Beyond Scylla and Charybdis

European Courts and Court Residences outside Habsburg and Valois/Bourbon Territories 1500-1700

Edited by: Birgitte Boggild Johannsen, Konrad Ottenheym

The political landscape of early modern continental Europe was dominated by two rival superpowers: the Habsburgs of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire versus the French Kingdom of the Valois and Bourbon monarchs. Age-old struggles for hegemony, seniority, and precedence stimulated both parties to distinguish themselves from one another, while at the same time influencing essential aspects of court life, including courtly etiquette and diplomatic ceremonies. They also determined court architecture. Satellite courts, more closely related to these superpowers, could visually expose their loyalty to a specific faction by implementing its specific system of codes and adapting particular spatial arrangements or decorations. But, what were the strategies of the 'others' - the independent, though less dominant European courts beyond the Habsburg and Valois/Bourbon spheres? How did these courts respond to the overwhelming cultural impulses as 'neutral' neighbors, allies, or even as enemies, in a figurative sense navigating beyond the dangers of the mythic whirlpool of Charybdis and the rock on the opposite side, the home of the fearful monster Scylla? Were they only blind followers of fashion, or did they instead develop a 'third' language of court culture in a discourse with native and traditional ways of expression, often of ancient origin and quite as venerable as the Habsburg and Valois/Bourbon paradigms? Such topics were debated at a conference organized in 2012 in Denmark by the PALATIUM project, a research networking program of the European Science Foundation. This volume presents 23 case studies, ranging from Denmark, Sweden, Poland, and England, to Russia, the Low Countries, Italy, and Portugal, among others. *** "A significant contribution to European History reference collections...a truly impressive compendium of articulate and exceptional contributions..." -- Midwest Book Review, Reviewer's Bookwatch: November 2015, Mason's Bookshelf (Series: Publications of the National Museum Studies in Archaeology & History - Vol. 24) [Subject: History, European Studies, Art History]


Publication Date: 8/15/2015
Format: Cloth
ISBN: 9788776023225