Entangled Histories: Borderland Historiographies in New Clothes?

The three essays in this AHR Forum make a very persuasive case for understanding the histories of Spanish and British America as an entangled whole. Each demonstrates the futility of studying historical phenomena that were transatlantic, hemispheric, and transnational within the limits of national narratives. This is a worthwhile endeavor that could easily be expanded into national histories of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.[1] However, although the examples offered here are valuable, they are also limited, because most of them describe interactions at the margins, not at the core. An alternative version of “entangled histories” is needed—one that grapples with quintessentially “American” narratives. One such narrative is the construction and origins of seventeenth-century creole Puritan identities.

James Epstein focuses on General Thomas Picton, who was brought to trial in London (1803–1807) for having ruled the island of Trinidad (1797–1803) in the same despotic, brutal style as the former haughty, tyrannical Spanish overlords, including the summary execution of a number of slaves by decapitation and burning and of a British soldier by hanging. Trinidad was taken by the British from Spain in 1797. The excuse for the trial was Picton’s torture of the mulata Luisa Calderon in 1801. He was found guilty but never sentenced. The defense argued that Picton was within his right to torture Calderon, because until the Peace of Amiens in 1802, when Trinidad was legally transferred to Britain, the island remained under Spanish law. Moreover, Trinidad was a tropical place of corruption, sexual promiscuity, and violence in need of discipline. The prosecution and the republican popular press, on the other hand, strove to cast Picton in the role of a “Latin villain” in the Gothic fiction then popular in England: a master of dungeons, a torturer of a defenseless, suffering beauty, and a sexually corrupt aristocrat. The trials of U.S. soldiers for misconduct in Iraq come to mind here. There are parallels in the breach of the rule of law, in the misplaced voyeuristic public attention to the spectacle of torture and the details of a singular case, and in the construction of an alien other against which to judge an alleged imperial humanitarian self. And in the end, Picton, like most American GIs, enjoyed impunity. In Epstein’s essay, Spain hovers like a ghost, an inverted mirror image of who the British aspired to be, a source of villains and dungeons for the Romantic Gothic mill. Never mind that the defense was never able to prove that Spanish law in Trinidad sanctioned judicial torture. For all his fascinating analysis, Epstein does not probe more deeply into the larger history of how the British used Spain (or Catholic France in the eighteenth century) to construct an imperial self.[2] Tyrannical Spain (which in some circles stood for the Antichrist itself) shaped the British ideology of empire from its very beginnings as an antithetical other.[3] But the interactions run deeper and are not only negative: for all the criticisms of the greed and plunder of the “conquistador” in Protestant sources, Iberian epics of conquest defined how the hero as privateer was hailed in Elizabethan England.[4]

Unlike Epstein, who focuses on the imaginary interactions of the British with Spain, Rafe Blaufarb explores the many interacting geopolitical interests during the Spanish American Wars of Independence (1808–1824): the British, the French, and the U.S. Americans, each wary of the intentions and the military and commercial strategies of the other; each aware of the high stakes of asserting control over the resources, markets, trade routes, and military strategic territories of the “southern” part of the Western Hemisphere (New Orleans and Florida); each uncertain of the benefits of having a clear winner in the draw between Spanish American rebels and the Spanish monarchy. It is in the context of this kaleidoscope of mutually opposing interests and often self-contradictory imperial impulses that the final outcome of the wars needs to be understood. Britain benefited from the stalemate; the United States needed Florida (and thus the Spanish monarchy) to keep the British from attacking New Orleans and thus the trans-Appalachian trade; the French sought to do away with British control of “free” trade during the wars but feared just as much the return of Spanish mercantilism and monopolies. Both the Spanish American patriots and the Spanish monarchy skillfully pitted the opposing parties against each other to gain logistical or political support. Blaufarb argues that the historiography on the wars has paid little attention to this larger geopolitical context. He uses the often overlooked naval history of the conflict (of swarming insurgent privateers) to demonstrate “the Atlantic and even global dimensions of the struggle for Latin American Independence.” In a delicious irony, Blaufarb turns the whole of Spanish America into a “borderland,” a contested space not firmly controlled by any empire, in which opposing local native populations manipulate imperial rivalries to their own advantage.[5] Blaufarb’s model could lead into a mutually enriching dialogue between the traditional historiography on geopolitics and international relations and that on “borderlands” and “middle grounds.”

