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.
In early modern Protestant England, traditional Catholic worship and sacraments, particularly the Mass, declined, and many Catholics feared for their salvation. At the same time, an increased veneration of Mary Magdalene focused no longer on penance and redemption, but on Mary’s discovery of Christ’s empty tomb.
Manuscripts of late medieval and Renaissance ritual magic provide a unique insight into the gender construction of learned men. They reveal a subjective world of desire and anxiety that has for the most part been a matter of conjecture in the literature on masculinity. These manuscripts also overcome one of the limitations associated with the anxiety model: the tendency to regard masculinity as constructed in negative relation to other social groups. In part, learned masculinity was constructed according to external standards, most commonly from the world of the aristocracy.
In early modern England, the relationship between Crown and borough was not always oppositional, and could often be cooperative and flexible. Town officials could even utilize state authority for their own purposes so long as they did not ignore certain critical Crown needs.
The first Castilian Passion treatises presented meditations on the Passion of the son and the mother. In order to understand the implications of a Passion with two main characters, the method is situated in relation to its medieval European precedent of the compassionate, emotional Virgin as well as Iberian Marian devotion. In three Franciscan treatises published in Andalusia (1511–28), the authors began to forefront the physicality of Mary’s body in scenes of multiple swoons and even crucifixion.