During the War of the League of Cambrai (1509–16), Venice’s extensive mainland empire came under attack.The conflict led Venetians of all social strata to debate the value—and future—of their Stato da terra.Although many came to favor its renunciation, a small group of powerful nobles exerted their influence to pursue its recovery.This article proposes that these patricians promoted their strategy through the calculated commission of prominent sculptural projects for churches that celebrated the conflict’s greatest military success, the reclamation of Padua.These projects included three tom
This article uses a diachronic lens to examine the way in which humanistic attitudes towards classical civil religion, particularly Roman religion, changed over the course of the sixteenth century.Using princely tracts from across sixteenth-century Europe, the study argues that Reformation disputes and Machiavelli’s enthusiasm for “false” Roman religion pushed anti-Machiavellians to classify religion as a set of doctrines in place of its more traditional classification as a species of the moral virtue of justice.This focus on doctrine and religious veracity drove later sixteenth-century wri
This article explores the substantive influence that Lucretius’s poem De rerum natura had on Girolamo Fracastoro’s (1478–1553) theory of contagion.Perhaps the first early modern intellectual to systematically adopt Lucretius’s experiential epistemology, Fracastoro was also one of the very few who picked up on Lucretius’s insistency on the crucial importance of tactility.Tactus is, for Lucretius, not only the bodily sense par excellence, but also—understood as atomic contact—the ontological mechanism that articulates generation and corruption.Fracastoro’s theory of contagio
The author’s research aims to present a comprehensive and contextualizing history of cryptography based on the rich source material of early modern Hungary.Cryptography will be contextualized in a wide range of social strata, integrated into the larger intellectual milieu of secrecy.This article surveys the most important source types of research in the field of diplomacy, private correspondence, espionage, student handbooks, and personal diaries.
This article discusses the centrality of Vergilianism in the neo-Latin literature of High Renaissance Rome. Poets and intellectuals in Rome appropriated the themes, language, and episodes of Vergil’s texts to articulate a vision for papal Rome in the early sixteenth century. The works of the Roman humanist Egidio Gallo, situated within the framework of the texts of more notable poets associated with early cinquecento Rome, provide a clear example of this phenomenon.
After a long debate the Council of Trent decided against the validity of marriages contracted informally, without a public ceremony.Marriages without parental consent, however, remained valid. These decisions are frequently described as a pragmatic compromise, where one controversial reform was rejected in favor of another, equally controversial. Yet there was, as this article will show, a significant difference in how the delegates addressed the questions of publicity and parental consent.
This article reconsiders Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Triton Fountain and Fountain of the Bees, both commissioned by Pope Urban VIII Barberini. Modern scholarship, citing a Renaissance emblem in which Triton represents “immortality acquired by literary study,” has asserted that the Triton Fountain is a statement on the literary achievements of Urban, who was a poet of some note. In classical literature, however, Triton often appears as a combatant in divinely sanctioned warfare.