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Title: The contribution of the jesuits to military architecture in the baroque age
Author: De lucca, Denis
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis sets out to shed light on the contribution of the Jesuit Order, often known as the Society of Jesus, to the dissemination of ideas about military architecture in the Baroque age. In the first chapter, it is shown that the Jesuits developed an extraordinarily militant form of religious expression that included in its agenda their involvement in 'just wars' against Protestant 'heretics' or Turkish infidels, these being considered to be the two prime enemies of the Catholic Church. The 'military mind' of St Ignatius of Loyola, the preaching, confessional and wider educational ministries of his Order and the compilation of early Jesuit books on war ethics are all addressed together with the relationship that quickly evolved between the mathematical disciplines entrenched in the Jesuit curriculum of studies known as the Ratio Studiorum and the geometry of war. In the context of the great religious divides and numerous wars that characterized early modem Europe, it is shown in the second and third chapters how the Jesuits assisted Catholic leaders by using the mathematical faculties attached to many of their colleges and seminaries for nobles to disseminate knowledge on fortification matters. This was achieved through teaching (both classroom and private), writing (treatises in manuscript or book form), consultations (letters and reports) and, at times, even active service in the field by Jesuit fortification experts attached to Catholic armies. Such military activity was by no means restricted to the European continent. In SQuth America. the Philippines and China, the Jesuits formed armies, built fortresses and manufactured cannons to protect and propagate their missionary work Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam. The involvement of Jesuits in military matters and their many fortification treatises, not surprisingly, sometimes provoked a negative reactiQn from Generals of the Order who saw them running counter to Loyola's religious vision of world evangelization. But the expertise was real and recognized as such by contemporaries. By examining a late seventeenth-century Spanish treatise on military architecture entitled Escuela de Palas, the third chapter confirms that Jesuit mathematicians who taught and wrote on fortification (sometimes using pseudonyms to protect their identity) were often regarded as experts in military architecture, rivalling the achievements in this field of knowledge of leading military engineers such as Vauban. In the fourth chapter, the career of the Sicilian Jesuit mathematicus Giacomo Maso has been examined in depth because it provides a good case study of the controversy and crisis of conscience that Jesuits contributing to the dissemination of fortification knowledge often had to face. In conclusion, it has been shown in the fifth and final chapter that the interest of several Jesuits in the subject of military architecture remained strong in the 1773-1814 suppression period, after which, however, it was discontinued.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available