Eliga Gould also offers a challenging essay. He lucidly and succinctly makes some important points, including his assertion “that, far from being distinct entities, as comparative studies usually suggest, the two empires were part of the same hemispheric system or community. This interconnected system, moreover, was fundamentally asymmetric, with Spain, as the senior and historically preeminent member, often holding the upper hand.” According to Gould, Spain loomed large in the British Atlantic (and later in the early U.S. Republic): it defined the way Britain articulated discourses of territorial possession and expansion (by either imitation or negative critique); it created a permanent class of “legally ambiguous” British colonists in Honduras, Florida, and the West Indies, who organized into armed bands concerned solely with their own self-defense, often openly hostile to the interests of their motherland; it improved the leverage of slaves on British plantations (as it offered refuge and granted rights to runaway slaves or Catholic Angolans) but also polarized race relations at the ports (the crews of the privateers that attacked British American ships were Spanish American mulattoes and blacks); and it made it harder for the British (and U.S. Americans) to expand into the Southeast and the trans-Appalachian West as it struck alliances with various Native American groups.

Gould argues that his version of entangled histories is not just borderlands historiography in new clothes. Borderlands historiography, he argues, emphasizes interactions only “in those parts of the British Empire and the United Sates that were once part of or immediately contiguous to the Spanish Empire.” Yet this crucial point remains largely rhetorical, because most of the interactions he cites as examples took place in the borderlands (either in the Southeast, the West Indies, or Honduras). His version of entangled histories thus remains a challenge and an open invitation to explore deeper levels of interaction. The religious, patriotic identities of Puritan settlers in New England, for example, cannot be understood without first studying theological and demonological debates in the Spanish Empire.

El Escorial, argued the Jeronymite José de Sigüenza (1544–1606) in 1600, only two years after the death of his patron Philip II, was the architectural fulfillment of several biblical prefigurations: Like Noah’s Ark, it saved “countless souls fleeing from the deluge of the world.” Like the Tabernacle of Moses, “it kept the ark in which God Himself dwelled, protecting and disseminating His laws.” Like the Temple of Solomon, it specialized “day and night in the praising of the Lord, the continuous performance of sacrifices, the burning of incense, the keeping of perpetual fire and fresh bread in front of the divine presence, and the preservation of the ashes and bones of those now sacrificed for Christ.”[6] (See Figure 1.) Plastered on the walls of this palace-monastery are countless reminders of the importance that typology once held for issues both doctrinal and imperial. In the room behind the altar used to access the Tabernacle, for example, there are murals by Pellegrino Tibaldi (1527–1596) on Old Testament prefigurations of the Eucharist and of the appropriate relationship between secular and religious authorities: Israelites gathering manna in the desert; Melchizedek offering blessings, bread, and wine to Abraham and getting the right to the tithe in return (Genesis 14:17–44 and Hebrew 7); an angel handing bread and water to a fleeing Elijah (1 Kings 19:4–8); and a scene of the Paschal Supper (Exodus 12–13; Leviticus 23:15–14).[7] On the façade of the Basilica are statues by Juan Bautista Monegro (1545–1621) of the kings of Judah who, in ascending order of piety, either destroyed pagan temples or built the Temple of Jerusalem: Jehoshaphat and the repentant Manasseh (outer flanks), Hezekiah and Josiah (outer middle), and David and Solomon (center), all prefigurations of the Counter-Reformation zeal of the Habsburgs, and of the piety and wisdom of Charles V and Philip II in particular.[8] Finally, the courtyard of the monastery, with a fountain and four “rivers” in the middle, flanked by Monegro’s statues of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, was a prefiguration of both Paradise and the expansion of the Catholic monarchy into Asia, Africa, Europe, and the “new America.”[9]

Figure 1: Images of the Temple of Solomon and El Escorial, according to the Cistercian Spanish theologian Juan de Caramuel. From Architectura civil, recta y obliqua: Considerada y dibuxada en el Templo de Ierusalen … promovida a suma perfeccion en el templo y palacio de S. Lorenço cerca del Escurial, 3 vols. (Vigevano, 1678), 3: ills. A and H.

