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Spectacle and Spin for a Spurned Prince. Civic Strategies in the Entry Ceremonies of the Duke of Anjou in Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent (1582)

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In 1582, the Catholic duke of Anjou toured the Southern Low Countries in order to be recognised by the major rebel cities as the new sovereign of the Netherlands. The obligation of an entry ceremony, the first organised for a sovereign since 1549, burdened the Calvinist urban governments with a very difficult task. At the same time, the ceremonies offered a great opportunity for local propaganda. In this article, the local agendas and varying strategies of the city governments of Antwerp, Bruges and Ghent are compared. Special attention is paid to the printed accounts of these entry ceremonies. From a methodological point of view, it is argued that it is crucial to consider these accounts as cultural objects—from pamphlets to luxury commemoration books—that themselves played an essential role in the construction of the events, often in a very subtle way.

Affiliations: 1: Postdoctoral Researcher Fund for National Research—Flanders, Ghent University


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