08 December 2021

JOURNAL: Annales. Histoire - Sciences Sociales [Special Issue Méditerranées - Antiquités du Nouveau Monde - Pouvoirs et justice] LXXVI (2021), No. 1


(image source: CAIRN)



Gouverner la langue arabe Miguel Casiri et les arabisants du roi d’Espagne au siècle des Lumières (Thomas Glesener)


Born in Tripoli (Mount Lebanon), Miguel Casiri (1708-1791) had a significant influence on Arabic studies in Spain during the second half of the eighteenth century. His legacy has traditionally been evaluated in light of an intellectual history focused on his writings, largely ignoring his activity as an agent of the Spanish Monarchy. Yet Casiri helped consolidate a pole of expertise in Arabic in Madrid just when the Crown intended to rationally refute certain urban privileges based on Arabic texts and inscriptions. By exhuming Casiri’s contribution to these reforms, this article traces the conflicting modalities of the formation of a specialized linguistic field attached to the royal jurisdiction. In doing so, it highlights two major dividing lines. The first concerns the selection of personnel employed as linguistic experts, and in particular the regulation of the Maronite diaspora’s networks—which were major suppliers of these workers. The second concerns the definition of expertise in Arabic, opposing the defenders of a specialized knowledge controlled by a community of scholars and those who advocated a practical knowledge subjected to the needs of the commissioners. Moving away from an intellectual history of the language, this article offers a political history of Arabists that reestablishes knowledge of Arabic as central to the constitution of state expertise.

Objets captifs. Les artefacts catholiques en Méditerranée au début de l’époque moderne (Daniel Hershenzon, trad. Antoine Heudre)


Catholic artifacts—images and sculptures of Christ, the Virgin, and various saints, as well as rosaries, crucifixes, and liturgical objects—circulated in their thousands throughout the early modern western Mediterranean. This mobility was largely an indirect byproduct of privateering and human trafficking, which intertwined Spain’s Mediterranean territories, Morocco, and Ottoman Algiers. The disruptive moment of captivity set these otherwise disparate objects on common trajectories, making it interesting to study them as a category. The article argues that Catholic artifacts played surprising roles in the experience of Catholic captives, renegades, and their Muslim masters as well as in the economy of ransom that facilitated the rescue of captives. Against the design of their initial distributors, such objects provided captives, converts, and masters with unexpected affordances, and in so doing helped blur the religious boundary and created new entanglements between members of these groups and Catholic materiality. The argument is developed in three stages. First, the article claims that the surge in captivity following the Spanish-Ottoman truce of 1581 meant that more devotional objects were sent from Spain to Catholics held captive in the Maghrib. Second, it asserts that some of these artifacts ended up serving converts to Islam, while others were plundered by Algerian and Moroccan rulers. Third, the article contends that plunder and repurposing afforded captives the power to redeem an emblem of their God, provided Trinitarians and Mercedarians with opportunities to ransom objects and gain fame back home, and served Maghrebi rulers to secure religious privileges for their subjects enslaved in Spain. Focusing on their mobility demonstrates the degree to which Catholic objects continued to articulate and mediate social, political, and economic relations in the western Mediterranean over the long seventeenth century.

Le christianisme oriental à l’époque ottomane : du postcolonial au global (1960-2020) (Bernard Heyberger)
DOI 10.1017/ahss.2020.127


As a result of the place assigned to them in colonial and then postcolonial ideologies, the Christians of the Middle East were long relegated to the margins of historiography. Nevertheless, much has changed in the last two decades, and considering minorities, whether Christian or other, is currently an epistemologically rewarding way to approach Middle Eastern and Mediterranean societies. This article reviews the historiography on the subject since the 1960s, showing its progressive investment by historians of the early modern era. What was termed “economic and social history” avoided treating minorities as a specific issue. On the contrary, with the emergence of the history of mentalités in the 1990s, the study of Eastern Christians became integral to research into “popular religion” and “shared religion,” making it possible to highlight similarities and interactions between Christianity and Islam. Today, the diasporic structure of most Eastern Christian societies, with small groups linked by networks of mobile individuals, offers an interesting canvas for microhistorical studies that contribute to a global history which includes the Mediterranean. Finally, considering Eastern Christians as actors in the construction of knowledge about the Orient foregrounds a relational approach that challenges a one-dimensional focus on the European centers of knowledge production supporting imperialist aims.

Antiquités du nouveau monde 

Pas encore classiques. La fabrique des antiquités américaines au XIXe siècle (Minura Achim & Stefanie Gänger, trad. Antoine Heudre)


Prehispanic antiquities from the Americas became a recognizable aesthetic, scientific, commercial, and legal category over the nineteenth century. This article maps out the actors, sites, and material and ideological configurations involved in its creation and development. The first section examines the Iberian antiquarian tradition that placed preconquest artefacts into circulation as epistemic objects by the mid-1700s, against the backdrop of the increasing relevance of material vestiges as objects of investigation. The article then turns to the collecting scenes in the newly independent Spanish American countries, where creole elites, local museums, and foreigners competed for antiquities, driven by their own diverse interests. The third section explores the ways in which, by the mid-1800s, “paper technologies” functioned as heuristic tools for knowing, organizing, and interpreting antiquities, affording ontological density to specific objects and groups of objects and leading to the construction of regimes of knowledge and expertise devoted specifically to them. Finally, the fourth section reconstructs the national and international processes of institutionalization of the preconquest past in the late 1800s and early 1900s—through the consolidation of national museums and the establishment of archaeology and ethnography as scientific disciplines—to consider how these processes entrenched these antiquities’ significance and meaning.

