Archive | June 2016

Short post on Vienna trip

Just got back from a two-week excursion to central Europe, with a quick turnaround for other familial obligations.

But lest you think I was merely reading Georg Scherer’s sermons at a Viennese café while drinking my Wiener Melange (more like eating apfelstruedel mit schlagobers and reading reports of yet another act of hate/terrorism/gun violence in the U.S.), I was actually hard at work, traipsing across the historical flotsam and jetsam of what once was the crown jewel of the Austro-Hungarian empire. But that’s for another time.

To tide you over, in case you’re in Vienna over the next couple of months, and are interested in all things Karl V, the Kunsthistorisches Museum has a top-floor exhibit on Charles V’s capture of Tunis in 1535. There are apparently some tapestries of his successful North African campaign in the Prado, but Vienna has the “cartoons” (the paintings which were the basis of the tapestries) currently on display.

Detail from Vermeyen cartoon of Tunis 1535 campaign

Detail from Vermeyen cartoon of Tunis 1535 campaign

For a brief (English-language) overview of the exhibit, you can look here.

The KHM also has a (German-language) catalog of the exhibit. Which makes me think there really should be some art museum listserv to alert interested parties to military history-themed exhibits. Though something like this might be a start.

Early Summer Reading

In case you need to add anything to your summer reading list, the following (recent and not-so-recent) publications are available for your perusal*:

Hamilton, Douglas J., and Douglas Macinnes, eds. Jacobitism, Enlightenment and Empire, 1680-1820. London: Routledge, 2014.
Abstract: The essays in this collection examine religion, politics and commerce in Scotland during a time of crisis and turmoil. Contributors look at the effect of the Union on Scottish trade and commerce, the Scottish role in tobacco and sugar plantations, Robert Burns’s early poetry on his planned emigration to Jamaica and Scottish anti-abolitionists.
Chapters of a more military bent include:
  • McInally, Thomas. “Missionaries or Soldiers for the Jacobite Cause? The Conflict of Loyalties for Scottish Catholic Clergy.” In Jacobitism, Enlightenment and Empire, 1680-1820, edited by Douglas Macinnes and Douglas J. Hamilton, 43–58. London: Routledge, 2014.
  • Szechi, Daniel. “Jamie the Soldier and the Jacobite Military Threat, 1706-27.” In Jacobitism, Enlightenment and Empire, 1680-1820, edited by Douglas Macinnes and Douglas J. Hamilton, 13–28. London: Routledge, 2014.
Faini, Marco, and Maria Elena Severini, eds. Books for Captains and Captains in Books: Shaping the Perfect Military Commander in Early Modern Europe. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2016.
Abstract: This volume collects the papers presented at the conference Books for Captains and Captains in books. Italo-German Conference on the training and image of the military leader during the Renaissance, held at the Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbüttel from 24th to 25th February, 2014.
The essays explore at length why and how the captain became the subject of a series of new discourses. The present volume therefore proves an extensive insight into an understudied, if not neglected, subject. It investigates the rise of the captain in early modern Europe through a wide variety of sources: treatises, poems, books of precepts, translations from the classics, and visual sources. While the focus of this collection is mainly on Italy, the articles here collected stress the relevance of cultural transfer to and from Germany, while taking into account also other countries, such as France, Poland and Spain. The interdisciplinary approach allows the successful reconstruction of the figure of the captain, in order to understand the reasons of its rise, and to explain its multifarious representations. This collection of studies also enables us to investigate some of the most crucial historiographical questions concerning early modern Europe (i.e. the role of the Counter Reformation or the issue of social mobility) from new perspectives. Books for Captains and Captains in Books will certainly pave the way for future research into this fascinating and complex topic.
El Hage, Fadi. Abraham Fabert. Du clientélisme au maréchalat (1599-1662). L’Harmattan, 2016.
Abstract: « Cet homme eut un courage intrépide, une application infatigable, une conduite irrépréhensible, et une capacité si diversifiée, qu’on n’a jamais bien su le plus beau de ses talents. » Telle était selon Courtilz de Sandras la réputation d’Abraham Fabert (1599-1662), fils d’imprimeur devenu maréchal de France. Ce livre propose de découvrir ou de redécouvrir un personnage emblématique de l’évolution sociale et militaire de la noblesse au XVIIe siècle, passant du clientélisme auprès de grands seigneurs au service de l’État.


