This article examines Swedish chancellor Axel Oxenstierna as an owner and reader of books. The possession of a library, though it was unremarkable when compared to other contemporary European ministerial libraries, was a political asset in Sweden. His library reflected his emulation of continental examples as well as his interests and status as one of the premier Protestant statesmen of the seventeenth century. His library allowed the chancellor to act as a patron to scholars and others who needed access to books, and thus served a public function.
The article examines selected evidence of Old Christian “philosemitism” from the mid-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in order to explain Judeophilia as a general phenomenon of early modern Iberian culture. In particular, the work dissects the relationship between the Judeophile ideas of a few inquisitorial suspects—some notorious, one unknown—and an inquisitorial culture of persecution fixated on real and imagined Judaizing.
From the late quattrocento through the cinquecento Florence’s first sainted bishop, Zenobius (d. ca. 424), and the sainted Florentine archbishop Antoninus Pierozzi (d. 1459) were hailed as two of Florence’s most effective intercessors. Their images were included in an impressive series of temporary and permanent decorations made for Florence Cathedral, and the historical and visual relationship between the two saints reached its symbolic peak in Giambologna’s St. Antoninus Chapel (1578–88) at the Dominican church of San Marco.
Although films based on historical events are usually criticized for their deviations from facts, this paper argues that such films can be used fruitfully in the classroom. Using the example of a course on Elizabeth I, the paper shows that films produced at different times and places can be presented and discussed in ways that demonstrate to students that interpretations of historical people and events are constantly changing and are shaped by the contexts in which they are produced.
The unpublished necrology kept by the Observant Dominican nuns of San Jacopo in Florence warrants closer study for its unexpected relation to the Savonarolan movement. Begun in 1508, ten years after Savonarola’s execution, this register narrated powerful stories focused on illness and dying, casting suffering nuns who made a “good death” as spiritual exemplars of the Savonarolan movement.
Recent studies of the ius reformandi examine the right of reformation’s theoretical development while overlooking the process of conflict and negotiation that led to a practical right of reformation prior to the 1555 Peace of Augsburg. In October 1544, the imperial city of Augsburg installed an evangelical preacher in Mindelaltheim, a village in the Habsburg margravate of Burgau.
On 19 July 1591, three puritans created a street disturbance in London. They were intending to inaugurate the reign of one of them as the new king of Europe and initiate the transformation of the Church of England to presbyterianism.
Recent analysis of John Milton’s first tract justifying King Charles I’s trial and execution in 1649 has highlighted its rational argumentation and secular foundation. This essay examines Milton’s use of biblical, classical, and national historical types of the regicide to exhort his readers to view the king as a tyrant, his death as a biblically and historically warranted punishment, and the current moment as a providential occasion to establish a godly English commonwealth.
On the night of 6 January 1537 Lorenzo di Pierfrancesco de’ Medici killed his cousin, the first Duke of Florence, Alessandro de’ Medici. In an Apologia, written around three years after the assassination, Lorenzo claimed that he had killed Alessandro in order to restore Florence to republican liberty. Historians have interpreted this text as a self-justificatory and self-aggrandizing piece.
This article discusses two German Protestant writers who used Latin to insert themselves into the culture of the Elizabethan court. Jacobus Falckenburgius’s two collections of verse indicate the strategies and, when placed within the political context of the court, the perils that a Reformed Protestant encountered in advancing his religious and political commitments. Like Falckenburgius, Paulus Melissus saw England as a safe haven from the religious wars. He used his considerable literary skills more openly to seek professional advancement at Elizabeth’s court.