The “Hairy War” (1640–50): Historicizing the Bible in the Dutch Republic on the Eve of Spinoza

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This article argues that the textual criticism and historicization of the Bible was not the prerogative of radical thinkers, but was developed within the boundaries of orthodox Calvinism and widely disseminated in the 1640s in the Dutch Republic. Since this biblical philology was of a high standard, it makes little sense to label the time before Spinoza as a “precritical” period.

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A Model Widow: The Portrait of Vittoria Orsini in Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome

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The portrait bust of Vittoria della Tolfa Orsini (d. August/September 1586) occupies the central niche of her funerary monument, opposite that of her husband, in the chapel she erected in Santa Maria in Aracoeli, Rome. Visual and documentary evidence challenges the assumption that the chapel’s ensemble, and the portrait in particular, realized the donor’s intentions. Indeed, the bust was likely a late addition arranged by Orsini’s heir. The portrait’s gaunt face has been regarded as unsparingly frank.

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Patrick Finglas’s A Breviat of the Conquest of Ireland and of the Decay of the Same, ca. 1535, and the Tudor Conquest of Ireland

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Anglophone historians are generally familiar with a handful of treatises on Tudor Ireland, notably Edmund Spenser’s A View of the Present State of Ireland. Yet it is less known that there were over six hundred of these treatises written on Ireland during the sixteenth century, and that there is substantial reason to believe that one of the most significant of these was A Breviat of the Conquest of Ireland and of the Decay of the Same written by Patrick Finglas during the reign of Henry VIII.

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Class, Humanism, and Neo-Latin Epitaphs in Early Modern England: The Funerary Inscriptions of Elizabeth Cooke Hoby Russell

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Exploring the interplay between class and classical languages in early modern England, this essay examines the funerary inscriptions that Elizabeth Russell wrote for her male relatives. Most critical treatments of Russell’s funerary poetry have focused on her public self-representation as a grieving widow who used her classical education to evoke and circumvent early modern limitations on female speech.

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Queen Bees, Queen Bess, and the Gender Politics of Butler’s Feminine Monarchie

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SKU: 1541431173250

This article examines Charles Butler’s beekeeping treatise The Feminine Monarchie (1609), the first to popularize the notion of the queen bee. Butler espouses firsthand scientific knowledge in the empirical tradition, yet he includes a bizarre story of plague-stricken bees that are miraculously cured after fashioning a wax chapel for a Catholic Host. By examining Butler’s source story, exploring the history of beekeeping, and tracing connections between the Virgin Mary’s iconography and Elizabeth I, this article argues that Butler’s inclusion of the story enacts a critique of female power.

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Lord Have Mercy on Us: Broadsides and London Plague Life

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SKU: 1530287081704

This article examines Lord Have Mercy broadsides, a genre of cheap weekly publications that appeared during the seventeenth-century plague outbreaks. These texts included historical data about previous epidemics, remedies, prayers, and mortality figures for parishes in London. Readers of the Lord Have Mercies served as amateur demographers by recording mortality statistics for their local communities in spaces provided by the publisher.

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The Cranach Workshop and the Prophets of Baal: The Jewish Foil of Early Lutheran Community Building

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SKU: 1530286976218

The single panel Elijah and the Prophets of Baal, finished in 1545 by the Cranach workshop led by Lucas Cranach the Younger, resonates unpleasantly with the anti-Semitism of the early Lutheran community. This article connects the panel’s allegory of community building, its installation in the first Lutherandesignated chapel in Torgau, and Martin Luther’s anti-Semitic sermon consecrating the chapel.

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Henry VIII, János Szapolyai, and the Struggle for Hungary, 1526–36

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SKU: 1530286806033

This article examines Henry VIII’s response to the struggle between János Szapolyai and Ferdinand of Habsburg for the throne of Hungary in the decade following the Ottoman victory at the battle of Mohács in 1526. Hungary’s distinct geopolitical situation as the bulwark against Ottoman expansion into Christendom meant that this civil war was a conflict of international importance.

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Hearing Difference in Calvin's Geneva: From Margins to Center

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SKU: 1530286668320

This article puts hearing disability at the center of research on early Calvinism in Geneva, arguing that it allows us to observe the process by which new patterns of sensory communication were fashioned after the Reformation. The paper proposes to approach the Reformation as an epistemological shift that brought about a new moral definition of bodily conduct and sense perception, which constructed hearing differences afresh by determining what it meant to hear or listen properly.

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