The Terrible Embrace of the Incipient Baroque: Textually Enacting the Union of Crowns

  • John Slater University of California, Davis
Keywords: baroque, Union of Crowns, Moluccas and Banda Islands, Garcia de Orta, João de Barros, Laurel de Apolo.


Portugal and Spain were ruled by a single monarchy from 1580 to 1640; the images of encircling and embracing that accompanied Castilian celebrations of the Union of Crowns indicate that new language accompanied the new political reality. This new language became the idiom of an incipient baroque, a regime of representation that rendered perceptible the particular aspirations of a universal monarchy. Through successive Castilian translations and adaptations, seminal Portuguese works crisscrossed the Hapsburg empire, enclosing the globe in a textual embrace. Textual enclosure became one of the means by which the Hapsburg empire was enacted. 

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