Rituals of Politics and Culture in Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honour of Edward Muir

Edited By Mark Jurdjevic and Rolf Strøm-Olsen - ES39

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This volume celebrates the considerable contributions of Edward Muir to the history of Renaissance Italy and early modern Europe. In keeping with Muir’s signature interdisciplinary approach to history, the fifteen essays in this volume include contributions on the ritual dimensions of early modern politics, religion, literature, and art and range from the Venetian and Florentine capitals of Renaissance high culture to Germany, Spain, the Low Countries, and China. Janus-faced, like all good historians, the volume looks forward and back, combining distinguished senior scholars and new voices with venerable debates and new fields. In doing so, the collection testifies to the vibrancy, vitality, and significance of early modern studies today and the degree to which Muir’s scholarship over the past thirty years has powerfully fueled the field’s dynamism.

Mark Jurdjevic is Associate Professor of History at Glendon College, York University. His work focuses on Florentine political and intellectual history

Rolf Strøm-Olsen is Associate Professor of Humanities at IE University and Director of the Humanities Program and IE Business School. He studies patterns of state formation in late medieval Burgundy.

490 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-7727-2185-3 softcover
Published: 2016


“For almost forty years, Edward Muir has encouraged us to pay attention to ritual, to see meaning in trifles, and to think from Venice to the world. Rituals of Politics and Culture in Early Modern Europe  is an eloquent interdisciplinary tribute to his scholarship, teaching, and inspiration. Readers will delight in this historical feast in honour of one of the foremost practitioners of Renaissance and Reformation history." - Paula Findlen, Stanford University

“This volume offers a rich sampling of how fruitful Edward Muir’s insights into ritual, law, and community have proven to be. The articles, written in a lively and accessible style, will be of interest to students of art, literature, politics, gender, and religion. Indeed, Jurdjevic and Strøm-Olsen’s anthology provides one of the most stimulating introductions to the field of early modern Europe now available; it will prove indispensable to scholars and students alike." - John Jeffries Martin, Duke University

“The volume is a fitting tribute to Ed Muir’s outstanding career and his groundbreaking scholarship. The essays, based on extensive archival research, are of the highest quality. The sophisticated and far reaching blend of topics represents well Muir’s range of intellectual interests." - William Caferro, Vanderbilt University

Historische Zeitschrift, 307.1. pp. 213-215. Reviewed by Thomas Weller.

Parergon, 35.1. pp 221-222. Reviewed by Frances Mueke.

Renaissance Quarterly, 70.2. pp 717-718. Reviewed by John M. Hunt.

Catholic Historical Review., pp 375-376. Spring 2019 issue. Mount Saint Mary’s University. Reviewed by Gregory Murry.


Introduction—Mark Jurdjevic and Rolf Strøm-Olsen

Edward Muir: A Bibliography

  1. Patricia Fortini Brown"Ritual Geographies in Venice’s Mediterranean Empire"
  2. Monique O’Connell, "The Multiple Meanings of Ritual: Orations and the Tensions of Venetian Empire"
  3. Michael Paul Martoccio, "Burning the Candle at Both Ends: Candle Making as State Making in Renaissance Siena and Florence"
  4. Brian Jeffrey Maxson, "The Certame Coronario as Performative Ritual"
  5. John M. Najemy, "Sex Crimes and Rituals of Redemption in Civic Humanist Florence"
  6. Guido Ruggiero, "Imagining Love, Lust, and Virtù in Boccaccio and the Italian Renaissance"
  7. Albert Russell Ascoli, "The History of a Story: Manetti’s 'La Novella Del Grasso Legnaiuolo'"
  8. Antonio Ricci, "Real Presences: Literature and Artifacts in Early Modern Italy"
  9. Nicholas Scott Baker, "Deep Play in Renaissance Italy"
  10. Sarah Gwyneth Ross, "Apollo in the Counter-Reformation: Giovan battista Andreini, Literary Authority, and the Commedia dell’arte"
  11. Celeste McNamara, "Confraternities and Rural Devotion in the Veneto"
  12. Ethan H. Shagan, "Taking Belief Seriously? An Early Modern Catholic Perspective"
  13. Rolf Strøm-Olsen, "French History as Burgundian Historiography in the Histories of Thomas Basin"
  14. Susan C. Karant-Nunn, "'With Covered Faces': Emotion Rituals in Early Modern Germany"
  15. Ronnie Po-chia Hsai, "Goddesses of the Seas: Rituals in Sino-Portuguese Maritime History"