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Ceremony in history

The image of Louis XIV and his court overshadow our understanding of eighteenth-century France. Rethinking the court society is a vital part of revising our interpretations of absolutist government in this period: a new understanding of royal ceremony is one part of this. This chapter challenges the neo-ceremonialist understanding of French royal ritual in the light of French scholarship questioning the relevance of the 'two bodies' model to the French monarchy and highlighting Marc Bloch's idea of 'marvellous royalty'. The relationship between ceremony and power lies at the heart of these questions.

in Death and the crown
Preparing the coronation, 1774–75

The first of three chapters dealing with the coronation of Louis XVI, this chapter considers the preparations required at Versailles and in Reims, and the currents at work in imagining the monarch at this juncture in French history. Sentimentalism and ideas of virtue are central themes. Louis XVI's ceremonial entry into Reims prompted grand decorations offering a commentary on contemporary political events, crowned by an arch of bienfaisance.

in Death and the crown
The coronation and the king’s healing touch

The royal healing touch for scrofula was performed by Louis XVI after his coronation for the first time in over thirty years. This chapter examines how the ceremony was organised and by whom, drawing on the record left by a Remois woman. It delves into the history of the ceremony and of healing by touch more generally, situating this ritual in the context of contemporary medicine in order to produce an explanation of the attractions of the ritual, which drew over two thousand people to Reims to be touched by the king.

in Death and the crown

This chapter provides a new insight into the recall of the parlement of Paris, a key moment in the early reign of Louis XVI. Ceremonial considerations played a significant part in the timing and handling of Louis XVI's decision. The venerable ceremony of the lit de justice was exploited by the monarchy to make clear political points on the conditions of the recall and set the stage for the relationship between king and parlement during the new reign.

in Death and the crown
Interactional strategies in late-nineteenth-century Classical archaeology: the case of Adolf Furtwängler

This chapter examines collegiality and the instrumentality of informal networks in the production of knowledge around 1900 as exemplified by the German classical archaeologist Adolf Furtwängler (1853–1907). Based on a relatively well documented case from the formative period in the modern history of Classical archaeology, this chapter explores how and to what extent various dynamic processes within the discipline can be affected when a key actor in the system for some reason withdraws or is excluded from the social aspects of the profession. Although Furtwängler was one of the most prolific and influential Classical archaeologists of his generation, his wide-ranging contribution is little discussed in the discipline’s modern histories, for various reasons. Based on substantial unpublished archive material that permits a detailed reconstruction of his professional networks and work methods, this chapter discusses Furtwängler’s problematic interaction with the scholarly community and his various strategies for creating and maintaining professional relations with institutions and individuals considered indispensable for his own work.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
The key role of the Italian antiquarian market in the inception of American Classical art collections during the late-nineteenth century

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Chicago Art Institute managed their acquisitions of international arts and antiquities through the mediation of salaried agents in Rome who made purchases on their behalf. This network made transactions easier and allowed faster connections and the possibility of profitable deals. No Roman scholar, archaeologist or even state official was not called at least once to give an opinion on a purchase, write a report for the granting of an export permit or provide an estimate of the market value of an artwork. They often crossed the boundaries between archaeology and antiquarianism, conservation and collecting, legal and illicit. Among these personalities Wolfgang Helbig and Rodolfo Lanciani were both prominent and dynamic. This chapter answers questions such as: Why did Helbig and Lanciani choose to be intermediaries for overseas museums on the Roman antiquarian market? Was money the only reason? What were the differences between figures like Helbig and Lanciani and those like John Marshall and Edward Perry Warren, who also worked as purchasing agents and intermediaries?

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
Was he more than just ‘Dr Took’?

This chapter presents a reflection and assessment of the life, career and work of the little-studied seventeenth-century physician and ‘Renaissance man’ Robert Toope. He is currently, perhaps, chiefly known for his correspondence on wide-ranging, eclectic, subjects with the likes of John Aubrey and Robert Boyle, together with later less-than-complimentary references by William Stukeley. The evidence suggests that the latter, albeit famous, observations were bafflingly unconsidered. Toope was more than merely a product of his time. He was clearly someone who was subject to periods of intense activity that had great influence on the work of his contemporaries and without which we would have far less understanding of the archaeological record of southern Britain. Yet, unlike many fellow antiquarians, for example, he did not publish his own observations, favouring perhaps the communication of such to other contemporary scholars. The chapter highlights the paradigmatic importance of going back to the original sources. It also serves to establish such facts as are known about Toope, correct some misinterpretations and introduce some new information in what is more than merely a nuanced biographical essay.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
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Toward an ethical vision

This chapter analyzes the attitudes of liberal thinkers in relation to Islam, with an emphasis on the Qur’an and the Prophet’s era, the hard core of Muslim collective memory throughout the ages. Liberal writers provided rich scholarship and dynamic interpretations of the sacred sources, based on scientific exploration of the historical, social, and cultural contexts in which Islam emerged in the seventh century

in Arab liberal thought in the modern age
Open Access (free)
Antonín Salač and the French School at Athens

Prague, though near the centre of Europe, is neither its geopolitical centre, nor the centre of Classics. How, then, might a scholar from Prague gain access to the Classical past or contribute to wider – particularly, European – conversations about Graeco-Roman antiquity? This chapter, drawing on archival research on the Czech classicist Antonín Salač (1885–1960), will consider some of the routes traced by knowledge about the Classical past in the Czechoslovakia of the first half of the twentieth century. Antonín Salač was a prominent epigrapher and archaeologist, who lived and worked in Prague for most of his life. But Prague – in fact, most of Czechoslovakia – lacked Classical material; certainly, it lacked in situ archaeological remains. Thus, Salač’s international bona fides were – and had to be – considerable. In his relationship with France, we will see how a scholar from a non-imperial nation might insinuate himself into what was, for the most part, a conversation between empires – through a savvy leveraging of geopolitics. The tragedy, of course, is that Salač’s relationships were never purely ‘political’. So, the loss of contact with his French colleagues after the 1948 coup d’état was also ‘personal’.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology
James Breasted’s early scientific network

This chapter examines the importance of place in building and maintaining scientific networks for the field scientist by using James Henry Breasted and his early network as a case study. There are a number of important factors that go into relationship dynamics among scientific practitioners, such as age, professional experience, and gender; however, each of these factors also affected where and how Breasted met these scholars. Examining Breasted’s relationships with Flinders Petrie and Gaston Maspero will reveal the nuances behind the varying sites of knowledge creation and the effect that the urban institution or the rural field site can have on the development of scientific networks, their means of communication, and the scholarship that results from these relationships.

in Communities and knowledge production in archaeology