The origins of the present world: when cultures met and clashed in the “first globalisation” age€ 3.00
“Globalisation” has shown us the difficult coexistence of different, large powers. But there was actually a “first globalisation” era, at the start of the modern age, which is currently the subject of an important historiographical reflection. Back then, it was Europe that led a revolutionary phase in world history. There were two attempts to unify the known world. First, the conquest and political and religious subjugation of the American continent to the point of its assimilation with European culture. And second, the search for an “arrangement” between European culture and those from the east, brought closer together thanks to Portuguese sailors reaching Chinese and Japanese ports. But in India, Japan and China, sheer size, political and military power, together with their rich cultures helped limit the advances of the Europeans, trying to penetrate peacefully through trade and dialogue between cultures, conducted by Jesuit missionaries.
Adriano Prosperi, previously lecturer in Modern History at the universities of Bologna, Calabria and Pisa, is current Emeritus Professor of Modern History at the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa. He researches the history of Italian and European culture and religious life in the early modern age. His works include: Tribunali della coscienza. Inquisitori, confessori, missionari (1996, new edition 2009); Dare l’anima. Storia di un infanticidio (2005); Giustizia bendata (2008); Il concilio di Trento: una introduzione storica (2001); Delitto e perdono (2015); and La vocazione. Storie di gesuiti tra Cinquecento e Seicento (2016) with Einaudi; L’eresia del Libro Grande (Feltrinelli, 2000); Il seme dell’intolleranza. Ebrei, eretici, selvaggi. Granada 1492 (2013); and Identità. L’altra faccia della storia (2016) with Laterza. His latest book, Un volgo disperso. Contadini d’Italia nell’800 (Einaudi, 2019).