Thesis ID: CBB547958477

Recipes in Many Hands: Local Networks and Empirical Knowledge in the Recetarios of Early Modern Spain (2024)


This dissertation addresses the role of recipe writing in the culture and development of empiricism in Spain over the course of the long sixteenth century. In 1516, Charles of Habsburg was named King of Spain, and began his project to consolidate and extend Spanish rule, picking up where his grandparents, Isabel and Ferdinand, left off. While the Iberian Monarchy attempted to control empirical practice and knowledge of the natural world by way of its administrative institutions, Europe was developing a bit of a recipe habit. Across sixteenth and seventeenth century Europe, there was an surge in readership of recipe books, manuals, books of secrets, and artes, as well as any other book containing recipes (including natural histories). Much like today, there was a rich culture of recipe writing and exchange. When it came to household affairs such as cooking, toiletries and cosmetics, cleaning, and pharmaceuticals, most people had their own practices, and many were also willing to share their tested recipes with others. As I argue in this dissertation, local experimentation and the exchange of said knowledge took place among heterogenous networks of practitioners across Habsburg Spain. While the Crown was influenced by these practices and often appropriated them as well, it was not the only force behind the empirical turn in the history of science and medicine in Spain. Rather, local practitioners and cohorts of experimenting nobles and laypeople alike all played a role in the turn toward experimentation as scientific method.

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Authors & Contributors
Jalobeanu, Dana
Molina-Betancur, Sebastián
Barrera-Osorio, Antonio
Borrelli, Arianna
De Vos, Paula Susan
DiMeo, Michelle
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Archives Internationales d'Histoire des Sciences
Culture and History
Environment and History
Manchester University Press
Walter de Gruyter
Knowledge circulation
Formulas; recipes
Spain, colonies
Experiments and experimentation
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Bessarion (Cardinal Bishop)
Gassendi, Pierre
Moritz, Landgraf von Hessen-Kassel
Wilhelm, IV, Langraf von Hesse
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
18th century
15th century
Marburg. Universität

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