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Jacopo da Varagine (c. 1228-1298) is remembered today primarily for his immensely popular work The Golden Legend, a massive collection of stories about the saints. Compiled over the years 1260-67, The Golden Legend quickly eclipsed earlier collections of saints' lives. One indication of its popularity is the fact that so many manuscript copies of the work have survived-more than one thousand according to some estimates. Despite the enduring influence of The Golden Legend, Jacopo remains an elusive figure because he left behind so little information about himself. In The Talents of Jacopo da Varagine, Steven A. Epstein sets out to remedy this situation through a careful study of all Jacopo's works, including many hundreds of sermons and his innovative chronicle of Genoese history. In Epstein's sure hands, Jacopo emerges as one of the most active and talented minds of his day. Indeed, Epstein argues that one needs to read all of Jacopo's books, in a Genoese context, in order to understand the original scope of his thinking, which greatly influenced the ways generations of people across Europe experienced their Christianity. The rich sources for Jacopo's sermons, saints' lives, and history illuminate the traditions that inspired him and shaped his imaginative and artistic powers. Jacopo was also one of the inventors of social history, and his writings reveal complex and new perspectives on family life as well as the histories of gay people, slaves, Jews, and the medieval economy. Filled with impressive insights into the intellectual life of the thirteenth century, The Talents of Jacopo da Varagine will be of interest to a wide range of medieval scholars and students of religious history, church history, and hagiography as well as intellectual history and Italian history.
On the streets of Paris one day in July 1918, an American doughboy, Sgt. Jimmy Donovan, befriended a stray dog that he named Rags. No longer an unwanted street mutt, Rags became the mascot to the entire First Division of the American Expeditionary Force and a friend to the American troops who had crossed the Atlantic to fight. Rags was more than a scruffy face and a wagging tail, however. The little terrier mix was with the division at the crucial battle of Soissons, at the Saint-Mihiel offensive, and finally in the blood-and-mud bath of the Meuse-Argonne, during which he and his guardian were wounded. Despite being surrounded by distraction and danger, Rags learned to carry messages through gunfire, locate broken communications wire for the Signal Corps to repair, and alert soldiers to incoming shells, saving the lives of hundreds of American soldiers. Through it all, he brought inspiration to men with little to hope for, especially in the bitter last days of the war.From Stray Dog to World War I Hero covers Rags's entire life story, from the bomb-filled years of war through his secret journey to the United States that began his second life, one just as filled with drama and heartache. In years of peace, Rags served as a reminder to human survivors of what held men together when pushed past their limits by the horrors of battle.
In the late nineteenth century, as a consequence of imperial conquest and a mobility revolution, Russia became a crossroads of the hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. The first book in any language on the hajj under tsarist and Soviet rule, Russian Hajj tells the story of how tsarist officials struggled to control and co-opt Russia's mass hajj traffic, seeing it as not only a liability but also an opportunity. To support the hajj as a matter of state surveillance and control was controversial, given the preeminent position of the Orthodox Church. But nor could the hajj be ignored, or banned, due to Russia's policy of toleration of Islam. As a cross-border, migratory phenomenon, the hajj stoked officials' fears of infectious disease, Islamic revolt, and interethnic conflict, but Eileen Kane innovatively argues that it also generated new thinking within the government about the utility of the empire's Muslims and their global networks.
In 1343 a seventeen-year-old girl named Johanna (1326-1382) ascended the Neapolitan throne, becoming the ruling monarch of one of medieval Europe's most important polities. For nearly forty years, she held her throne and the avid attention of her contemporaries. Their varied responses to her reign created a reputation that made Johanna the most notorious woman in Europe during her lifetime. In From She-Wolf to Martyr, Elizabeth Casteen examines Johanna's evolving, problematic reputation and uses it as a lens through which to analyze often-contradictory late-medieval conceptions of rulership, authority, and femininity.When Johanna inherited the Neapolitan throne from her grandfather, many questioned both her right to and her suitability for her throne. After the murder of her first husband, Johanna quickly became infamous as a she-wolf-a violent, predatory, sexually licentious woman. Yet, she also eventually gained fame as a wise, pious, and able queen. Contemporaries-including Francesco Petrarch, Giovanni Boccaccio, Birgitta of Sweden, and Catherine of Siena-were fascinated by Johanna. Drawing on a wide range of textual and visual sources, Casteen reconstructs the fourteenth-century conversation about Johanna and tracks the role she played in her time's cultural imaginary. She argues that despite Johanna's modern reputation for indolence and incompetence, she crafted a new model of female sovereignty that many of her contemporaries accepted and even lauded.
