Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Look Inside Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe

Cultural Hierarchy in Sixteenth-Century Europe
The Ottomans and Mexicans

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: June 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107638983

$ 47.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This book argues that sixteenth-century European encounters with the newly discovered Mexicans (in the Aztec Empire) and the newly dominant Ottoman Empire can only be understood in relation to the cultural and intellectual changes wrought by the Reformation. Carina L. Johnson chronicles the resultant creation of cultural hierarchy. Starting at the beginning of the sixteenth century, when ideas of European superiority were not fixed, this book traces the formation of those ideas through proto-ethnographies, news pamphlets, Habsburg court culture, gifts of treasure, and the organization of collections.

    • Examines the significance of material culture, ceremonial practices, and texts in cultural production about non-Europeans
    • Explores the significance of both the expanding Ottoman Empire and the New World in the formation of ideas about cultural hierarchy (or proto-ethnography)
    • Argues that the Reformation was key in transforming European ideas about non-Europeans
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    “In this original, imaginative, and solidly researched book, Johnson draws on an impressive array of textual and visual evidence to answer the following intriguing questions: how did the Habsburg realms receive and process information on Meso-Americans of the New World and on Turks of the Ottoman Empire, and in what ways were the actual persons, images, and cultural artifacts of these non-European peoples and their material cultures represented and used during the sixteenth century? The result is an impeccable work of scholarship with complex and subtle arguments.” – R. Po-chia Hsia, The Pennsylvania State University

    “In this fascinating study that assesses the sophisticated information networks that brought news of the Mexican and Ottoman empires to the Habsburg realms, Carina Johnson offers new insights into the creation of cultural hierarchies in sixteenth-century Europe. From the collecting habits of European elites to the new attitudes that developed toward the spoils of the New World in the wake of the Protestant and Catholic reformations, Johnson explores a remarkably wide range of sources as she provides us with a series of challenging reflections on the formation of cultural boundaries in this critical period.” – Howard Louthan, University of Florida

    “In this innovative rethinking of the relationship between the Reformation and early modern cultural exchange, Carina Johnson vividly demonstrates how religious conflict altered European perceptions of not only Christian objects and symbols, but also of Ottomans, North Africans, and Tlaxcalans and their material cultures. Using an impressive array of archival materials, she shows how the Habsburg monarchy formulated a cultural hierarchy that progressively exoticized and demonized non-Europeans and heterodox Christians as a means to legitimate its authority in an increasingly diverse and conflicted world.” – Allyson M. Poska, University of Mary Washington

    "a throught-provoking work." -Richard L. Kagan, Renaissance Quarterly

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107638983
    • length: 340 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • contains: 32 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Categories of Inclusion:
    1. Cultures and religions
    2. Iberia after Convivencia
    3. Aztec regalia and the reformation of treasure
    Part II. Experiments of Inclusion:
    4. Boundaries and cultures of diplomacy in central Europe
    5. Imperial authority in an era of confessions
    6. Collecting idolatry and the emergence of the exotic
    Part III. Conclusion:
    7. Categorical denials.

  • Author

    Carina L. Johnson, Pitzer College, Claremont
    Carina L. Johnson, a historian and former archeologist, is currently an Associate Professor at Pitzer College and Extended Faculty at Claremont Graduate University. She is the recipient of a John Carter Brown Library NEH Fellowship, the Barbara Thom Fellowship at the Huntington Library, a Fulbright Award to Austria and the Woodrow Wilson Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Humanities. She has been published in the Journal of the History of Ideas. This is her first book.

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.