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ISSN 1749-8155

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Review Date: 
19 Jun 2020

A lack of institutional documentation has rendered it difficult for scholars of early modernity to reconstruct the significance of apostasy from Judaism before the Council of Trent (1545-1563). As such, the reasons behind the conversion of Jews to Catholicism, especially in Renaissance Italy, remain understudied to this day.

Review Date: 
22 May 2020

Hannah Barker’s book is a thorough and engaging evaluation of late medieval slave trading practices in the Mediterranean. The tile is taken from the 15th-century recollection and denunciation of an Alexandrian slave market by Felix Fabri, a German friar (p. 209).

Review Date: 
20 Mar 2020

The Birth of Modern Belief is seriously good. It is erudite, insightful, and cogent; but, above all, it enables us to think hard about the relationship between our past and our present.

Review Date: 
11 Jan 2018

In Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canon’s Yeoman’s Prologue and Tale, the phrase ‘ignotum per ignocius’ is used in connection with the so-called ‘sliding science’ at which the would-be alchemists of the tale labour so diligently.(1) The phrase means to explain the unknown by the more unknown.

Review Date: 
26 Oct 2017

This is an extremely ambitious, thought-provoking, challenging and inspiring book.

Review Date: 
4 May 2017

Dušan Zupka draws on the rich scholarship of medieval rituals and symbolic communication produced by medievalists working mainly on western European material, and endeavours to show that the same types of ritual communication existed in Árpád-age Hungary.

Review Date: 
17 Nov 2016

This book considers one of the less obvious (but arguably more important) passions – wonder – and the ways in which that emotion intersected with skepticism in the Middle Ages.

Review Date: 
29 Sep 2016

Frances Yates’ seminal book Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition (1964), which established a longstanding scholarly orthodoxy that Renaissance magic derived from interpretations of the Hermetic Corpus, has been challenged in its details by Bruno scholars and others.

Review Date: 
14 Jul 2016

The Andalusian jurist Abū Bakr al-Ṭurṭūshī (d. 1126) was once asked whether or not it was permissible to eat cheese imported into Alexandria from the Christian territories along the northern coastline of the Mediterranean. The question clearly intrigued al-Ṭurṭūshī, since he went to considerable lengths to research the subject before issuing his final response.

Review Date: 
8 Jun 2016

In the latest of our occasional Reviews in History podcast series, Jordan Landes interviews Darin Hayton about the latter's recent book on the use of astrology as a political tool in an early Renaissance court.

Darin Hayton is associate professor of history of science at Haverford College.

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