From the moment she hears Lev's violin for the first time, Helena Attlee is captivated. She is told that it is an Italian instrument, named after its former Russian owner. Eager to discover all she can about its ancestry and the stories contained within its delicate wooden body, she sets out for Cremona, birthplace of the Italian violin. This is the beginning of a beguiling journey whose end she could never have anticipated. Making its way from dusty workshops, through Alpine forests, cool Venetian churches, glittering Florentine courts, and far-flung Russian flea markets, Lev's Violin takes us from the heart of Italian culture to its very furthest reaches. Its story of luthiers and scientists, princes and orphans, musicians, composers, travellers and raconteurs swells to a poignant meditation on the power of objects, stories and music to shape individual lives and to craft entire cultures.
Giovanni Gioviano Pontano (1429-1503) served five kings of Naples as a courtier, official, and diplomat, and earned even greater fame as a scholar, prose author, and poet. His Dialogues reflect his diverse interests in religion, philosophy, and literature, as well as in everyday life in fifteenth-century Naples. They are especially important for their vivid picture of the contemporary gatherings of Pontano and his friends in the humanist academy over which he presided from around 1471 until shortly before his death. This volume completes the I Tatti edition of Pontano's five surviving dialogues and features both Aegidius and Asinus. The conversation in Aegidius, named for the Augustinian theologian Giles of Viterbo, ranges over various topics, including creation, dreams, free will, the immortality of the soul, the relation between heaven and earth, language, astrology, and mysticism. The Asinus is less a dialogue than a fantastical autobiographical comedy in which Pontano himself is represented as having gone mad and fallen in love with an ass. This is the first translation of these dialogues into English.
Conspiracy is a thread that runs throughout the tapestry of Roman history. From the earliest days of the Republic to the waning of the Empire, conspiracies and intrigues created shadow worlds that undermined the openness of Rome's representational government. To expose these dark corners and restore a sense of order and safety, Roman historians frequently wrote about famous conspiracies and about how their secret plots were detected and the perpetrators punished. These accounts reassured readers that the conspiracy was a rare exception that would not happen again--if everyone remained vigilant.
In this first book-length treatment of conspiracy in Roman history, Victoria Pagan examines the narrative strategies that five prominent historians used to disclose events that had been deliberately shrouded in secrecy and silence. She compares how Sallust, Livy, and Tacitus constructed their accounts of the betrayed Catilinarian, Bacchanalian, and Pisonian conspiracies. Her analysis reveals how a historical account of a secret event depends upon the transmittal of sensitive information from a private setting to the public sphere--and why women and slaves often proved to be ideal transmitters of secrets. Pagan then turns to Josephus's and Appian's accounts of the assassinations of Caligula and Julius Caesar to explore how the two historians maintained suspense throughout their narratives, despite readers' prior knowledge of the outcomes.
In the 1940s and 1950s, Soviet musicians and ensembles were acclaimed across the globe. They toured the world, wowing critics and audiences, projecting an image of the USSR as a sophisticated promoter of cultural and artistic excellence. In Virtuosi Abroad, Kiril Tomoff focuses on music and the Soviet Union's star musicians to explore the dynamics of the cultural Cold War. He views the competition in the cultural sphere as part of the ongoing U.S. and Soviet efforts to integrate the rest of the world into their respective imperial projects.Tomoff argues that the spectacular Soviet successes in the system of international music competitions, taken together with the rapturous receptions accorded touring musicians, helped to persuade the Soviet leadership of the superiority of their system. This, combined with the historical triumphalism central to the Marxist-Leninist worldview, led to confidence that the USSR would be the inevitable winner in the global competition with the United States. Successes masked the fact that the very conditions that made them possible depended on a quiet process by which the USSR began to participate in an international legal and economic system dominated by the United States. Once the Soviet leadership transposed its talk of system superiority to the economic sphere, focusing in particular on consumer goods and popular culture, it had entered a competition that it could not win.