“Typology” as a Christian tradition of reading (newer) events as the fulfillment of older biblical ones long predated the Spanish Catholic monarchy.10 In the Middle Ages, it often contributed to architectural design, and it was the tool of choice for elucidating doctrinal and political conflict.11 It also helped sanction crusading campaigns against Slavs, heretics, Jews, and Muslims.12 In the age of Atlantic expansion, it was deployed by each and every European power. Typology informed the Portuguese imagination, because the Portuguese read their own imperial expansion as foreordained in the Bible, particularly in the prophetic books of Daniel and Revelation. They saw themselves and their monarchs as elect, a fifth monarchy that would usher in the millennium.13 Although the queen of England, Elizabeth I, could not cast herself as a King Solomon, she could nevertheless present her battles against the Spanish Antichrist as the fulfillment of biblical prefigurations. Thus in the eyes of some writers, Elizabeth became the antitype of the woman of the Apocalypse confronting the multi-headed dragon that was Philip II (Revelation 12). It should be remembered that the woman of the Apocalypse herself was a figure of Old Testament types: Judith, who beheaded the Assyrian general Holofernes (Judith 13:2), and Jael, who drove a tent peg through the brain of the Canaanite King Sisera (Judges 5:24).14 Typology also allowed the Dutch to develop a distinct national identity in which battles against the Spanish Antichrist loomed large.15 Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, and England, to cite only four examples of early modern European powers, shared common typological traditions that crossed the Atlantic in the caravels along with other staples.

Historians have assumed that after the Reformation, typology became a tradition of biblical reading distinctively Protestant, and particularly Calvinist. Thus we have become well acquainted with narratives of the Puritans casting themselves as Israelites in the Promised Land that was America, a land inhabited by hostile Canaanites.16 (See Figure 2.) We know little, however, of the Spanish and Portuguese side. A common misconception is that the Bible did not circulate widely among Catholics and was the preserve of a tiny priestly elite. In Iberia, this circulation allegedly became even more restricted because of the stifling presence of the Inquisition. These shibboleths explain nothing. Jaime Lara has recently shown that the Franciscans, along with cadres of native converts, saw themselves building new Temples of Solomon and new Golgothas in every mission. According to Lara, the grid plans of Spanish cities in the Indies (which historians have usually attributed to Renaissance urban ideologies, seeking to drive home the message that there were sharp differences of rationality between the civilization of the Europeans and the alleged barbarism of the natives) originated in Christian dreams that sought to re-create in America the city of Jerusalem as laid out by Ezekiel (Ezekiel 40–48).17 Equally important are the findings of David Brading regarding the origins of the patriotic cult of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico. According to Brading, seventeenth-century creole theologians read Revelation 12 as an anticipation of the conquest of Mexico, and thus attributed to the Mexican church a key role in the narrative of Christian salvation. In their typological imagination, the reception by Juan Diego of the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Mount Tepeyac was the fulfillment of the reception by Moses of the tablets of the Ten Commandments at Mount Sinai. Thus the canvas of Our Lady of Guadalupe became a document in “Mexican hieroglyphs” that recorded a new covenant between God and the Mexican elect.18 Biblical narratives and typological readings circulated widely in the Spanish Empire, affecting architecture, urban design, rituals, political philosophies, and patriotic identities. Simply put, the Bible was everywhere, relentlessly displayed in objects, buildings, images, and sermons. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 2: Frontispiece (detail) of Samuel Purchas, Purchas his Pilgrimes (London, 1625). Courtesy of the John Carter Brown Library, Brown

University. In this detail of the frontispiece, Purchas casts episodes in the lives of Elizabeth I, Prince Henry, James I, Charles I, and the British people as fulfillments of biblical and Virgilian prefigurations. Purchas, for example, turns “dux femina facti” (bbbbneid I: 364) into a prefiguration of Elizabeth’s defeat of the Spanish Armada. Elizabeth thus becomes the fulfillment of Dido, who in the bbbbneid defeats the tyrant Pygmalion to gain control of Carthage. According to Purchas, the short life of Prince Henry, here mourning the death of Elizabeth, is prefigured by that of Virgil’s Marcellus, Augustus’s nephew and adopted son: “ostendent terris hunc tantum fata nec ultra esse sinent / he would only be shown to the world and then snatched away” (bbbbneid VI: 869). Proverbs 16:10 (“divination labiis Regis / A divine sentence is in the lips of the king”) appears as a prefiguration of James I’s divining powers to anticipate the Gunpowder Plot. Under the leadership of James I and Charles I, the British people are seen on their way to creating a heavenly Jerusalem (Hebrews 11; Revelation 21), thus becoming God’s elect (Psalm 147). It is curious that Psalm 147:20 (“he hath not dealt so with any nation”) became the verse used by the Mexican clergy (non fecit taliter omni nationi) to capture the story of the apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe as an expression of providential election.

