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Cursor Mundi (CURSOR 40)

Order into Action
How Large-Scale Concepts of World-Order determine Practices in the Premodern World

C. Mauntel, K. Oschema (eds.)
approx. 325 p., 6 b/w ill. + 14 colour ill., 156 x 234 mm, 2021
ISBN: 978-2-503-59046-2
Languages: English
The publication is in production.The publication is in production. (02/2022)
Retail price: EUR 90,00 excl. tax
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A cross-cultural enquiry into the practical effects of ordering the (premodern) word.

Focusing on religious, political, and geographical ideas and models, this volume explores, how and to which extent pertinent large-scale concepts influenced or determined concrete actions in premodern cultures.

“Ordering” objects, perceptions, and phenomena is not a neutral activity. The models and concepts that are used in this endeavor do not merely arrange the empirically available material, but they invest them with specific positions and values that are culturally determined. The activity of “ordering” relies on models that help us to perceive and categorize the information conveyed by experience and tradition alike. In turn, its results effectively influence the behaviour and actions of individuals and groups. With a focus on premodern societies in Europe, the Arab world and East Asia, this volume proposes new approaches to premodern models of world-order, by analyzing their effects on individual of collective actions. Examples include socio-religious concepts (Christianity, terra paganorum, dar al-harb), political ideas  (empire) and geographical notions. A section dedicated to Sub-Saharan Africa, Australia, and Pre-Columbian America considerably broadens the geographic scope and provides innovative additional material for further comparative insights.

Christoph Mauntel is a postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Medieval History (University of Tübingen). His research focuses on late medieval political culture (esp. in France) and the interrelation between geographical and cultural concepts in premodern cultures.

Klaus Oschema is professor of (late) medieval history at the Ruhr-University Bochum. His specialisation includes late medieval nobility and society, the concept of Europe in the Middle Ages and transcultural contacts and transmission of knowledge.
Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Introduction: Creating Order and Causing Action

Klaus Oschema and Christoph Mauntel

Dār al-ḥarb vs terra paganorum: On the Practical Implications of Circumscribing the Sphere of the ‘Infidels’

Daniel G. König

The Concept of Christendom: Christianitas as a Call to Action

Nora Berend

A ‘Medieval Islamist’ Versus an ‘Arab Machiavelli’? The Legacy of the Mamluk Scholars Ibn Taymīya (1263–1328) and Ibn Nubāta (1287–1366)

Albrecht Fuess

The Mongol World-Order: From Universalism to Glocalization

Michal Biran


Between Universal Empire and the Plurality of Kingdoms: On the Practical Influence of Political Concepts in Late Medieval Latin Europe

Christoph Mauntel and Klaus Oschema

Imperial Geography and Fatherly Benevolence: The Chinese World Order and the Construction of its Margins

Donatella Guida

The Advent of the Black Magus: Moving towards a Continental Hierarchy

Michael Wintle

Beyond Eurasia — the African Contribution to the Pre-Modern World: Examining the Global and the Local in the Kilwa Sultanate, East Africa

Mark Horton

Seeing Through the Rainbow: Aboriginal Australian Concepts of an Ordered Universe

Veronica Strang

Translating Otherworlds: The Encounter of Pre-Columbian and European Cosmologies in Colonial Missionary and Indigenous Texts from Highland Guatemala

Frauke Sachse


Interest Classification:
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history
Pre-modern (but not ancient) history of other continents & subcontinents
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Early modern history (1501-1800) : main subdisciplines
Political & institutional history

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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