Edited By Sarah Alyn Stacey
Sarah Alyn Stacey Introduction
Taking conf lict as its collective theme, this volume of articles of fers a range of insights into the political, social and religious climate of the Duchy of Savoy in the early modern period. It considers the diplomatic relations between the court of Savoy and various foreign powers during a time of wide-scale European unrest, unrest which had notable repercussions for the defining of national territories, identities, and religious allegiance. A primary focus of the volume in this last respect is the persecution of the Waldensians, the followers of the Christian spiritual movement which, in the sixteenth century, was absorbed into the Protestant Reformation.1 The conference that inspired this volume of essays was, in fact, organised around the Waldensian manuscripts conserved in the Old Library of Trinity College and collected by James Ussher (1581–1656), Professor of Theology in Trinity and, from 1625, Archbishop of Armagh.2 A number of the chapters consider the use of propaganda to manipu- late perceptions about the House of Savoy, thereby touching on a conf lict between political reality and constructed image arising from political ambition. This is the subject of the first three chapters which examine the attempts by the Dukes of Savoy to elevate their status either through court protocols or territorial expansion. In the first of these chapters, ‘Language and Sovereignty: The Use of Titles and Savoy’s Royal Declaration of 1632’, Tony Osborne considers 1 On the Waldensians, see in particular Gabriel Audisio, ed., Les Vaudois des origines à leur fin (XIIe–XVIe...
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