Peace and Negotiation: Strategies for Coexistence in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance

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Diane Wolfthal
Isd, 2000 - History - 265 pages
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Peace was far from a pale, static concept - a simple lack of violence - in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Rather, it was at times constructed as a rich and complex, positive and dynamic ideal. The thirteen articles in this volume cover a broad range of disciplines, times, and geographical areas and explore strategies that were used in the past to resolve conflict and attain peace. They examine events, texts, and images that date from the fifth through the sixteenth centuries, and their authors focus not only on Western Europe, but also on Scandinavia, the Caucusus, and Egypt. This volume rests on the assumption that peace covers a spectrum of situations that connects the personal and the political. Therefore, the papers presented here examine not only how nations negotiated peace, but also how individuals did. Similarly, although several essays spotlight those in the seat of power, others explore those who are politically marginalized. our views about peace and conflict, as this collection makes clear, are shaped in part by the mentalites of the past. Although some peacemaking strategies may be unacceptable to us today - forced marriages and conversions, for example - we can learn from other strategies how to transcend or modify various modes of antagonistic thinking.

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