Figure 3: Frontispiece of Francisco Antonio de Montalvo, El Sol del Nuevo Mundo: Ideado y compuesto en las esclarecidas operaciones del bienaventurado Toribio Arzobispo de Lima (Rome, 1683). Courtesy of the John Hay Library, Brown University. El Sol del Nuevo Mundo is a hagiography produced by the Peruvian lobby that was seeking to promote in Rome the canonization of the late Toribio de Mogrovejo (1538–1606), archbishop of Lima, who had already been beatified. The author presents Mogrovejo as the blazing sun of Ezekiel’s and John of Patmos’s visions (Ezekiel 1:4–28; Revelation 4:7). Patristic and medieval sources had long presented Ezekiel’s vision of an angel, an ox, a lion, an eagle, and a blinding light as a prefiguration of the four Gospel writers and Christ. This time, however, Mogrovejo himself appears as the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s blinding light, capable of converting all four continents through his miracles and example. More important, at the bottom of the figure, the city of Lima appears as the fulfillment of Isaiah 60, a New Jerusalem where “the sun shall no more go down” (non occident ulra sol tuus).

How biblical typology was used to justify slavery and the expansion into sub-Saharan Africa, particularly by the Portuguese and the Spaniards after the fifteenth century, we do not know. If the category of the Atlantic is to mean anything, it ought to include Africa, but there seems to be no room for this often overlooked fourth continent in most new versions of the Atlantic.19 John Thornton has shown that in places such as Kongo and Angola, Catholicism penetrated deeply into popular and elite consciousness, spawning local revivalist movements as early as the seventeenth century, but we lack the studies that could enable us to explore how the Bible was read in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century West Africa.20 We do have some knowledge of how Afro-British Protestant communities turned to typology as their reading technique of choice. As John Saillant, Joanna Brooks, and James Sidbury have demonstrated, typologically inspired narratives began to emerge in the late eighteenth century among Calvinist, Quaker, Methodist, and Anglican black communities in Nova Scotia, Virginia, South Carolina, Boston, and London. Itinerant Atlantic preachers such as John Marrant turned to the Scriptures to articulate a discourse of black election. For them, Sierra Leone became a Promised Land to which Afro-Christians were to return to build a New Jerusalem among Canaanites in need of conversion and civilization.21

For a historiography that has been satisfied with nationally driven narratives, this account of common biblical cultures across empires might appear novel. But is it enough to point out common structural resemblances? “Atlantic” history has to be more than old imperial comparative historiographies in new clothes. Moreover, the tool of typology was not limited to the imperial arsenal of early modern Europeans; it actually framed the way that Byzantium, Kievan Rus’, and Muscovite Rus’ expanded.22 There seems to be an emerging consensus that “the Atlantic” as a category should deliver narratives on the circulations of peoples and staples (to say nothing of ideas), carving out a distinctly transnational space in the process.23 Typological narratives did circulate across national and confessional boundaries in the Atlantic basin. In fact, one was first created in Spanish America, then moved to England, and finally wound up in New England, leaving a lasting impact on Puritan patriotic discourses of election.

