1st Edition

Regulating Knowledge in an Entangled World

Edited By Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis Copyright 2023
    256 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Regulating Knowledge in an Entangled World uses case studies from the sixteenth to the eighteenth centuries to study knowledge transfer in early modern knowledge societies.

    In the early modern period the scale, intensity, and reach of exchange exploded. This volume develops a historicised understanding of knowledge transfer to shed new light on these fundamental changes. By looking at the preconditions of knowledge transfer, it shifts the focus from the objects circulating to the interactions by which they circulate and the way actors cement their relations. The novelty of this approach shows how rules and regulations were enablers of knowledge circulation, rather than impediments. The chapters identify changing patterns of knowledge transfer in cases such as sixteenth-century Venice, the Spanish Empire in the Americas, continental Habsburg, early seventeenth-century Dutch at sea, and the Offices of the Catholic Church. Through the perspective of ‘regulating’, this volume advances the historiography of knowledge circulation by forging a new combination of histories of circulation and of institutions.

    By bringing together historians from intellectual history, economic history, book history, the history of science, religion, art, and material culture, this volume is useful for students and scholars interested in early modern knowledge societies and changing patterns of knowledge transfer.

    Introduction: Regulating Knowledge: Rules as Enablers
    Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis

    Part I: Labelling

    1. Guidelines for Reading: Medieval censura and Roman censorhip
    Irene van Renswoude

    2. Regulating Dangerous Knowledge: John Lockman’s (1698-1771) Enlightened Readings of Jesuit Letters
    Renate Dürr

    Part II: Validating

    3. Validating Linguistic Knowledge of Amerindian Languages
    Werner Thomas

    4. Regulating the Form: How Manuscript Newsletters Influenced the Standards for Dutch Printed Newspapers (c. 1580-1630)
    Renate Pieper

    5. Lost in Regulation: The Hybrid Stage of Trade Knowledge
    Ida Nijenhuis

    Part III: Instructing

    6. Instructing Trade and War: Regulating Knowledge and People on Faraway Dutch Voyages ca. 1600
    Djoeke van Netten

    7. Regulating the Transfer of Secret Knowledge in Renaissance Venice: A Form of Early Modern Management
    Ioanna Iordanou

    Part IV: Disciplining

    8. Risking Private Ventures: The Instructive Failure of a Well-Travelled Artist, Cornelis de Bruyn
    Harold J. Cook

    9. On Censors and Booksellers: Curial Elites and the Regulation of Roman Book Trade in the 17th Century
    Andreea Badea

    10. Regulating the Exchange of Knowledge: Invoking the ‘Republic of Letters’ as a Speech Act
    Dirk van Miert


    Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis is Associate Professor of History of Science and Technology at the University of Twente and Louise Thijssen-Schoute Professor of Early Modern History of Knowledge at Free University, Amsterdam. He studies early modern knowledge cultures, in particular relating to the mathematical sciences. He co-edited Locations of Knowledge in Dutch Contexts (2019) and Rethinking Stevin Rethinking (2021).