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The Man Who Crucified Himself

Readings of a Medical Case in Nineteenth-Century Europe

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Maria Böhmer

The Man Who Crucified Himself is the history of a sensational nineteenth-century medical case. In 1805 a shoemaker called Mattio Lovat attempted to crucify himself in Venice. His act raised a furore, and the story spread across Europe. For the rest of the century Lovat’s case fuelled scientific and popular debates on medicine, madness, suicide and religion. Drawing on Italian, German, English and French sources, Maria Boehmer traces the multiple readings of the case and identifies various 'interpretive communities'. Her meticulously researched study sheds new light on Lovat’s case and offers fresh insights on the case narrative as a genre - both epistemic and literary.
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The Peregrine Profession

Transnational Mobility of Nordic Engineers and Architects, 1880-1930

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Per-Olof Grönberg

In The Peregrine Profession Per-Olof Grönberg offers an account of the pre-1930 transnational mobility of engineers and architects educated in the Nordic countries 1880-1919. Outlining a system where learning mobility was more important than labour market mobility, the author shows that more than every second graduate went abroad. Transnational mobility was stronger from Finland and Norway than from Denmark and Sweden, partly because of slower industrialisation and deficiencies in the domestic technical education. This mobility included all parts of the world but concentrated on the leading industrial countries in German speaking Europe and North America. Significant majorities returned and became agents of technology transfer and technical change. Thereby, these mobile graduates also became important for Nordic industrialisation
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Invisible Bicycle

Parallel Histories and Different Timelines

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Tiina Männistö-Funk and Timo Myllyntaus

The Invisible Bicycle brings together different insights into the social, cultural and economic history of the bicycle and cycling in historical eras of ubiquitous bicycle use that have remained relatively invisible in bicycle history. It revisits the typical timeline of cycling’s decline in the 1950s and 1960s and the renaissance beginning in the 1970s by bringing forth the large national and local variations, varying uses and images of the bicycle, and different bicycle cultures as well as their historical background and motivations. To understand the role, possibilities and challenges of the bicycle today, it is necessary to know the history that has formed them. Therefore The Invisible Bicycle is recommended also to present-day practitioners and planners of bicycle mobility.

Contributors are: Peter Cox, Martin Emanuel, Tiina Männistö-Funk, Timo Myllyntaus, Nicholas Oddy, Harry Oosterhuis, William Steele, Manuel Stoffers, Sue-Yen Tjong Tjin Tai, Frank Veraart.
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Die Geheimnisse der oberen und der unteren Welt ( The Secrets of the Upper and the Lower World) is a substantial new collection of essays on magic in Islamic cultural history. Both comprehensive and innovative in its approach, this book offers fresh insights into an important yet still understudied area of Islamic intellectual history. The eighteen chapters deal with key aspects of Islamic magic, including its historical developments, geographical variants, and modern-day practices. The general introduction identifies and problematizes numerous sub-topics and key practitioners/theoreticians in the Arabo-Islamic context. This, along with terminological and bibliographical appendices, makes the volume an unparalleled reference work for both specialists and a broader readership. Contributors: Hinrich Biesterfeldt, Johann Christoph Bürgel, Hans Daiber; Sebastian Günther, Mahmoud Haggag, Maher Jarrar, Fabian Käs, Ulrich Marzolph, Christian Mauder, Tobias Nünlist, Khanna Omarkhali, Anette Pruschke, Eva Orthmann, Bernd-Christian Otto, Dorothee Pielow, Lutz Richter-Bernburg, Hanne Schönig, Johanna Schott & Johannes Thomann.
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Encountering Crises of the Mind

Madness, Culture and Society, 1200s-1900s

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Mental health and madness have been challenging topics for historians. The field has been marked by tension between the study of power, expertise and institutional control of insanity, and the study of patient experiences. This collection contributes to the ongoing discussion on how historians encounter mental ‘crises’. It deals with diagnoses, treatments, experiences and institutions largely outside the mainstream historiography of madness – in what might be described as its peripheries and borderlands (from medieval Europe to Cold War Hungary, from the Atlantic slave coasts to Indian princely states, and to the Nordic countries). The chapters highlight many contests and multiple stakeholders involved in dealing with mental suffering, and the importance of religion, lay perceptions and emotions in crises of mind.

