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Religiosi e “geometrie dell’impero”. Teorie e pratiche fortificatorie tra Mediterraneo e Atlantico


Between the end of the fifteenth century and the beginning of the sixteenth, the changes in the military technology - mainly related to the spread of firearms - implied a re-elaboration of the fortification construction theories and, consequently, a practical experimentation aimed at the identification of architectural models capable to make the border areas safe and impregnable. Far from involving only a small circle of "men of arms", the debate about the “new art of the war” involved men whose formation can not be traced back to a specific type. Clearly emerges a fact: the involvement of ecclesiastics also as "technicians" for the design of defensive structures, was not a marginal phenomenon but rather an element that contributed to strengthening the "political-religion-military" trinomial, peculiar to the modern age. In support of these theses, I have chosen two religious figures, namely that of Bernardino de Escalante and of Giovanni Vincenzo Casali, as an observation point to reflect on the narrow, probably inseparable, link among the components of the aforementioned trinomial, which assumes an even more significant value if the spectrum of investigation is restricted to the context of the Spanish crown.