Knowledge and the Early Modern City uses case studies from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries to examine the relationships between knowledge and the city and how these changed in a period when the nature and conception of both was drastically transformed.
Both knowledge formation and the European city were increasingly caught up in broader institutional structures and regional and global networks of trade and exchange during the early modern period. Moreover, new ideas about the relationship between nature and the transcendent, as well as technological transformations, impacted upon both considerably. This book addresses the entanglement between knowledge production and the early modern urban environment while incorporating approaches to the city and knowledge in which both are seen as emerging from hybrid networks in which human and non-human elements continually interact and acquire meaning. It highlights how new forms of knowledge and new conceptions of the urban co-emerged in highly contingent practices, shedding a new light on present-day ideas about the impact of cities on knowledge production and innovation.
Providing the ideal starting point for those seeking to understand the role of urban institutions, actors and spaces in the production of knowledge and the development of the so-called ‘modern’ knowledge society, this is the perfect resource for students and scholars of early modern history and knowledge.
List of Figures
List of Contributors
Knowledge and the Early Modern City: An Introduction
Bert De Munck & Antonella Romano
Part 1. Knowledge and the Staging of the City
1 The theatrum as an Urban Site of Knowledge in the Low Countries, c. 1560-1620
Anne-Laure Van Bruaene (University of Ghent)
2 Artisanal ‘Histories’ in Early Modern Nuremberg
Hannah Murphy (King’s college London)
3 Boatmen, Druids and Parisii in Lutetia: Archaeologising Parisian Society in Eighteenth-Century Civic Epistemology
Stéphane Van Damme (European University Institute)
Part 2. Urban Agency, Science, Technology and the Making of the City
4 Stench and the City. Urban Odours and Technological Innovation in Early Modern Leiden and Batavia
Marius Buning (Dahlem Humanities Center, Free university of Berlin)
5 Cities, Long-Distance Corporations and Open Air Sciences: Antwerp, Amsterdam and Leiden in the Early Modern Period
Karel Davids (VU University of Amsterdam)
6 Technology Transfer, Ship Design and Urban Policy in the age of Nicolaes Witsen
Daniel Margócsy (University of Cambridge)
Part 3. Imperial Cities, Knowledge for Empires?
7 André de Avelar and the City of Coimbra: Spaces of Knowledge and Belief during the Early Modern Iberian Union
Leonardo Ariel Carrió Cataldi
8 Roman Urbans Epistemologies: Global Space and Universal Time in the Rebuilding of a Sixteenth-century City
Elisa Andretta (CNRS –LAHRA) & Antonella Romano (Centre Alexandre Koyré – EHESS)
9 The library, the City, the Empire: De-provincialising Vienna in the Early Seventeenth Century
Paola Molino (University of Padua)
The expertise of the history of knowledge is essential in tackling the issues and concerns surrounding present-day global knowledge society. Books in this series historicize and critically engage with the concept of knowledge society, with conceptual and methodological contributions enabling the historian to analyse and compare the origins, formation and development of knowledge societies. The first volumes in the series are the result of a project ‘Creating a knowledge society in a globalizing world, 1450-1800’, which received funding through an internationalization grant from NWO (Dutch Science Foundation). The project explores manifestations of knowledge societies, moving away from a teleological model inherent in many discussions of modernity.