When the Spanish missionaries arrived in Mexico, they quickly identified the human sacrifice rituals of the Aztecs with satanic mockery of the Eucharist. The devil, after all, was seen as a specialist in inverting all sacraments and holy institutions.24 Not even Christ himself could escape the mockery of the devil, for through the figure of the Antichrist, Satan mockingly re-created the life of Jesus (and the Virgin), from Annunciation to Resurrection.25 It is no wonder, then, that in 1590 the Jesuit José de Acosta produced a full catalogue of all the satanic religious inversions he had managed to identify during his sixteen years in the Indies; the list included churches, holy sacrifices, penitence, nunneries, priests and monasteries, inverted versions of the sacraments (baptism, confession, the Eucharist, priestly anointing), the doctrine of the Trinity, and the celebration of Jubilee. Acosta’s much-touted ethnographic modernity was in fact old-fashioned demonology.26 In the process, he introduced the notion that the Aztecs were Satan’s elect. According to Acosta, as soon as idolatry was being “extirpated from the best and most noble part of the world [Europe], the devil decided to withdraw to the most isolated place, to rule over this other part of the globe, that albeit much inferior in quality [nobleza] is much larger in size.”27 Acosta argued that the southbound migration of the Aztecs from Aztlán to central Mexico eerily resembled that of the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan. Like the Israelites, the Mexicans carried a tabernacle and the ark of their deity, Huitzilopochtli.28 The Dominican Gregorio García fleshed out some of Acosta’s ideas in 1606 by explaining how Satan, mimicking the way God fed the Israelites in the wilderness, caused bread to rain from the sky and water to gush from rocks to feed the Aztecs during their own southbound migration. Thus, García concluded:
Who is to deny that the departure and peregrination of the Mexicans resemble the departure from Egypt of the Children of Israel and their exodus? For the former, like the latter, were prompted to leave and go in search of a Promised Land. Both peoples took their gods as guides, consulted the Ark, and built a tabernacle. Both drew advice and their laws and ceremonies [from these consultations]. And it took both a great number of years to reach the Promised Land. In these and many other things, the history of the Mexicans resembles the history of the Israelites according to Holy Scripture.29The Franciscan Juan de Torquemada built further on Acosta’s and García’s inverted typological readings of the history of the Aztecs as the satanic fulfillment of the Pentateuch, completing a massive Mosaic-like history of the Aztecs as Satan’s Israelites. In his interpretation, the Aztecs experienced an exodus under the leadership of their own Moses and Aaron. Upon arrival in their Promised Land, they also experienced an age of subordination to “Canaanites,” followed by an age of monarchies (the Aztecs had Davids and Solomons of their own, and built a temple) and an age of prophets. Finally, like the Israelites, the Aztecs saw their temple leveled and their capital destroyed by foreign powers.30 Unaware of the typological origins of this narrative, historians today still recount the history of the Aztecs in the way that Torquemada suggested: in terms of migration, settlement, subordination, monarchy and empire, and foreordained doom and collapse.

The great English theologian John Mede (1586–1638) read these typological interpretations of the history of the Aztecs in Cambridge, England, and applied them to the entire continent. Copying Acosta and García almost verbatim, Mede argued that
the Devil, being impatient of the sound of the Gospel and Cross of Christ in every part of this old world, so that he could in no place be quiet for it, and foreseeing that he was like at length to lose all here, bethought himself to provide him of a seed over which he might reign securely … That accordingly he drew a Colony out of some of those barbarous Nations dwelling upon the Northern Ocean, (whither the sound of Christ had not yet come) and promising them by some oracle to shew them a Country far better than their own, (which he might soon doe) pleasant, large, where never man yet inhabited, he conducted them over those desart Lands and Islands (which are many in that Sea) by the way of the North into America; which none would ever have gone, had they not first been assured there was a passage that way into a more desireable Countrey.31This narrative of Amerindian satanic election led Mede to argue in Clavis Apocalyptica, his influential 1627 commentary on the Book of Revelation, that the devil enjoyed absolute sovereignty over the New World prior to the arrival of the Europeans. Mede argued that even after the second coming of Christ to inaugurate the millennium, America would not be able to shake off Satan’s control. He offered a typological reading of Revelation 20:7–9 that demonstrated that John of Patmos had America in mind when thinking of the place where Satan would be kept from the rest of the world during the millennium. Only after the final battle between God and the armies of Gog and Magog, the Amerindian troops of Satan, would the devil be destroyed.32 This theory suggested that the devil’s lordship over the continent had not been dented by the arrival of the Catholic Europeans, and that the European effort to convert the natives was doomed. In fact, in Mede’s reading of the future, the settlers would soon be part of Satan’s elect: “I will hope,” Mede confided to his friend the theologian William Twisse (1578–1646) in 1635, “[the Puritan settlers] shall not so far degenerate (not all of them) as to come in that Army of Gog and Magog against the Kingdome of Christ.”33

The ideas of this influential English theologian moved from England back to New England and were greeted with dismay, because they showed that the Puritans’ high hopes of turning their churches into New Jerusalems were mistaken. The New World was Satan’s Jerusalem, and the settlers were on their way to becoming the devil’s minions as well. At first the colonists seemed resigned, but as the century wound down, learned men such as Samuel Sewall and Nicholas Noyes offered pointed retorts, reclaiming the colonies for God.34 The impact of Mede’s writings should not be ignored. According to John Canup, Mede’s ideas reflected the way that theories of creole degeneration expressed themselves in the seventeenth-century Puritan Atlantic.35