Tyrant, psychopath, and implementer of a ruthless programme of racial extermination, Adolf Hitler was also the charismatic Fuhrer of millions of dedicated followers. In this major new biography, internationally acclaimed German historian Peter Longerich brings Hitler back to centre-stage in the history of Nazism, revealing a far more active and interventionist dictator than we are familiar with from recent accounts, with a flexibility of approach that often surprises. Whether it was foreign policy, war-making, terror, mass murder, cultural and religious affairs, or even mundane everyday matters, Longerich reveals how decisive a force Hitler was in the formulation of policy, sometimes right down to the smallest details, in a way which until now has not been fully appreciated. Consistently and ruthlessly destroying both the people and the power structures that stood in his way, Longerich shows how over time Hitler succeeded in forging his 'Fuhrer dictatorship' - with terrifying and almost limitless power over the German people.
In Chariots of Ladies, Nuria Silleras-Fernandez traces the development of devotion and female piety among the Iberian aristocracy from the late Middle Ages into the Golden Age, and from Catalonia to the rest of Iberia and Europe via the rise of the Franciscan Observant movement. A program of piety and morality devised by Francesc Eiximenis, a Franciscan theologian, royal counselor, and writer in Catalonia in the 1390s, came to characterize the feminine ideal in the highest circles of the Iberian aristocracy in the era of the Empire. As Eiximenis's work was adapted and translated into Castilian over the century and a half that followed, it became a model of devotion and conduct for queens and princesses, including Isabel the Catholic and her descendants, who ruled over Portugal and the Spanish Empire of the Hapsburgs.Silleras-Fernandez uses archival documentation, letters, manuscripts, incunabula, and a wide range of published material to clarify how Eiximenis's ideas on gender and devotion were read by Countess Sanxa Ximenis d'Arenos and Queen Maria de Luna of Aragon and how they were then changed by his adaptors and translators in Castile for new readers (including Isabel the Catholic and Juana the Mad), and in sixteenth-century Portugal for new patronesses (Juana's daughter, Catalina of Habsburg, and Catalina's daughter, Maria Manuela, first wife of Philip II). Chariots of Ladies casts light on a neglected dimension of encounter and exchange in Iberia from the late fourteenth to the mid-sixteenth centuries.
How did we come to imagine what 'ideal childhood' requires? Beginning in the late eighteenth century, German child-rearing radically transformed, and as these innovations in ideology and educational practice spread from middle-class families across European society, childhood came to be seen as a life stage critical to self-formation. This new approach was in part a process that adults imposed on youth, one that hinged on motivating children's behavior through affection and cultivating internal discipline. But this is not just a story about parents' and pedagogues' efforts to shape childhood. Offering rare glimpses of young students' diaries, letters, and marginalia, Emily C. Bruce reveals how children themselves negotiated these changes. Revolutions at Home analyzes a rich set of documents created for and by young Germans to show that children were central to reinventing their own education between 1770 and 1850. Through their reading and writing, they helped construct the modern child subject. The active child who emerged at this time was not simply a consequence of expanding literacy but, in fact, a key participant in defining modern life.
