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Bringing together distinguished scholars in honor of Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz, this volume presents original and innovative research on the critical and uneasy relationship between authority and spectacle in the period from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, focusing on Spain, the Mediterranean and Latin America. Cultural scholars such as Professor Ruiz and his colleagues have challenged the notion that authority is elided with high politics, an approach that tends to be monolithic and disregards the uneven application and experience of power by elite and non-elite groups in society by highlighting the significance of spectacle. Taking such forms as ceremonies, rituals, festivals, and customs, spectacle is a medium to project and render visible power, yet it is also an ambiguous and contested setting, where participants exercise the roles of both actor and audience. Chapters in this collection consider topics such as monarchy, wealth and poverty, medieval cuisine and diet and textual and visual sources. The individual contributions in this volume collectively represent a timely re-examination of authority that brings in the insights of cultural theory, ultimately highlighting the importance of representation and projection, negotiation and ambivalence.
The Hanse in Medieval and Early Modern Europe discusses new research on this unique organization of towns and traders, and places the findings in the broader context of European economic, legal and social history.
Available in both one-volume and two-volume paperback editions, A History of Modern Europe presents a panoramic survey of modern Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. A single author lends a unified approach and consistent style throughout, with an emphasis on the connections of events and people over time. The Third Edition, like the two before it, is authoritative and up-to-date. New to the Third Edition is the theme of empire. From the imperial rivalries between France and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through the rise and fall of the Ottoman Turkish empire, and on into the imperial history of the twentieth century—decolonization, the spread of the Soviet empire, and the imperial power of the United States—the theme of empire helps students find commonalities among the events of European history.
This collection conceptualizes the question of rulership in past centuries, incorporating such diverse disciplines as archaeology, art history, history, literature and psychoanalysis to illustrate how kings and queens ruled in Europe from the antiquity to early modern times. It discusses forms of kingship such as client-kingship, monarchy, queen consort and regnant queenship that manifest gubernatorial power in concert with paternal succession and the divine right of the king. While the king assumes a religious dimension in his obligatory functions, justice and peace are vital elements to maintain his sovereignty. In sum, the active side of governmental power is to keep peace and order leading to prosperity for the subjects; the passive side of power is to protect the subjects from external attack and free them from fear. These concepts of power find concurrence in modern times as well as in non-European cultures. Through a truly cross-cultural, transnational, multidimensional, gender-conscious and interdisciplinary study, this collection offers a cutting edge account of how power has been exercised and demonstrated in various cultures of some bygone eras.
This volume examines the politics of space in the most densely urbanized areas of Europe during the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. It ranges from Italy to the Parisian region and then to the greater Low Countries, home of Europe's most powerful commercial cities of the period. Hardly inert sites on which political action took place, the spaces these authors investigate conferred power on those who possessed them. At the same time they were themselves transformed by the struggles, thus acquiring new powers that invited future contest. Thus implicitly responding to Georges Lefebvre's claim that space is produced, the authors ask how space was perceived and used in everyday life, giving specific spaces cultural, social, and political coherence (le percu); how it was represented or theorized, thus encoded in symbols, maps and laws (le concu); and how it was lived, in effect the result of the dialectical relation between the perceived and the represented (le vecu).
Urban ceremonial in the Middle Ages took various forms and served a number of different ends--private, collegial, political, and religious. Broadly construed, urban ceremonial included public functions of multiple sorts. From private, but public, celebrations of births, marriages, and deaths to the grand entries of rulers into cities, the spectacles were designed to impress events on collective memory. - from the Introduction.
Insights into power, spectacle, and performance in the courts of Middle Eastern rulers In recent decades, scholars have produced much new research on courtly life in medieval Europe, but studies on imperial and royal courts across the Middle East have received much less attention, particularly for courts before 1500AD. In the Presence of Power, however, sheds new light on courtly life across the region. This insightful, exploratory collection of essays uncovers surprising commonalities across a broad swath of cultures. The pre-modern period in this volume includes roughly seven centuries, opening with the first dynasty of Islam, the Umayyads, whose reign marked an important watershed for Late Antique culture, and closing with the rule of the so-called “gunpowder” empires of the Ottomans and Safavids over much of the Near East in the sixteenth century. In between, this volume locates similarities across the Western Medieval, Byzantine and Islamicate courtly cultures, spanning a vast history and geography to demonstrate the important cross-pollinations that occurred between their literary and cultural legacies. This study does not presume the presence of one shared courtly institution across time and space, but rather seeks to understand the different ways in which contemporaries experienced and spoke about these places of power and performance. Adopting a very broad view of performances, In the Presence of Power includes exuberant expressions of love in Arabic stories, shadow plays in Mamluk Cairo, Byzantine storytelling, religious food traditions in Christian Cyprus, advice, and political and ethnographic performances of power.

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