Admittedly this is an obscure episode, but it encapsulates well the theme of this AHR Forum: the colonial histories of Spanish and British America cannot be disentangled. Notwithstanding the Puritans’ representations of Spain as the Antichrist, Puritan theologians kept up with Spanish writings on the New World (but not the other way around), which in turn left a lasting impact on the ways in which Puritans represented themselves and the continent. But the circulation of typological readings is just one case. The history of the colonization of Virginia and New England reads differently when Iberian America becomes normative. Take, for example, Shakespeare’s play The Tempest. Postcolonial scholars have conclusively shown that The Tempest was a colonial text. Yet it cannot be read as simply an allegory of the perils and promises of the English colonization of Bermuda and Virginia, because Shakespeare clearly modeled his Prospero after the Spanish conquistadors, who were capable not only of setting their terrifying hounds loose on Caliban, but also of wielding awesome preternatural powers to calm or set off storms. Milton’s Paradise Lost is another quintessentially English text. Yet this satanic epic, in which the devil becomes a hero in his own right, draws upon epic models first established in the sixteenth century by the Portuguese and Spanish expansion to India and America. It is not difficult to demonstrate that Iberian epic, demonological, typological, millenarian, natural history, and horticultural-mystical discourses of empire and colonization left a lasting imprint on the British colonization of both Virginia and New England.36 My version of entangled Atlantic histories goes beyond that put forth by the members of this AHR Forum and by borderland historians. Although I admire their contributions, they only occasionally upset the normative narratives of the core. I want to go a step further, for entangled histories a Milton, a Shakespeare, and a “City on the Hill” produced.

I thank Jim Sidbury for offering references and ideas on how to reorganize previous drafts of this essay.

Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra is Professor of History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of the award-winning How to Write the History of the New World (Stanford 2001), Puritan Conquistadors (Stanford, 2001), and Nature, Empire, and Nation (Stanford, 2006), and editor with Erik Seeman of The Atlantic in Global History, 1500–2000 (New Jersey, 2006).


1. See Erik Seeman and Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, eds., The Atlantic in Global History, 1500–2000 (Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2006).

2. Benjamin Schmidt’s Innocence Abroad: The Dutch Imagination and the New World, 1570–1670 (New York, 2001) is a marvelous study on the role that the image of tyrannical Spain played in the Dutch colonial imagination; for the similar role of Catholic France in the eighteenth-century British imperial imagination, see Linda Colley, Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707–1837 (New Haven, Conn., 1992).

3. David Armitage, The Ideological Origins of the British Empire (Cambridge, 2001).

4. Jorge Cañizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors: Iberianizing the Atlantic, 1550–1700 (Stanford, Calif., 2006), 55–58.

5. Jeremy Adelman and Stephen Aron, “From Borderlands to Borders: Empires, Nation-States, and the Peoples In Between in North American History,” American Historical Review 104, no. 3 (June 1999): 814–841. For a critique of the blind spots in this historiography, see Claudio Saunt, “European Empires and the History of the Native American South,” in Seeman and Cañizares-Esguerra, The Atlantic in Global History, 61–75.

6. José de Sigüenza, Fundación del monasterio de El Escorial (1600–1605; repr., Madrid, 1963), 6. The literature on El Escorial is vast. Pioneering in calling attention to the role of the Temple of Solomon as the organizing metaphor of El Escorial (albeit with too much emphasis on Neo-Platonism and Rosicrucian symbolism) is René Taylor, Arquitectura y magia: Consideraciones sobre la idea de El Escorial (Madrid, 1992). For a more balanced approach that does not overlook the importance of the Temple of Solomon as a prefiguration of El Escorial, see Cornelia von der Osten Sacken, El Escorial: Estudio iconológico, trans. from the German by María Dolores Abalos (Madrid, 1984). Most studies, however, have not paid sufficient attention to how the typologies of Noah’s Ark and Moses’ Tabernacle influenced the design and function of the building.

7. Sigüenza, Fundación, 343–344. The use of at least three of the images at El Escorial (the gathering of the manna, Jews and the Paschal Lamb, and Melchizedek and Abraham) as a prefiguration of the Eucharist was a well-established medieval tradition. For example, see them clustered in Albert C. Labriola and John W. Smeltz, eds., The Mirror of Salvation [Speculum Humanae Salvationis]: An Edition of British Library Blockbook G. 11784, (Pittsburgh, 2002), 48–49.