Marching across occupied France in 1944, American GI Leroy Stewart had neither death nor glory on his mind: he was worried about his underwear. "I ran into a new problem when we walked," Stewart wrote, "the shorts and I didn't get along. They would crawl up on me all the time." Complaints of physical discomfort like Stewart's--or worse--pervade infantrymen's memories of the European theater, whether the soldiers were British, American, German, or French. Wet, freezing misery with no end in sight--this was life for millions of enlisted men. Crawling underwear may have been a small price to pay for the liberation of millions of people, but in the utter wretchedness of the moment, it was quite natural for soldiers like Stewart to lose sight of that end. Sheer Misery trains a humane and unsparing eye on the corporeal experiences of the soldiers who fought in Belgium, France, and Italy during the last two years of the war. In the horrendously unhygienic and often lethal conditions of the front line, their bodies broke down, stubbornly declaring their needs for warmth, rest, and good nutrition. Feet became too swollen to march, fingers too frozen to pull triggers; stomachs cramped, and diarrhea stained underwear and pants. Turning away from the accounts of high-level military strategy that dominate many WWII histories, acclaimed historian Mary Louise Roberts instead relies on diaries and letters to bring to life visceral sense memories like the moans of the "screaming meemies," the acrid smell of cordite, and the shockingly mundane sight of rotting corpses. As Roberts writes, "For soldiers who fought, the war was above all about their bodies. It was as bodies that they had been recruited, trained, and deployed. Their job was to injure and kill bodies but also be injured and killed." Told in inimitable style by one of our most distinctive historians of the Second World War, Sheer Misery gives readers both an unprecedented look at the ground-level world of the common soldier and a deeply felt rendering of the experience of being a body in war.
In The Fascist Effect, Reto Hofmann uncovers the ideological links that tied Japan to Italy, drawing on extensive materials from Japanese and Italian archives to shed light on the formation of fascist history and practice in Japan and beyond. Moving between personal experiences, diplomatic and cultural relations, and geopolitical considerations, Hofmann shows that interwar Japan found in fascism a resource to develop a new order at a time of capitalist crisis. Hofmann demonstrates that fascism in Japan was neither a European import nor a domestic product; it was, rather, the result of a complex process of global transmission and reformulation. Far from being a vague term, as postwar historiography has so often claimed, for Japanese of all backgrounds who came of age from the 1920s to the 1940s, fascism conjured up a set of concrete associations, including nationalism, leadership, economics, and a drive toward empire and a new world order.
Founded in 1927, Romania's Legion of the Archangel Michael was one of Europe's largest and longest-lived fascist social movements. In Holy Legionary Youth, Roland Clark draws on oral histories, memoirs, and substantial research in the archives of the Romanian secret police to provide the most comprehensive account of the Legion in English to date. Clark approaches Romanian fascism by asking what membership in the Legion meant to young Romanian men and women. Viewing fascism "from below," as a social category that had practical consequences for those who embraced it, he shows how the personal significance of fascism emerged out of Legionaries' interactions with each other, the state, other political parties, families and friends, and fascist groups abroad. Official repression, fascist spectacle, and the frequency and nature of legionary activities changed a person's everyday activities and relationships in profound ways. Clark's sweeping history traces fascist organizing in interwar Romania to nineteenth-century grassroots nationalist movements that demanded political independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It also shows how closely the movement was associated with the Romanian Orthodox Church and how the uniforms, marches, and rituals were inspired by the muscular, martial aesthetic of fascism elsewhere in Europe. Although antisemitism was a key feature of official fascist ideology, state violence against Legionaries rather than the extensive fascist violence against Jews had a far greater impact on how Romanians viewed the movement and their role in it. Approaching fascism in interwar Romania as an everyday practice, Holy Legionary Youth offers a new perspective on European fascism, highlighting how ordinary people "performed" fascism by working together to promote a unique and totalizing social identity.
The dramatic one-thousand-year history of Jews in Spain comes to life in Exiles in Sepharad. Jeffrey Gorsky vividly relates this colorful period of Jewish history, from the era when Jewish culture was at its height in Muslim Spain to the horrors of the Inquisition and the Expulsion. Twenty percent of Jews today are descended from Sephardic Jews, who created significant works in religion, literature, science, and philosophy. They flourished under both Muslim and Christian rule, enjoying prosperity and power unsurpassed in Europe. Their cultural contributions include important poets; the great Jewish philosopher Moses Maimonides; and Moses de Leon, author of the Zohar, the core text of the Kabbalah. But these Jews also endured considerable hardship. Fundamentalist Islamic tribes drove them from Muslim to Christian Spain. In 1391 thousands were killed and more than a third were forced to convert by anti-Jewish rioters. A century later the Spanish Inquisition began, accusing thousands of these converts of heresy. By the end of the fifteenth century Jews had been expelled from Spain and forcibly converted in Portugal and Navarre. After almost a millennium of harmonious existence, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula.
