Authority and Spectacle in Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Essays in Honor of Teofilo F. Ruiz, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Authority and Spectacle in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Essays in Honor of Teofilo F. Ruiz, 1st Edition

Edited by Yuen-Gen Liang, Jarbel Rodriguez


254 pages

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Bringing together distinguished scholars in honor of Professor Teofilo F. Ruiz, this volumepresents original and innovative research on the critical and uneasy relationship between authority and spectacle in the period from the twelfth to the sixteenth centuries, focusing on Spain, the Mediterranean and Latin America.

Cultural scholars such as Professor Ruiz and his colleagues have challenged the notion that authority is elided with high politics, an approach that tends to be monolithic and disregards the uneven application and experience of power by elite and non-elite groups in society by highlighting the significance of spectacle. Taking such forms as ceremonies, rituals, festivals, and customs, spectacle is a medium to project and render visible power, yet it is also an ambiguous and contested setting, where participants exercise the roles of both actor and audience. Chapters in this collection consider topics such as monarchy, wealth and poverty, medieval cuisine and diet and textual and visual sources.

The individual contributions in this volume collectively represent a timely re-examination of authority that brings in the insights of cultural theory, ultimately highlighting the importance of representation and projection, negotiation and ambivalence.

Table of Contents

List of Figures


Notes on Contributors

Authority and Spectacle: Teofilo F. Ruiz and the Study of Medieval and Early Modern Europe Yuen-Gen Liang and Jarbel Rodriguez

Part I – Authority in Borders and Conquests

    1. A Border Policy? Louis IX and the Spanish Connection
    2. William C. Jordan

    3. The King, the Coin, and the Word: Imagining and Enacting Castilian Frontiers in the Late Medieval Iberia
    4. Claire Gilbert

    5. An End to Conquests: Military Debates and Political Culture in Fifteenth- and Sixteenth-Century Spain
    6. Xavier Gil

    7. ‘All Things to All Men’: Political Messianism in Late Medieval and Early Modern Spain
    8. Bryan Givens

      Part II – Authority in Texts, Taxes, and Penury

    9. Transmitting Urgency in the Romance: An Example of Strategic Codeswitching in the Crown of Aragon’s Thirteenth-Century Royal Chancery
    10. Antonio Zaldivar

    11. The Issues of Fiscal Systems in Castilian Towns from 1369 to 1474
    12. Denis Menjot

    13. Authority and Poverty in Late-Medieval Spain
    14. Francisco Garcia-Serrano

      Part III – Spectacles of Purity in the Body and in the Realm

    15. The Saint at the Gate: Giving Relics a ‘Royal Entry’ in Eleventh to Twelfth-Century France
    16. Kate Craig

    17. Medieval Cuisines and the Seasons of the Year
    18. Paul Freedman

    19. Medieval Media and Minorities: Jews and Muslims in the Cantigas de Santa María
    20. David Nirenberg

      Part IV – Spectacles of Empire and Identity

    21. Poor Colors, Rich Colors: Spanish Clothing in the Early Sixteenth Century
    22. Hilario Casado Alonso

    23. Mobilizing Sanctity: Pius II and the Head of Andrew in Rome
    24. Maya Maskarinec

    25. Nuestros Españoles: The First Spaniards and the first Hapsburg Chronicles
    26. Katherine van Liere

    27. Muy grandes hombres de acaballo’: Spanish Horsemanship a la jineta and Bernardo Vargas Machuca’s New Science

Kathryn Renton

Epilogue – The Workings of Power: Authority and Festivals in Medieval and Early Modern Europe

Teofilo F. Ruiz

Bibliography of Teofilo F. Ruiz publications

About the Editors

Yuen-Gen Liang is Associate Professor of History at National Taiwan University, Taipei. His previous publications include Family and Empire: The Fernández de Córdoba and the Spanish Realm (2011).

Jarbel Rodriguez is Professor of History at San Francisco State University. His previous publications include Captives and their Saviors in the Medieval Crown of Aragon (2009).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Medieval