8. Sigüenza, Fundación, 213–216. On the image of King Solomon and other biblical heroes, such as Gideon, as prefigurations of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire from Charlemagne to Philip II, see Marie Tanner, The Last Descendant of bbbbneas: The Hapsburgs and the Mythic Image of the Emperor (New Haven, Conn., 1993).

9. Sigüenza, Fundación, 247.

10. Leonhard Goppelt, Typos: The Typological Interpretation of the Old Testament in the New, trans. from the German by Donald H. Madvig (1939; repr., Grand Rapids, Mich., 1982); John J. O’Keefe and R. R. Reno, Sanctified Vision: An Introduction to Early Christian Interpretation of the Bible (Baltimore, Md., 2005); James Samuel Preus, From Shadow to Promise: Old Testament Interpretation from Augustine to the Young Luther (Cambridge, 1969); Erich Auerbach, “Figura,” in Auerbach, Scenes from the Drama of European Literature (New York, 1959), 11–76.

11. Friedrich Ohly, “The Cathedral as Temporal Space: On the Doumo of Siena,” in Ohly, Sensus Spiritualis: Studies in Medieval Significs and Philology of Culture, trans. from the German by Kenneth J. Northcott (Chicago, 2005), 136–233; Richard K. Emmerson, “Figura and the Medieval Typological Imagination,” in Hugh T. Keenan, ed., Typology and English Medieval Literature (New York, 1992).

12. J. Dunbabin, “The Maccabees as Exemplars in the Tenth and Eleventh Centuries,” in Katherine Walsh and Diana Wood, eds., The Bible in the Medieval World: Essays in Memory of Beryl Smalley (Oxford, 1985), 31–41; Paul Alphandéry, “Les citations bibliques chez les historiens de la première croisade,” Revue d’histoire des religions 99 (1929): 137–157; and Philippe Buc, “La vengeance de Dieu: De l’exégèse patristique à la Réforme ecclésiastique et la Première Croisade,” in Dominique Barthélemy, François Bougard, and Régine Le Jan, eds., La vengeance, 400–1200 (Rome, 2006), 451–486. I am thankful to David Nirenberg for these citations, and to Philippe Buc for making his article available to me.

13. Jacqueline Hermann, No reino do desejado: A construção do sebastianismo em Portugal, séculos XVI e XVII (São Paulo, 1998); Thomas M. Cohen, The Fire of Tongues: António Vieira and the Missionary Church in Brazil and Portugal (Stanford, Calif., 1998); Carole A. Myscofski, “Messianic Themes in Portuguese and Brazilian Literature in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries,” Luso-Brazilian Review 28 (1991): 77–94 .

14. Jeffrey Knapp, An Empire Nowhere: England, America, and Literature from Utopia to The Tempest (Berkeley, Calif., 1992), chap. 2; Harold Fisch, Jerusalem and Albion: The Hebraic Factor in Seventeenth-Century Literature (New York, 1964); Christopher Hill, The English Bible and the Seventeenth-Century Revolution (London, 1993). The use of Judith, Jael, and Tomyris (killing Cyrus, taken from Herodotus, not the Bible) as prefigurations of the woman of the Apocalypse was a well-established medieval tradition; see the French translation of the Speculum Humane Salvationis by Jehan Mielot, “Le Miroir de l’Humaine Salvation,” University of Glasgow Library, MS Hunter 60 (T.2.18), fol. 43 v.

15. Simon Schama, The Embarrassment of Riches: An Interpretation of Dutch Culture in the Golden Age (New York, 1987), chap. 2. See also Schmidt, Innocence Abroad.

16. The literature is vast but is often focused on the uses of typology by the Puritans. Yet Anglicans, Scottish Presbyterians, and Quakers—and everyone else, for that matter—deployed typology. See Alfred A. Cave, “Canaanites in a Promised Land: The American Indian and the Providential Theory of Empire,” American Indian Quarterly 12 (1988): 277–297; Sacvan Bercovitch, comp., Typology and Early American Literature (Amherst, Mass., 1972); Paul Stevens, “‘Leviticus Thinking’ and the Rhetoric of Early Modern Colonialism,” Criticism 35 (1993): 441–461; Avihu Zakai, Exile and Kingdom: History and Apocalypse in the Puritan Migration to America (Cambridge, 2002).

17. Jaime Lara, City, Temple, Stage: Eschatological Architecture and Liturgical Theatrics in New Spain (Notre Dame, Ind., 2004). On the grid plan as an epiphenomenon of Renaissance imperial ideologies, see Valerie Fraser, The Architecture of Conquest: Building in the Viceroyalty of Peru, 1535–1635 (Cambridge, 1990).