Far from worrying about the onset of war, in the spring of 1938 the burning question on the French Riviera was whether one should curtsey to the Duchess of Windsor. Few of those who had settled there thought much about what was going on in the rest of Europe. It was a golden, glamorous life, far removed from politics or conflict. Featuring a sparkling cast of artists, writers and historical figures including Winston Churchill, Daisy Fellowes, Salvador Dali, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Eileen Gray and Edith Wharton, with the enigmatic Coco Chanel at its heart, CHANEL'S RIVIERA is a captivating account of a period that saw some of the deepest extremes of luxury and terror in the whole of the twentieth century. From Chanel's first summer at her Roquebrune villa La Pausa (in the later years with her German lover) amid the glamour of the pre-war parties and casinos in Antibes, Nice and Cannes to the horrors of evacuation and the displacement of thousands of families during the Second World War, CHANEL'S RIVIERA explores the fascinating world of the Cote d'Azur elite in the 1930s and 1940s. Enriched with much original research, it is social history that brings the experiences of both rich and poor, protected and persecuted, to vivid life.
When animals and their symbolic representations-in the Royal Menagerie, in art, in medicine, in philosophy-helped transform the French state and culture. Peter Sahlins's brilliant new book reveals the remarkable and understudied "animal moment" in and around 1668 in which authors (including La Fontaine, whose Fables appeared in that year), anatomists, painters, sculptors, and especially the young Louis XIV turned their attention to nonhuman beings. At the center of the Year of the Animal was the Royal Menagerie in the gardens of Versailles, dominated by exotic and graceful birds. In the unfolding of his original and sophisticated argument, Sahlins shows how the animal bodies of the menagerie and others were critical to a dramatic rethinking of governance, nature, and the human. The animals of 1668 helped to shift an entire worldview in France-what Sahlins calls Renaissance humanimalism toward more modern expressions of classical naturalism and mechanism. In the wake of 1668 came the debasement of animals and the strengthening of human animality, including in Descartes's animal-machine, highly contested during the Year of the Animal. At the same time, Louis XIV and his intellectual servants used the animals of Versailles to develop and then to transform the symbolic language of French absolutism. Louis XIV came to adopt a model of sovereignty after 1668 in which his absolute authority is represented in manifold ways with the bodies of animals and justified by the bestial nature of his human subjects. 1668 explores and reproduces the king's animal collections-in printed text, weaving, poetry, and engraving, all seen from a unique interdisciplinary perspective. Sahlins brings the animals of 1668 together and to life as he observes them critically in their native habitats-within the animal palace itself by Louis Le Vau, the paintings and tapestries of Charles Le Brun, the garden installations of Andre Le Notre, the literary work of Charles Perrault and the natural history of his brother Claude, the poetry of Madeleine de Scudery, the philosophy of Rene Descartes, the engravings of Sebastien Leclerc, the transfusion experiments of Jean Denis, and others. The author joins the nonhuman and human agents of 1668-panthers and painters, swans and scientists, weasels and weavers-in a learned and sophisticated treatment that will engage scholars and students of early modern France and Europe and readers broadly interested in the subject of animals in human history.
Exam board: WJEC Level: AS/A-level Subject: History First teaching: September 2015 First exams: Summer 2016 (AS); Summer 2017 (A-level) Build, reinforce and revise the historical knowledge and exam skills required for WJEC AS/A-level History. Matched to the 2016 specification for Wales, this study guide contains clear content summaries and annotated sample answers to exam questions. - Concisely covers the key issues and content in the specification, breaking the Unit down into manageable chunks - Consolidates understanding with regular knowledge-check questions, plus useful tips - Builds the analytical and evaluative skills that students need to succeed in AS/A-level History - Improves students' exam technique, providing sample student answers to past paper questions, with commentary to explain the number of marks awarded - Helps students to learn the content throughout the course, study independently and revise for their exams
In Brokering Empire, E. Natalie Rothman explores the intersecting worlds of those who regularly traversed the early modern Venetian-Ottoman frontier, including colonial migrants, redeemed slaves, merchants, commercial brokers, religious converts, and diplomatic interpreters. In their sustained interactions across linguistic, religious, and political lines these trans-imperial subjects helped to shape shifting imperial and cultural boundaries, including the emerging distinction between Europe and the Levant.