Fontaine, Marie-Madeleine, and Jean-Louis Fournel, eds. Les mots de la guerre dans l’Europe de la Renaissance. Genève: Librairie Droz, 2015.
Abstract: Cet ouvrage s’intéresse à la terminologie des mots appartenant aux domaines militaires (armes, artillerie, fortifications, etc.), qu’ils concernent les professionnels de la guerre, les juristes du droit de la guerre ou les acteurs politiques, selon les langues et les conditions de chaque pays du monde européen et méditerranéen, entre les XVe et XVIIe siècles. L’analyse de l’invention, de l’usage et de l’usure des mots réserve quelques surprises dans les évolutions rapides et irrégulières qui marquent les relations entre des réalités éphémères et leurs désignations plus ou moins stables et pertinentes. Les auteurs de ces études se sont interrogés sur les causes diverses qui ont pu être à l’origine de tels décalages ou survivances.
To mention but one example, Pieter Martens has a chapter on the assimilation of Italian engineering terminology in the Habsburg Low Countries.
Tozzi, Christopher J. Nationalizing France’s Army: Foreign, Black, and Jewish Troops in the French Military, 1715-1831. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2016.
Abstract: Before the French Revolution, tens of thousands of foreigners served in France’s army. They included troops from not only all parts of Europe but also places as far away as Madagascar, West Africa, and New York City. Beginning in 1789, the French revolutionaries, driven by a new political ideology that placed “the nation” at the center of sovereignty, began aggressively purging the army of men they did not consider French, even if those troops supported the new regime. Such efforts proved much more difficult than the revolutionaries anticipated, however, owing to both their need for soldiers as France waged war against much of the rest of Europe and the difficulty of defining nationality cleanly at the dawn of the modern era. Napoleon later faced the same conundrums as he vacillated between policies favoring and rejecting foreigners from his army. It was not until the Bourbon Restoration, when the modern French Foreign Legion appeared, that the French state established an enduring policy on the place of foreigners within its armed forces. By telling the story of France’s noncitizen soldiers―who included men born abroad as well as Jews and blacks whose citizenship rights were subject to contestation―Christopher Tozzi sheds new light on the roots of revolutionary France’s inability to integrate its national community despite the inclusionary promise of French republicanism. Drawing on a range of original, unpublished archival sources, Tozzi also highlights the linguistic, religious, cultural, and racial differences that France’s experiments with noncitizen soldiers introduced to eighteenth- and nineteenth-century French society.Winner of the Walker Cowen Memorial Prize for an Outstanding Work of Scholarship in Eighteenth-Century Studies
Dorrell, Nick. Marlborough’s Other Army: The British Army and the Campaigns of the First Peninsula War, 1702-1712. Helion and Company, 2015.
Abstract: An often neglected aspect of Marlborough’s war is its crucial campaign in Spain and Portugal also known as the First Peninsula War of 1702–1712. Whilst this campaign was critical to the outcome of the war, relatively little information is available about it or the army that fought it. This work not only provides  a detailed look  at the army that fought the Spanish and Portuguese campaigns of Marlborough’s war, but it also offers an insight into  the course of the war in Iberia. It aims to provide more detail and understanding of a relatively little known part of a war that helped to shape and strengthened Britain’s position amongst the main European players.  Several chapters look at the national contingents that made up the confederate armies fighting in Spain and Portugal. The work concentrates not only on the reasonably well known British contribution but also on the equally important role of the  less well known Austrian, Dutch, Palatine, Portuguese and Spanish contingents. These chapters provide general information about  the units involved, their organization, tactics and other relevant detail. In other chapters  the work concentrates  in detail on the developments in the Spanish and Portuguese campaigns in each year of the war.  Details of the composition of the armies in each campaign, their activities and battles, the size of the units if known, etc, in each year are provided. Attention is paid not only to the most famous engagement at Almanza but also to the other battles and skirmishes  of the Iberian campaigns.The book provides a complete guide to the forces fighting in Marlborough’s armies in Iberia. It will be a valuable addition to the library of both the casual reader and the serious history student with interest in this important part of British and European history. It not only offers  for the first time an overview of all the contributions to the war effort in Iberia, but also  presents the reader with a valuable contrast not only to Marlborough’s campaigns of the time, but also perhaps  to Wellington’s later campaign.


Dadson,  Trevor J. and J.H. Elliott, eds. Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013. London: Legenda, 2014.
Military chapters of note:
Elliott, J.H. “The Road to Utrecht: War and Peace.” In Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013, edited by Trevor J. Dadson and J.H. Elliott, 3–8`. London: Legenda, 2014.
Hoppit, Julian. “Party Politics and War Weariness in the Reign of Queen Anne.” In Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013, edited by Trevor J. Dadson and J.H. Elliott, 9–18. London: Legenda, 2014.
Palao Gil, Francisco Javier. “The Crown of Aragon in the War of the Spanish Succession.” In Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013, edited by Trevor J. Dadson and J.H. Elliott, 18–38. London: Legenda, 2014.
Storrs, Christopher. “Philip V and the Revival of Spain 1713-48.” In Britain, Spain and the Treaty of Utrecht 1713-2013, edited by Trevor J. Dadson and J.H. Elliott, 78–94. London: Legenda, 2014.
Pogăciaș, Andrei. “Chemical Warfare in the 18th Century? A Wallachian Chronicle and Other Written Sources about It.” Revista Arhivelor 2 (2016): 85–93.
Title kinda explains it all, doesn’t it?


And even further afield:
Noda, Jin. The Kazakh Khanates Between the Russian and Qing Empires: Central Eurasian International Relations During the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries. Lam edition. Leiden ; Boston: Brill Academic Pub, 2016.
Abstract: In The Kazakh Khanates between the Russian and Qing Empires, Jin Noda examines the foreign relations of the Kazakh Chinggisid sultans and the Russian and Qing empires during the 18th and 19th centuries. Noda makes use of both Russian and Qing archival documents as well as local Islamic sources. Through analysis of each party’s claims –mainly reflected in the Russian-Qing negotiations regarding Central Eurasia–, the book describes the role played by the Kazakh nomads in tying together the three regions of eastern Kazakh steppe, Western Siberia, and Xinjiang.


As usual, many of these citations can also be found in the group Zotero bibliography.


* Assuming you hunt them down.