Contributors are Jari Eilola, Waltraud Ernst, Anssi Halmesvirta, Markku Hokkanen, Kalle Kananoja, Tuomas Laine-Frigrén, Susanna Niiranen, Anu Rissanen, Kirsi Tuohela, and Jesper Vaczy Kragh.
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Ileana Chinnici

In Decoding the Stars, Ileana Chinnici offers an account of the life of the Jesuit scientist Angelo Secchi (1818-1878). As well as providing an invaluable account of Secchi’s life and work—something that has been sorely lacking in the English-language scholarship—this biography will be especially stimulating for those interested in the evolution of astronomy as a discipline from the nineteenth century onward. Despite his eclecticism, reminiscent of the natural philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Secchi was in many ways a very modern scientist: open to innovation and cooperation, and a promoter of popularization and citizen science. Secchi also appears fully inserted in the cultural context of his time: he participated in philosophical and scientific debates, spread new theories and ideas, but also suffered the consequences of political events that marked those years and impacted on his life and activities.
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Laura Caso Barrera

In Chilam Balam of Ixil Laura Caso Barrera translates for the first time a Yucatec Maya document that resulted from the meticulous reading by the Colonial Maya of various European texts such as the Bible and the Poem of the Mío Cid, as well as various studies on astronomy, astrology, calendars, and medicine.

The Maya, showing considerable astuteness and insight, appropriated this knowledge. With this study and facsimile, experts can further their knowledge of Mayan calendars or traditional medicine; and Mayan enthusiasts can discover more about the culture’s world view and history.



En el Chilam Balam de Ixil Laura Caso Barrera traduce por primera vez un documento en maya yucateco, que resultó de la minuciosa lectura que realizaron los mayas coloniales de distintos textos europeos como la Biblia o el Cantar del Mío Cid, así como de diversos estudios de astronomía, astrología, calendarios y medicina.

Con astucia y perspicacia, los mayas hicieron propio ese saber. Con esta edición, los expertos podrán ahondar en las anotaciones calendáricas o la medicina tradicional maya; y los amantes de esta cultura conocerán otros aspectos de su pensamiento e historia.

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Biological Time, Historical Time

Transfers and Transformations in 19th Century Literature

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Biological Time, Historical Time presents a new approach to 19th century thought and literature: by focussing on the subject of time, it offers a new perspective on the exchanges between French and German literary texts on the one hand and scientific disciplines on the other. Hence, the rivalling influences of the historical sciences and of the life sciences on literary texts are explored, texts from various scientific domains – medicine, natural history, biology, history, and multiple forms of vulgarisation – are investigated. Literary texts are analysed in their participation in and transformation of the scientific imagination. Special attention is accorded to the temporal dimension: this allows for an innovative account of key concepts of 19th century culture.
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First published as a special issue of the journal Medieval Encounters (vol. 23, 2017), this volume, edited by Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Charles Burnett, Silke Ackermann, and Ryan Szpiech, brings together fourteen studies on various aspects of the astrolabe in medieval cultures. The astrolabe, developed in antiquity and elaborated throughout the Middle Ages, had a variety of uses, amongst which timekeeping, surveying, and astrological applications were the most common. It was also associated with power and luxury in many Muslim and Christian courts, where astrologers (frequently Jews) used it to forecast the future of the kingdom. By considering sources and instruments from Muslim, Christian, and Jewish contexts, this volume provides state-of-the-art research on the history and use of the astrolabe throughout the Middle Ages.
Contributors are Silke Ackermann, Emilia Calvo, John Davis, Laura Fernández Fernández, Miquel Forcada, Azucena Hernández, David A. King, Taro Mimura, Günther Oestmann, Josefina Rodríguez-Arribas, Sreeramula Rajeswara Sarma, Petra G. Schmidl, Giorgio Strano, Flora Vafea, and Johannes Thomann.