Juan Rena and the Frontiers of Spanish Empire, 1500–1540: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Juan Rena and the Frontiers of Spanish Empire, 1500–1540

1st Edition

By Jose M. Escribano-Páez


280 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367460815
pub: 2020-05-21
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This book explores the political construction of imperial frontiers during the reigns of Ferdinand the Catholic and Charles V in the Iberian Peninsula and the Mediterranean. Contrary to many studies on this topic, this book neither focuses on a specific frontier nor attempts to provide an overview of all the imperial frontiers. Instead, it focuses on a specific individual: Juan Rena (1480–1539). This Venetian clergyman spent 40 years serving the king in several capacities while travelling from the Maghreb to northern Spain, from the Pyrenees to the western fringes of the Ottoman Empire. By focusing on his activities, the book offers an account of the Spanish Empire’s frontiers as a vibrant political space where a multiplicity of figures interacted to shape power relations from below. Furthermore, it describes how merchants, military officers, nobles, local elites and royal agents forged a specific political culture in the empire’s liminal spaces. Through their negotiations and cooperation, but also through their competition and clashes, they created practices and norms in areas like cross-cultural diplomacy, the making of the social fabric, the definition of new jurisdictions, and the mobilization of resources for war.

Table of Contents


1. Defining the Frontier: Juan Rena’s Network and Spanish Expansion into the Maghreb

2. The Making of a Frontier: Noble Authority and Jurisdictional Pluralism Between Southern Iberia and the Maghreb

3. Political Incorporation from Below: Juan Rena and the Integration of Navarre into the Spanish Empire

4. Constructing a Maritime Frontier: Politics and Sea Power in the Mediterranean World During the Age of Charles V


About the Author

Jose M. Escribano-Páez is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide, where he also teaches modules on Early Modern History and Imperial History.

About the Series

Early Modern Iberian History in Global Contexts


Early Modern Iberian History in Global Contexts: Connexions features studies that address Iberian societies and cultures from a variety of standpoints and theoretical perspectives. It understands Iberian history as a plural way of approaching an ensemble of individuals and groups made up of similarities, connections, contrasts and colliding trajectories. Its aim is to connect the different national and transnational research traditions in the field of Iberian historical studies, and showcase the multifaceted character of the Iberian past, encompassing its many voices as well as the tensions, the violence and the conflicts that opposed its various components, both across the Iberian Peninsula and across the globe.

Editorial Board: Antonio Álvarez Ossorio Alvariño (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid/MIAS), Ângela Barreto Xavier (Universidade de Lisboa), Fernando Bouza Álvarez (Universidad Complutense de Madrid), Arndt Brendecke (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München), Bruno Feitler (Universidade Federal de São Paulo), Roquinaldo Ferreira (University of Pennsylvania), Mercedes García-Arenal Rodríguez (CSIC), Xavier Gil Pujol (Universitat de Barcelona), Claire Gilbert (Saint Louis University), Regina Grafe (European University Institute), Manuel Herrero Sánchez (Universidad Pablo de Olavide), Tamar Herzog (Harvard University), Richard Kagan (Johns Hopkins University), Giuseppe Marcocci (University of Oxford), Amélia Polónia (Universidade do Porto), Maria M. Portuondo (Johns Hopkins University), Jean-Frédéric Schaub (EHESS), Mafalda Soares da Cunha (Universidade de Évora), María José Vega (Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona), Bartolomé Yun-Casalilla (Universidad Pablo de Olavide)

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / General
HISTORY / Europe / General
HISTORY / Social History