Christian IV: Rex Splendens and Rex Humilis (pre-order)

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Christian IV: Rex Splendens and Rex Humilis
  • Edited by: Steffen Heiberg, Juliette Roding, Margriet Lacy-Bruijn, Rolof van Hövell tot Westerflier, and Poul Holstein
  • Hardback linen binding with dustjacket, 21.5 x 28.5 cm,
  • 424 pages, full-colour photographs, maps and artwork throughout
  • ISBN: 978-94-90258-22-1
  • Language: English

This book takes an in-depth look at the life and reign of Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway. A fascinating political figure of the early seventeenth century, he is also remembered for his cultural and entrepreneurial activity. Christian IV was a great builder, founded several new cities, and had an international reputation as a patron of the arts.

As a young king he enjoyed military and political success and acquired a considerable international position. As an old king he was deeply hurt, on a private level, by his wife’s infidelity, and also had to face humiliating defeats that strongly contributed to the decline of Danish power and led to great suffering for his peoples. His wounds received at the naval battle at Kolberger Heide, however, made him a national hero despite the political and military disasters. In his personal letters and in his artistic self-staging we see that the king himself interpreted the transformation from rex splendens to rex humilis as divinely imposed martyrdom – a concept that had an enormous impact: especially in bourgeois circles hostile to the nobility, Christian IV was viewed as a king whose right intentions were thwarted by a selfish nobility who put their own economic and social interests above those of the nation.

In this book, historians from six different countries go beyond traditional myths by examining Christian IV’s views and political and cultural activities in a European context; thus underscoring the complexity of a paradoxical and contradictory person whose need for prestige, despite his intelligence and vast knowledge, often created disastrous illusions. His significant buildings and urban structures remain witnesses of his personal ambitions and of the cultural trends of early seventeenth-century Europe in general.

Includes the following chapters:

  1. Christian IV: A Paradoxical and Contradictory Character (Steffen Heiberg, Denmark)
  2. ‘My dear Preceptor’: The Education of a European Renaissance Prince (Bent Christensen and Christian Gore Torsten, Denmark)
  3. Centre and Periphery: The Structure of a Composite and Multi-Ethnic European State (Oystein Rian, Norway)
  4. The Age of Orthodoxy: Lutheranism and National Identity (Martin Schwarz Lausten, Denmark)
  5. Pioneer of Mercantilism: Christian IV and the Seventeenth-Century World of Commerce (Soren Mentz, Denmark)
  6. Science and the World of Learning in the Age of Christian IV (Morten Fink-Jensen, Denmark) 
  7. The Warrior King, the Military State, and Society (Gunner Lind, Denmark)
  8. King Neptune: Christian IV and His Navy (Martin Bellamy, the United Kingdom)
  9. The Struggle for the Baltic, 1588-1624 (Paul D. Lockhart, The United States of America)
  10. Christian IV, Prince of the Holy Roman Empire: German and Imperial Perspectives (Michael North, Germany)
  11. The Great Decline: The Thirty Years' War and the Loss of Danish Leadership in the Nordic Countries, 1625-48 (Knud J.V. Jespersen, Denmark)
  12. Danish Court Culture during the Reign of Christian IV (Sebastian Olden-Jorgensen, Denmark)
  13. Christian IV's Extended Family: Women and Children at the Royal Court (Juliette Roding, the Netherlands)
  14. Tradition, Ceremony, and Innovation: Royal Travel and the Building of Frederiksborg and Rosenborg (Patrick Kragelund, Denmark)
  15. Christian IV: The Visual Arts and Royal Self-Staging (Juliette Roding, the Netherlands)
  16. Riches Enhance Reputation: The Collections of Christian IV (Michael Bogh Rasmussen, Denmark)
  17. Jacob van Doordt: Painter and 'Image-Maker' to the King (Elsabeth Alicia Dikkes, the Netherlands) 
  18. Music and Ceremony at the Court of Christian IV (Ole Kongsted, Denmark)
  19. The Final Years (Steffen Heiberg, Denmark)
  20. Construction and Deconstruction of a National Hero: Christian IV and Posterity (Steffen Heiberg, Denmark)  
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