunzi can be placed among seminal developments in European political and strategic thought on the eve of the revolutionary era.

Ottoman War and Peace

Studies in Honor of Virginia H. Aksan

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Edited by Frank Castiglione, Ethan Menchinger and Veysel Şimşek

The articles compiled in Ottoman War & Peace. Studies in Honor of Virginia H. Aksan, honor the prolific career of a foremost scholar of the Ottoman Empire, and engage in redefining the boundaries of Ottoman historiography. Blending micro and macro approaches, the volume covers topics from the sixteenth to twentieth centuries related to the Ottoman military and warfare, biography and intellectual history, and inter-imperial and cross-cultural relations. Through these themes, this volume seeks to bring out and examine the institutional and socio-political complexity of the Ottoman Empire and its peoples.

Contributors are Eleazar Birnbaum, Maurits van den Boogert, Palmira Brummett, Frank Castiglione, Linda Darling, Caroline Finkel, Molly Greene, Jane Hathaway, Colin Heywood, Douglas Howard, Christine Isom-Verhaaren, Dina Khoury, Ethan L. Menchinger, Victor Ostapchuk, Leslie Peirce, James A. Reilly, Will Smiley, Mark Stein, Kahraman Şakul, Veysel Şimşek, Feryal Tansuğ, Baki Tezcan, Fatih Yeşil, Aysel Yıldız.

Peter von Danzig

The Story of a Great Caravel, 1462-1475

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Beata Możejko

This study traces the chequered history of Peter von Danzig, a French caravel which was inadvertently taken over by Gdańsk (Danzig). Beata Możejko charts the fluctuating and often dramatic fortunes of the caravel, from her arrival in Gdańsk as a merchantman in 1462 to her demise near La Rochelle in 1475. The author examines the caravel’s role as a warship during the Anglo-Hanseatic conflict, and her most famous operation, when she was used by Gdańsk privateer Paul Beneke to capture a Burgundian galley with a rich cargo that included Hans Memling’s Last Judgement triptych.
Using literary and archival sources, Możejko provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of the information available about the caravel and her colourful career.

Science, (Anti-)Communism and Diplomacy

The Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs in the Early Cold War

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Edited by Alison Kraft and Carola Sachse

From 1957 onwards, the Pugwash Conferences brought together elite scientists from across ideological and political divides to work towards disarmament. Through a series of national case studies - Austria, China, Czechoslovakia, East and West Germany, the US and USSR – this volume offers a critical reassessment of the development and work of “Pugwash” nationally, internationally, and as a transnational forum for Track II diplomacy. This major new collection of work reveals the difficulties that Pugwash scientists encountered as they sought to reach across the blocs, create a channel for East-West dialogue and realize on the project’s founding aim of influencing state actors. Uniquely, the book affords a sense of the contingent and contested process by which the network-like organization took shape around the conferences.

Contributors are Gordon Barrett, Matthew Evangelista, Silke Fengler, Alison Kraft, Fabian Lüscher, Doubravka Olšáková, Geoffrey Roberts, Paul Rubinson, and Carola Sachse.

The Treaties of Carlowitz (1699)

Antecedents, Course and Consequences

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Edited by Ivan Parvev and Colin Heywood

The Treaties of Carlowitz (1699) includes recent studies on the Lega Sacra War of 1683-1699 against the Ottoman Empire, the Peace treaties of Carlowitz (1699), and on the general impact of the conflict upon Modern Europe and the Balkans. With its contributions written by well-known international specialists in the field, the volume demonstrates that sometimes important conflicts tend to be forgotten with time, overshadowed by more spectacular wars, peace congresses or diplomatic alliances. The “Long War” of 1683-1699 is a case in point. By re-thinking and re-writing the history of the conflict and the subsequent peacemaking between a Christian alliance and the Ottoman state at the end of the 17th century, new perspectives, stretching into the present era, for the history of Europe, the Balkans and the Near East are brought into discussion.

Contributors are: Tatjana Bazarova, Maurits van den Boogert, John Paul Ghobrial, Abdullah Göllüoglu, Zoltan Györe, Colin Heywood, Lothar Höbelt, Erica Ianiro, Charles Ingrao, Dzheni Ivanova, Kirill Kochegarov, Dariusz Kołodziejzcyk, Hans Georg Majer, Ivan Parvev, Arno Strohmeier.

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David Bramoullé

The Fatimids (10th - 12th centuries C.E) are known to have been the first Shiite caliphal dynasty and to have founded Cairo, the city that became their capital in 973 when they left Tunisia for Egypt. During their reign, the Fatimids built an effective war fleet that inflicted several defeats on Christian navies. This is the first study on the Fatimid naval force and, more generally, on the role of the sea for the Fatimids whose territories touched both the Mediterranean and the Red Sea. The documentation presented in this study demonstrates how, in the course of two centuries, this Ismaeli dynasty set up a maritime policy and developed a communication strategy in which their control of the sea helped legitimize their universalist claims against competing powers. Les Fatimides (10e -12e s. ap. J.-C) sont connus pour avoir été la première dynastie califale chiite et pour avoir fondé Le Caire qui devint leur capitale à partir de 973 lorsque la dynastie quitta la Tunisie actuelle pour s’installer en Egypte et prendre possession d’un empire qui s’étendait de l’Algérie orientale jusqu’à la Syrie en passant par la Sicile et certains territoires de la péninsule arabique. Durant leur règne, ils disposèrent d’une flotte de guerre efficace qui infligea plusieurs défaites aux marines chrétiennes. Au-delà de la chronologie des batailles navales, aucune étude n’existait sur le rôle de cette force navale et plus généralement sur le rôle de la mer pour les Fatimides dont les territoires touchaient à la fois la Méditerranée et la mer Rouge. La documentation met pourtant en évidence que sur durant plus de deux siècles, les Fatimides mirent en place une politique maritime qui dépassait largement les considérations militaires. Ils développèrent ainsi une stratégie de communication dans laquelle la mer jouait un rôle majeur pour à la fois légitimer les prétentions universalistes de cette dynastie ismaélienne face à des pouvoirs concurrents et pour lui permettre de survivre.

Boiotia in Ancient Times

Some Studies of Its Topography, History, Cults and Myths

John M. Fossey

This is the concluding volume presenting results of the author’s fieldwork spread over more than fifty years concerning the Archaeology and Topography of Ancient Boiotia that includes also discussions of the distribution within the topography of certain ancient cults, especially those of Artemis, Herakles and the Horseman Hero. Within the more purely topographic section there is much discussion of regional defense systems, all set against the history of the Boiotian League, especially its early coinage, its origins and its confrontation with Sparta and the pivotal battle of Leuktra.