The appearance of arts of forgetting during the golden age of mnemotechnics offers a unique perspective on the interaction between history, memory, and forgetting at a time of paradigmatic change. This article explores this interaction through Cornelius Agrippa’s De incertitudine et vanitate artium et scientiarum, a declamation calling for a return to simple faith and understanding. Drawing on the work of Umberto Eco and Paul Ricoeur, I propose that De incertitudine can be read as a rhetoric of extinction analogous to arts of forgetting.
A London divorce case from 1590 suggests that the early modern reception of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew would have been very mixed. With methods that paralleled those of Petruchio, Christopher Percy tried to “tame” his wife to force her to give up her estate and her jointure. While Petruchio tamed his shrew, Margery Percy, a remarried widow, resisted her husband’s efforts and successfully sued him for separation on the grounds of cruelty and adultery.
Although Lienhard Jost is recognized as a leading member of the “Strasbourg prophets” and an important influence on the Anabaptist leader Melchior Hoffman, Jost’s prophecies have been thought to be entirely lost. A copy of Jost’s prophecies was preserved in Vienna, however, and this newly rediscovered book provides a new source for early Anabaptism in Strasbourg and enables a thorough revision of Jost’s life and work, which have been subject to considerable uncertainty. Jost’s account of his life and visions documents the experience and mentality of an early modern peasant visionary.
This essay deals with rules and attitudes towards the Spanish succession crisis from 1580 to the extinction of the Spanish Habsburg dynasty in 1700. It argues that apart from succession laws, which were set down in the legal texts of the many different realms under Habsburg authority, attitudes and expectations created implicit rules for the succession. These attitudes and expectations have been distilled by analyzing testaments, representation of deceased relatives in the Escorial, and the behaviors toward royal children.
This article analyzes the reactions of Catholic laymen to a 1578 sodomy trial held in Ghent.The recently established Calvinist city council had accused a number of mendicants of the crime to slander their religious opponents.The lack of official response from the clergy has led to the assumption that the laity also remained silent in the face of the slurs.Remarkably, a considerable number of Catholic laymen passionately attempted to rehabilitate the friars through the popular narrative genre of city chronicles, the Memorieboeken, even though sodomy was an unmentionable sin.Furtherm
Early modern military manuals were one of the main intellectual media through which theorists and soldiers envisioned and articulated the interrelations of war, society, and culture.Although art of war literature has often been approached from the perspective of military history, the present study investigates the relationship of martial literature with Renaissance culture.Focusing on four Spanish military manuals published in the last quarter of the sixteenth century, this study examines how soldier-authors deployed the classical tradition.It argues that soldier-authors’ references to the
Christopher St.German has come to be recognized as one of the more creative thinkers associated with the English Reformation.This essay highlights the manner in which St.German’s creativity is reflected in his polemical use of Islam in controversy with Thomas More.Contemporary Catholic and Protestant polemicists, including More, typically used Islam to emphasize the differences between them, especially by highlighting similarities between Muslims and one’s opponents.St.German, by contrast, used Muslim errors to downplay the division in the English church, supporting his efforts to mitigate
The reception of the Protestant message has always presented particular historical problems.This article addresses the question of how the message about images was received and acted upon by individuals in their homes.By examining inventories after death of known Protestants in sixteenth-century Amiens, we can conclude that they both heard the message and acted upon it, even under very difficult conditions for Protestants in an increasingly unfriendly and sometimes dangerous local environment.