Pouvoirs et justice

Book reviews

  • Paulin Ismard. La cité et ses esclaves. Institution, fictions, expériences. Paris, Éd. du Seuil, 2019, 378 p (Soazick Kerneis) 
  • Charles Guérin. La voix de la vérité. Témoin et témoignage dans les tribunaux romains du Ier siècle avant J.-C.. Paris, Les Belles lettres, 2015, 424 p (Clément Bur) 
  • Clément Bur. La citoyenneté dégradée. Une histoire de l’infamie à Rome (312 av. J.-C.-96 apr. J.-C.). Rome, École française de Rome, 2018, XII-697 p (Anne Simonin)
  • Christophe Picard. La mer des califes. Une histoire de la Méditerranée musulmane (VIIe-XIIe siècle). Paris, Éd. du Seuil, 2015, 439 p (Ingrid Houssaye Michienzi)
  • Mathieu Tillier. L’invention du cadi. La justice des musulmans, des juifs et des chrétiens aux premiers siècles de l’islam. Paris, Publications de la Sorbonne, 2017, 704 p (Wissam H. Halawi)
  • Adriano Prosperi. Justice Blindfolded: The Historical Course of an Image. trad. par J. Tedeschi et A. Tedeschi, Leyde, Brill, 2018, XXIV-260 p (Giuliano Milani)
  • Didier Lett (dir.). I registri della giustizia penale nell’Italia dei secoli XII-XV. Rome, École française de Rome, 2020, 492 p (Sylvain Parent)
  • Lionel Dorthe et Kathrin Utz Tremp (éd.) Registrum Lombardorum. Le premier registre notarial des Archives de l’État de Fribourg (1356-1359). Bâle, Schwabe Verlag, 2016, LVIII-824 p (Gabriel Audisio)
  • Benoît Grévin. La première loi du royaume. L’acte de fixation de la majorité des rois de France (1374). Paris, Classiques Garnier, 2021, 615 p (Xavier Hélary)
  • Yann Potin. Trésor, écrits, pouvoirs. Archives et bibliothèques d’État en France à la fin du Moyen Âge. Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2020, 272 p (Pierre Chastang)
  • Sebastian Roebert. Die Königin im Zentrum der Macht. Reginale Herrschaft in der Krone Aragón am Beispiel Eleonores von Sizilien (1349-1375). Berlin, De Gruyter, 2020, XVI-830 p (Stéphane Péquignot)
  • Michelle Bubenicek. Entre rébellion et obéissance. L’espace politique comtois face au duc Philippe le Hardi (1384-1404). Genève, Droz, 2013, 774 p (Vincent Corriol)
  • Alessandro Silvestri. L’amministrazione del regno di Sicilia. Cancelleria, apparati finanziari e strumenti di governo nel tardo Medioevo. Rome, Viella, 2018, 496 p (Roxane Chilà)
  • Paolo Sachet. Publishing for the Popes: The Roman Curia and the Use of Printing (1527-1555). Leyde, Brill, 2020, 306 p Catherine Rideau-Kikuchi)
  • Eleonora Canepari. La construction du pouvoir local. Élites municipales, liens sociaux et transactions économiques dans l’espace urbain. Rome, 1550-1650. Rome, École française de Rome, 2017, 399 p (Julia Castiglione)
  • Maartje van Gelder et Claire Judde de Larivière (dir.). Popular Politics in an Aristocratic Republic: Political Conflict and Social Contestation in Late Medieval and Early Modern Venice. Londres, Routledge, 2020, 266 p (Catherine Rideau-Kikuchi)
  • Élisabeth Crouzet-Pavan et Jean-Claude Maire Vigueur. Décapitées. Trois femmes dans l’Italie de la Renaissance. Paris, Albin Michel, 2018, 430 p (Ilaria Taddei)
  • José-Juan López-Portillo. “Another Jerusalem”: Political Legitimacy and Courtly Government in the Kingdom of New Spain (1535-1568). Leyde, Brill, 2018, XVII-337 p (Jean-Pierre Dedieu)
  • Charlotte de Castelnau-L’Estoile. Páscoa et ses deux maris. Une esclave entre Angola, Brésil et Portugal au XVIIe siècle. Paris, PUF, 2019, 302 p (Isabelle Poutrin)
  • Anne Dubet et José Javier Ruiz Ibáñez (dir.). Las monarquías española y francesa (siglos XVI-XVIII). ¿Dos modelos políticos? Madrid, Casa de Velázquez, 2010, XV-254 p (Stanis Perez)
  • Barbara Stollberg-Rilinger. Maria Theresia. Die Kaiserin in ihrer Zeit. Eine Biographie. Munich, C. H. Beck, 2017, 1083 p (Christine Lebeau)
  • Micah Alpaugh. Non-Violence and the French Revolution: Political Demonstrations in Paris, 1787-1795. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2015, VIII-292 p (Anne Simonin)
  • Catherine Lacaze. Francisco Morazán : le Bolívar de l’Amérique Centrale ? Rennes, PUR, 2018, 270 p (Jordana Dym)
  • Bertrand Joly. Histoire politique de l’affaire Dreyfus. Paris, Fayard, 2014, 783 p (Christophe Prochasson)
  • Suchetana Chattopadhyay. Voices of Komagata Maru: Imperial Surveillance and Workers from Punjab in Bengal. New York, Columbia University Press, 2019, 192 p (Denis Matringe)
  • Judith Surkis. Sex, Law, and Sovereignty in French Algeria, 1830-1930. Ithaca, Cornell University Press, 2019, 354 p (François Dumasy)
Read the full journal on CAIRN.

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