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Instruments of Power: State Craft, Reciprocity, and Scientific Instruments at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I

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dc.contributor.advisor Hayton, Darin
dc.contributor.advisor Mulry, Kate Flug, Samara 2015-09-08T19:36:20Z 2015-09-08T19:36:20Z 2015
dc.description.abstract In the first year of Queen Elizabeth I’s reign over England, Sir Robert Dudley, the queen’s favorite courtier, gave Elizabeth a large, ornate astrolabe that he had commissioned from Thomas Gemini, one of the most prominent instrument makers in London. At first glance, Dudley’s choice of a technological instrument as a gift for the queen seems strange. Yet given the context of Elizabeth’s royal aspirations and the growing practice of supporting scientific experts and collecting scientific instruments within European courts, we begin to understand the values and political goals the astrolabe symbolized for the queen and her court. This thesis argues that Dudley and Elizabeth understood the value of control over scientific knowledge and the ways in which owning an instrument contributed to a carefully constructed image of authority and power. Through owning the astrolabe, Elizabeth demonstrated an ability to understand the field of knowledge expressed through the astrolabe as well as control over the best experts in Europe. The astrolabe served the interests of all of the parties involved in its making and exchange while the materiality of the object itself raises questions about the motivations behind sixteenth-century technological production. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Haverford College. Department of History en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.subject.lcsh Art -- Political aspects -- Great Britain
dc.subject.lcsh Astrolabes -- Great Britain
dc.subject.lcsh Power (Social sciences) -- Great Britain -- History -- 16th century
dc.subject.lcsh Great Britain -- History -- Elizabeth, 1558-1603
dc.subject.lcsh Elizabeth I, Queen of England, 1533-1603
dc.subject.lcsh Geminus, Thomas, -1562
dc.subject.lcsh Leicester, Robert Dudley, Earl of, 1532?-1588
dc.title Instruments of Power: State Craft, Reciprocity, and Scientific Instruments at the Court of Queen Elizabeth I en_US
dc.type Thesis (B.A.) en_US
dc.rights.access Open Access

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