The study of nationality (a term used to designate historically and constitutively diverse nations) poses a number of acute methodological, historical, and philosophical problems.
In this monumental and densely-packed book on Germany identity in the later Middle Ages – the only monograph of on the subject in any language, the author informs us – Len Scales gives us a new view of Germany and the empire that is sure to be of great importance for medieval historians’ perceptions of the empire, of Germany, and of the forces behind the shaping of identity.
On the 18th of June, 1556, Mr Francesco, a second-hand goods dealer with a shop near the clock tower in Piazza San Marco, borrowed two Greek manuscripts from the collection that would later become the heart of Venice’s famous Marciana library: Proclus on Platonic Theology, and The Commentary of Hierocles on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras.
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.