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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

“Baroque” is not a political concept. To speak of the “baroque state” implies that the epoch denoted as “the baroque” by art historians (the late sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) has certain significant commonalities in political terms as well. This chapter tries to describe a particular political style that linked the countries of Christian Europe to one another. It was characterized by the idea of ​​the state as an artefact, coupled with a love of geometry, theatricality, and ceremonial order, a general climate of competition, and finally a fundamental tension between ideal order and factual disorder. This common political style of the baroque states was shaped by omnipresent competition between potentates. Since this competition was conducted with military, diplomatic, and artistic means at the same time, it makes sense to transfer the category “baroque” from art and literature to the political realm.

Keywords: baroque state, theatre state, absolutism, ceremonial, military, fortification, geometry, Louis XIV, Leopold I

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