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Investing in the Early Modern Built Environment

Europeans, Asians, Settlers and Indigenous Societies


Edited by Carole Shammas

Today the bulk of tangible wealth around the globe resides in buildings and physical infrastructure rather than moveable goods. This situation was not always the case. Investing in the Early Modern Built Environment represents the first attempt to delve into the period’s enhanced architectural investment—its successes, its failures, and the conflicts it provoked. Not just cultural but clear economic and environmental reasons existed for a rejection of the new architectural agenda. Whatever its efficacy or flaws, it ultimately served as a model worldwide for cityscapes and housing well into the twentieth century.

Contributors include Jordan Sand, Robin Pearson, John Broad, Kiyoko Yamaguchi, Steven W. Hackel, Susan E. Hough, Johnathan Farris, Matthew Mulcahy, Charles Walker, Emma Hart, Chad Anderson, Ross H. Cordy, Grace Karskens, and Carole Shammas.
Brill’s Military Architecture 1600-1900 contains a selection of 99 printed works that represents the revolutionary developments in fortification in Early Modern Europe in theory and in practice. Similar to the arts, military architecture was split up in national schools or styles, so called fortification manners. The works of Busca, Cattaneo, De Marchi, Tensini, Theti, Zanchi, reflect the Italian School, Errard and Perret the French one and Specklin’s Architektur von Vestungen is an adaptation of the Italian school in Germany. Stevin’s Sterctenbouwing discusses Cattaneo, Theti and Specklin to assess the benefits of their fortification systems for the Low Countries. The later French school is well represented by Pagan and the works of probably the most famous engineer of all times, Vauban. His various “fortification manners” were applied all over Europe and beyond. The selected works of Menno van Coehoorn reveal how the French system was introduced in the Netherlands, while the works of Paen, Melder, Ruysch and Sturm are illustrative for the heavy debates that resulted from adapting such complex systems to the nordic situation. While these works in Military Architecture 1600-1900 allow for a comparative analysis in text and image of European fortification schools, others focus on more local conditions such as Stevin’s works in Dutch and French on the role of pivoted sluices in the fortifications of various harbor towns. Moreover, Military Architecture 1600-1900 provides insight in the training of fortification in theory and practice for multiple “user-groups”. While the works of the classical authors Caesar, Valturius and Vegetius were used for the philological study of the military arts at universities, the reality of warfare required for training of practical skills for engineers and landsurveyors in the field. Translations of Euclid, works on the practice of geometry and landsurveying (Mallet, Nienrode, Metius, Sems&Dou) were filling that gap.

Although Military Architecture 1600-1900 represents the protagonists of the history of fortification, it also includes lesser known authors such as Bruist, Capo-Bianco, Gaya, Gerbier and Pfeffinger. Moreover, the selection does not limit itself to military architecture, but includes the military arts (artillery, army camps, siege) and history.

Prof.dr. Charles van den Heuvel, Huygens ING and University of Amsterdam

This collection was published earlier in a microfiche collection by IDC Publishers.


Karl Enenkel and Konrad Ottenheym

roots in a distant past, which one may call “antiquity”. In late medieval and early modern Europe, “antiquity” was all the more important because political authority was formally based on lineage. In early modern times, all over Europe ruling princes, their courtiers, the civic elite, etc., were


Barbara Arciszewska

more tangible era to the understanding of the early modern Poles, especially through evocative medieval buildings. Yet, as I will demonstrate below, while the Middle Ages did not function in early modern Polish historiography as a distinct period, 3 the architecture of the Commonwealth was much more


Sophie Maríñez


This chapter offers a brief review of women patrons and examines the question of self-construction in the works of women patrons and writers who preceded Montpensier, including Christine de Pizan, Anne of Brittany, and Diane de Poitiers. Drawing from Judith Butler’s notions of “citationality” and “re-signification,” it argues that their works stand as precedents of strategies of resistance and/or re-negotiation of gender constructs that circumscribed their lives. After examining Christine de Pizan’s discursive strategies for the defense of women, self-authorization, and self-legitimation in her Book of the City of Ladies, it focuses on Anne of Brittany’s and Diane de Poitiers’s patronage. The former, who knew of Christine’s works, enlarged the château of the Dukes of Brittany, inscribing the signs of a re-negotiated identity as both Duchess of Brittany and Queen of France, and restructured her household by significantly increasing its size and the number of women, elevating their status and creating what became her highly praised “court of ladies.” “Citing” Christine de Pizan’s views through this patronage and these policies, Anne of Brittany laid the ground for their further dissemination among the female elite of her period. By contrast, Diane de Poitiers, Henri II’s favorite, commissioned Philibert Delorme to build Anet, a château that displays a complex image of chastity and sexual/divine power evoking both her loyalty to her late husband and her relationship with Henri II. The innovative, symbolic import at Anet also carries an ambiguity that destabilizes traditional constructs of gender hierarchies and re-signifies its female owner into a figure of divine power.

Mademoiselle de Montpensier

Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France


Sophie Maríñez

Mademoiselle de Montpensier: Writings, Châteaux, and Female Self-Construction in Early Modern France examines questions of self-construction in the works of Anne-Marie-Louise d’Orléans, Duchesse de Montpensier (1627-1693), the wealthiest unmarried woman in Europe at the time, a pro-women advocate, author of memoirs, letters and novels, and the commissioner of four châteaux and other buildings throughout France, including Saint-Fargeau, Champigny-sur-Veude, Eu, and Choisy-le-roi. An NEH-funded project, this study explores the interplay between writing and the symbolic import of châteaux to examine Montpensier’s strategies to establish herself as a woman with autonomy and power in early modern France.

The Key to Power?

The Culture of Access in Princely Courts, 1400-1750


Dries Raeymaekers and Sebastiaan Derks

Proximity to the monarch was a vital asset in the struggle for power and influence in medieval and early modern courts. The concept of ‘access to the ruler’ has therefore grown into a dominant theme in scholarship on pre-modern dynasties. Still, many questions remain concerning the mechanisms of access and their impact on politics. Bringing together new research on European and Asian cases, the ten chapters in this volume focus on the ways in which ‘access’ was articulated, regulated, negotiated, and performed. By taking into account the full complexity of hierarchies, ceremonial rites, spaces and artefacts that characterized the dynastic court, The Key to Power? forces us to rethink power relations in the late medieval and early modern world.

Contributors are: Christina Antenhofer, Ronald G. Asch, Florence Berland, Mark Hengerer, Neil Murphy, Fabian Persson, Jonathan Spangler, Michael Talbot, Steven Thiry, and Audrey Truschke.


Angelica Groom

skills as an illustrator of animals and plants found particular favour at the Medici court and why the grand duke was willing to support one of the most important research projects in early modern natural philosophy: Ulisse Aldrovandi’s thirteen-volume Natural History . 22 During his ten-year career as


Harald Hendrix

Whereas early modern intellectuals all over Europe were deeply informed by the orientation on classical culture their breeding had presented as preferred cultural and civic model, their understanding and appreciation of heritage was far more flexible. Though maintaining and indeed cultivating