This article seeks to contribute to the scholarly literature on confessionalization by showing how private confession served as an important marker of official confessional identity in the German Reformation. The discussion focuses on Nördlingen, a Swabian imperial city that has received very little attention from English-speaking Reformation scholars. The article begins with a discussion of the efforts of Kaspar Loner, the city’s senior pastor, to implement private confession in Nördlingen, part of his larger effort to “Lutheranize” the imperial city.
While Venetians were not the discoverers or explorers of the New World, Venice was the capital of early modern print culture and transmitted knowledge about the explorations to Europe. A close look at the work of a series of Venetian armchair travelers—editors, mapmakers, and designers of costume books—reveals the profound anxieties these authors expressed about Venice’s changing status in early modern Europe.
This article discusses the relationship between enclosure and female education for Ursuline religious women in seventeenth-century Parma and Piacenza. These women, under the protection and jurisdiction of the Farnese court, did not submit to the strict religious enclosure that confined most early modern religious women. Instead, they negotiated a particular form of cloister that permitted them to leave heir home to attend church services. This enclosure offered the Ursulines and the girls in their car both the benefits and potential dangers of increased visibility.
This article examines the medical literature of the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries concerning the sexual transmutation of females into males. One explanation for the phenomenon, the so-called one-sex model attributed to Aristotle, does not figure prominently in the writings of the early physicians after 1575. That such a transformation was even possible was entirely discounted by 1600.
The last work of English humanist Henry Parker, Lord Morley, “An Account of Miracles Performed by the Holy Eucharist,” contained valuable advice for the realm’s first ruling queen, Mary Tudor. Cognizant of the special challenges facing a female ruler, Morley delineated guidelines enabling the new queen to combine an active public life with traditional pious devotions to which Mary was committed. He drew examples from recent and distant English history, citing the regimens of Mary’s own great-grandmother Lady Margaret Beaufort and of twelfth-century queen Edith Maude.
Religious and civic authorities in Reformation Geneva considered the raising and educating of children within the Reformed community to be vital to the survival of their newly independent church and city. Jean Calvin, his colleagues, and the city magistrates viewed the care and nurture of the city’s children as a God-given responsibility of both fathers and mothers. Some parents, in turn, looked both to the city and to their own extended kinship networks, including Catholic relatives, to help them care for their offspring.
This article examines male cross-dressing in Italian Renaissance comedies with a particular emphasis on Il Ragazzo by the Venetian writer Lodovico Dolce. Without challenging the traditional readings of cross-dressing plots that view their licentiousness and their reversals of gender and sexual roles as comic conventions typical of this genre and of the festive time of carnival, it is suggested that such plots offered a particularly rich opportunity for imaginative play.
In 1575 Friedrich Sustris decorated Trausnitz Castle in Landshut with paintings proclaiming the political and religious aspirations of Duke Wilhelm V of Bavaria. The duke’s staunch support of the Counter-Reformation and politically advantageous marital alliance with Lorraine are visually reinforced in the castle’s ceremonial rooms. In contrast, a narrow stairwell in the private ducal quarters surrounds the viewer with an illusionistic performance of the commedia dell’arte.
Enacting fourth attitude history, as articulated by Allan Megill, this essay compiles commonplaces and misreadings about the productions of Acts and Monuments (1563 and 1570) to encourage renewed vision of the directorships of Cecil, Parker, Grindal, and others dedicated to the ideological conversion of the English polity and people.
Over 80 percent of Spanish noblemen in the period between 1350 and 1750 chose their wives to be the guardians of their children and property, so women headed many of the most powerful noble families in Spain at regular intervals. To Spanish noblemen, the preservation of family, power, and lineage was more important than the prescriptive gender roles of their time, and they expected and trained their female relatives to take an active part in the economic and political affairs of the family.