Rothman argues that the period from 1570 to 1670 witnessed a gradual transformation in how Ottoman difference was conceived within Venetian institutions. Thanks in part to the activities of trans-imperial subjects, an early emphasis on juridical and commercial criteria gave way to conceptions of difference based on religion and language. Rothman begins her story in Venice's bustling marketplaces, where commercial brokers often defied the state's efforts both to tax foreign merchants and define Venetian citizenship. The story continues in a Venetian charitable institution where converts from Islam and Judaism and their Catholic Venetian patrons negotiated their mutual transformation. The story ends with Venice's diplomatic interpreters, the dragomans, who not only produced and disseminated knowledge about the Ottomans but also created dense networks of kinship and patronage across imperial boundaries. Rothman's new conceptual and empirical framework sheds light on institutional practices for managing juridical, religious, and ethnolinguistic difference in the Mediterranean and beyond.
"Offering insight into the compelling history of people with
disabilities, this is one of the earliest accounts written by
someone with an actual disability rather than by an observer or
"A brief but fascinating glimpse into the role of women,
religion, disability and notions of the self in early 19th-century
"Both Husson's autobiographical writing and Kudlick's and
Weygand's short social history of the blight of the blind in
nineteenth-century France will interest anyone whose work or
intellectual interests lie in the field of modern disability
In the 1820s, several years before Braille was invented, Therese-Adele Husson, a young blind woman from provincial France, wrote an audacious manifesto about her life, French society, and her hopes for the future. Through extensive research and scholarly detective work, authors Catherine Kudlick and Zina Weygand have rescued this intriguing woman and the remarkable story of her life and tragic death from obscurity, giving readers a rare look into a world recorded by an unlikely historical figure.
Reflections is one of the earliest recorded manifestations of group solidarity among people with the same disability, advocating self-sufficiency and independence on the part of blind people, encouraging education for all blind children, and exploring gender roles for both men and women. Resolutely defying the sense of "otherness" which pervades discourse about the disabled, Husson instead convinces us that that blindness offers a fresh and important perspective on both history and ourselves.
In rescuing this important historical accountand recreating the life of an obscure but potent figure, Weygand and Kudlick have awakened a perspective that transcends time and which, ultimately, remaps our inherent ideas of physical sensibility
In the nineteenth century, the Russian Empire's Middle Volga region (today's Tatarstan) was the site of a prolonged struggle between Russian Orthodoxy and Islam, each of which sought to solidify its influence among the frontier s mix of Turkic, Finno-Ugric, and Slavic peoples. The immediate catalyst of the events that Agnes Nilufer Kefeli chronicles in Becoming Muslim in Imperial Russia was the collective turn to Islam by many of the region s Krashens, the Muslim and animist Tatars who converted to Russian Orthodoxy between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
The traditional view holds that the apostates had really been Muslim all along or that their conversions had been forced by the state or undertaken voluntarily as a matter of convenience. In Kefeli s view, this argument vastly oversimplifies the complexity of a region where many participated in the religious cultures of both Islam and Orthodox Christianity and where a vibrant Krashen community has survived to the present. By analyzing Russian, Eurasian, and Central Asian ethnographic, administrative, literary, and missionary sources, Kefeli shows how traditional education, with Sufi mystical components, helped to Islamize Finno-Ugric and Turkic peoples in the Kama-Volga countryside and set the stage for the development of modernist Islam in Russia.
Of particular interest is Kefeli s emphasis on the role that Tatar women (both Krashen and Muslim) played as holders and transmitters of Sufi knowledge. Today, she notes, intellectuals and mullahs in Tatarstan seek to revive both Sufi and modernist traditions to counteract new expressions of Islam and promote a purely Tatar Islam aware of its specificity in a post-Christian and secular environment."
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