Search results for: the-medici-giraffe

The Medici Giraffe

Author : Marina Belozerskaya
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A fascinating exploration, spanning two thousand years, of the central role exotic animals have played in war, diplomacy, and the pomp of rulers and luminaries.

Exotic Animals in the Art and Culture of the Medici Court in Florence

Author : Angelica Groom
File Size : 49.68 MB
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An examination of the diverse roles exotic animals, both living species and depicted as motifs in art, played in the fashioning of the Medici’s courtly identity.

Giraffe Reflections

Author : Dale Peterson
File Size : 58.41 MB
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The most comprehensive book on giraffes to appear in the last fifty years, this volume presents a magnificent portrait of a group of animals who, in spite of their legendary elegance and astonishing gentleness, may not entirely survive this century. Dale Peterson’s text provides a natural and cultural history of the world’s tallest and second-biggest land animals, describing in detail their biology and behavior. He offers a new perspective on the giraffes’ place in our world, and argues for the stronger protection of these imposing yet endangered creatures and their elusive forest relatives, the okapis. Some 120 stunning photographs by award-winning wildlife photographer Karl Ammann capture the grace and elegance of Giraffa camelopardalis. Both beautiful and informative, the images document giraffes’ complex interactions with each other and their environment.


Author : Edgar Williams
File Size : 52.23 MB
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Their extraordinary long necks, distinctive camouflage, graceful movements, and friendly nature have made giraffes one of the most fascinating and beloved animals on the planet. But while giraffes once roamed the Great Plains of Africa in huge herds, their numbers have greatly diminished, and they are now entirely dependent on humanity for their survival. In Giraffe, Edgar Williams explores not only the biology of the tallest animals on earth, but also their impact on human history—including in ancient Egypt, where giraffes were kept as exotic pets; the Middle Ages, when giraffes were considered mythical beasts as improbable and mysterious as the dragon; and the Victorian era, in which giraffe hunting was considered an exhilarating sport. Giraffe is the first book to provide a comprehensive, twenty-first-century view of the giraffe in art, literature, film, and popular culture, as well as its natural history from prehistory to modern times. With new insights into the giraffe’s genetics and evolution, this book will appeal to those interested in the giraffe’s unique biology and to anyone who admires the majestic giraffe.

Cargoes in Motion

Author : Burkhard Schnepel
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An innovative collection of essays that foregrounds specific cargoes as a means to understand connectivity and mobility across the Indian Ocean world. Scholars have long appreciated the centrality of trade and commerce in understanding the connectivity and mobility that underpin human experience in the Indian Ocean region. But studies of merchant and commercial activities have paid little attention to the role that cargoes have played in connecting the disparate parts of this vast oceanic world. Drawing from the work of anthropologists, geographers, and historians, Cargoes in Motion tells the story of how material objects have informed and continue to shape processes of exchange across the Indian Ocean. By following selected cargoes through both space and time, this book makes an important and innovative contribution to Indian Ocean studies. The multidisciplinary approach deepens our understanding of the nature and dynamics of the Indian Ocean world by showing how transoceanic connectivity has been driven not only by economic, social, cultural, and political factors but also by the materiality of the objects themselves. Essays by: Edward A. Alpers Fahad Ahmad Bishara Eva-Maria Knoll Karl-Heinz Kohl Lisa Jenny Krieg Pedro Machado Rupert Neuhöfer Mareike Pampus Hannah Pilgrim Burkhard Schnepel Hanne Schönig Tansen Sen Steven Serels Julia Verne Kunbing Xiao

The Arts of Tuscany

Author : Marina Belozerskaya
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Tuscany is everyone’s dream--a land of picturesque landscapes, fabulous food, and above all, extraordinary masterpieces of art of every kind. Focusing on a series of Tuscan centers, from the Etruscan capitals of Cerveteri and Tarquinia to the great medieval and Renaissance city-states of Lucca, Pisa, Siena, and Florence down to the present day, Marina Belozerskaya leads the reader on a journey through the arts of this astonishing part of Italy. Unlike other books on Tuscany, this one spans time, geography, and a wide variety of art forms--from Etruscan bronzes to Ferragamo shoes--and shows how the arts of this fertile region have sprung from their native soil over the centuries, each era providing the foundation for the next. Lavishly illustrated, and rich with the fascinating stories of Tuscan arts and their creators, The Arts of Tuscany offers an enchanting new look into the opulent culture of a beloved part of the world.

Practising Diplomacy in the Mamluk Sultanate

Author : Doris Behrens-Abouseif
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Elaborate and sensational gifts were the hallmark of Mamluk diplomacy. In firm control of the medieval spice trade as well as the holy sites of Christianity and Islam, the Sultanate's capital at Cairo became a diplomatic crossroads in the medieval world and the seat of a new Islamic caliphate. Already victorious over both the Crusaders and the Mongols, their military success and lavish religious patronage were not enough to ensure the dynasty's prestige: the Mamluk Sultans were often reminded of their slave origins, impugned by rivals as 'pagans' recruited to faith and service by purchase. In response, the sultans staged brilliant performances in Cairo and dispatched carefully designed diplomatic gifts all over the medieval world. These marvellous displays were the crowning ornament of Mamluk legitimacy, celebrated from Europe to the Far East. Drawing on extensive primary sources and fieldwork in museums across the world, Doris Behrens-Abouseif is the first to treat this important subject in depth and here reveals an unexplored aspect of Middle Eastern material culture. Composed of spectacular elements such as spices, exotic animals, Chinese porcelain, ceremonial textiles and military and equestrian objects - not to mention humans, either living or as severed heads - the regal offering varied in combination and emphasis according to the status and circumstances of giver and receiver, but always created a sensation. Acknowledging the established historical precedents of diplomacy and regal gift-giving, the author examines the nuance of cultural and political realities in period diplomacy as well as the transmission of encrypted messages, illuminating the subtle conveyance of self-representation and identity in medieval Cairo and the world beyond. With ground-breaking new research, this book - richly illustrated in colour - provides a comprehensive view of the art and politics of the Mamluk diplomatic gift, by which these sultans of humble origins created a magnificent image of themselves in the courts of their Muslim rivals and allies worldwide. It will prove essential reading for both students and scholars.

The Eloquence of Art

Author : Andrea Olsen Lam
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For those within the fields of art history and Byzantine studies, Professor Henry Maguire needs no introduction. His publications transformed the way art historians approach medieval art through his insightful integration of rhetoric, poetry and non-canonical objects into the study of Byzantine art. His ground-breaking studies of Byzantine art that consider the natural world, magic and imperial imagery, among other themes, have redefined the ways medieval art is interpreted. From notable monuments to small-scale and privately used objects, Maguire’s work has guided a generation of scholars to new conclusions about the place of art and its function in Byzantium. In this volume, 23 of Henry Maguire’s colleagues and friends have contributed papers in his honour, resulting in studies that reflect the broad range of his scholarly interests.

How Giraffes Work

Author : Graham Mitchell
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There are few creatures more beautiful, aloof, and fascinating than giraffes. Their social and ecological impact has been documented by many researchers. However, the inner workings of extant giraffes are less well known. That is why Graham Mitchell decided to write How Giraffes Work: a comprehensive overview of the anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry--in short, the normal functions--of a free-living, wild animal in its natural environment. A zoologist, veterinarian, and physiologist, Mitchell explains how giraffes get through their day. Additionally, he takes readers through the evolution of their physical characteristics, such as their size, shape, and coat markings. His approach integrates history with the physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, behavior, evolution, genetics, ecology, climate science, and more. Each chapter follows the discovery and utility of a different characteristic of giraffes. Illustrated with over two hundred figures and diagrams, the book explains how giraffes might have evolved and survived over many millions of years as well as how our perception of them has changed throughout history. So, how do giraffes work? The answers lie in a story filled not only with the details of their internal working but also with the labors of the extraordinary scientists who have put so many pieces of this puzzle together.

Daughter of Siena

Author : Marina Fiorato
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The Palio: Siena's famously dangerous and hard-fought horse race. A year of planning, ten riders, three circuits of the piazza - and all over in a single moment. But this year, for two of the women watching, far more than the coveted prize is at stake. For Pia of the Tolomei, the most beautiful woman in Siena, the Palio is her last hope of escaping a violent marriage. For Violante de Medici, it marks the start of what her enemies intend to be her last month as governess of the city. Isolated in her palace, surrounded by conspirators, she must find the courage to uncover a plot that threatens her very existence. The trumpets sound. And into the piazza rides an unknown horseman, clad in the colours of the Tower contrada. What he does during the race will not only change the lives of Pia and Violante, but alter the course of the Medici dynasty itself. Alive with all the colour and rich historical detail that marks Marina Fiorato's work, Daughter of Siena is a dramatic and compelling story of treachery, courage and the power of love.