18. David Brading, Mexican Phoenix: Our Lady of Guadalupe—Image and Tradition across Five Centuries (Cambridge, 2001); see also Cañizares-Esguerra, Puritan Conquistadors.

19. Alison Games, “Atlantic History: Definitions, Challenges, and Opportunities,” American Historical Review 111, no. 3 (June 2006): 741–757, esp. 754. Yet Atlantic historiography was first created by historians of African slavery and the African American experience; see, for example, Philip D. Curtin, The Atlantic Slave Trade: A Census (Madison, Wis., 1969); and David Eltis and James Walvin, eds., The Abolition of the Atlantic Slave Trade: Origins and Effects in Europe, Africa, and the Americas (Madison, Wis., 1981).

20. John K. Thornton, The Kongolese Saint Anthony: Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita and the Antonian Movement, 1684–1706 (Cambridge, 1998); and Thornton, “The Development of an African Catholic Church in the Kingdom of Kongo, 1491–1750,” Journal of African History 25 (1984): 147–167.

21. John Saillant, “‘Wipe Away All Tears from Their Eyes’: John Marrant’s Theology in the Black Atlantic, 1785–1808,” Journal of Millennial Studies 1 (Winter 1999), http://www.mille.org/publications/winter98/saillant.PDF; Joanna Brooks, American Lazarus: Religion and the Rise of African-American and Native American Literatures (Oxford, 2003); Jim Sidbury, Becoming African in America: Race and Nation in the Early Black Atlantic (Oxford, 2007). See also Sylvia R. Frey and Betty Wood, Come Shouting to Zion: African American Protestantism in the American South and British Caribbean to 1830 (Chapel Hill, N.C., 1998). For the writings of John Marrant, see Brooks and Saillant, eds., “Face Zion Forward”: First Writers of the Black Atlantic, 1785–1798 (Boston, 2002). There were religious writings by Afro-Iberians, but in contrast to those of their British brethren, it is difficult to detect in them distinct typological readings of election, exodus, and promised lands. For an example, see the diaries of Ursula de Jesús, The Souls of Purgatory: The Spiritual Diary of a Seventeenth-Century Afro-Peruvian Mystic, Ursula de Jesús, trans. and ed. Nancy E. van Deusen (Albuquerque, 2004). On the interactions of Catholicism and blacks in Spanish America, see Herman L. Bennett, Africans in Colonial Mexico: Absolutism, Christianity, and Afro-Creole Consciousness, 1570–1640 (Bloomington, Ind., 2003); Jean-Pierre Tardieu, L’Eglise et les noirs au Pérou: XVIe et XVIIe siècles, 2 vols. (Paris, 1993); Margaret M. Olsen, Slavery and Salvation in Colonial Cartagena de Indias (Gainesville, Fla., 2004).

22. Daniel B. Rowland, “Moscow—The Third Rome or the New Israel?” Russian Review 55, no. 4 (1996): 591–614; Rowland, “Biblical Military Imagery in the Political Culture of Early Modern Russia: The Blessed Host of the Heavenly Tsar,” in Michael S. Flier and Rowland, eds., Medieval Russian Culture, 2 vols. (Berkeley, Calif., 1994) 2: 182–210; and Marilyn Nelson, “Biblical Typology,” in Paul D. Steeves, ed., The Modern Encyclopedia of Religions in Russia and the Soviet Union, 7 vols. (Gulf Breeze, Fla., 1991), 4: 90–97.

23. Bernard Bailyn, Atlantic History: Concept and Contours (Cambridge, Mass., 2005), pt. 2; Games, “Atlantic History.” For concrete examples of how this model of transnational circulation led to the creation of distinct Atlantic experiences, see Allan Greer and Kenneth Mills, “A Catholic Atlantic,” in Seeman and Cañizares-Esguerra, The Atlantic in Global History, 3–19; Erik Seeman, “Jews in the Early Modern Atlantic: Crossing Boundaries, Keeping Faith,” ibid., 39–59; and Claudio Saunt, “‘Our Indians’: European Empires and the History of the Native American South,” ibid., 61–75.

24. On the devil as a specialist on inversions, see the groundbreaking study of early modern demonology by Stuart Clark, Thinking with Demons: The Idea of Witchcraft in Early Modern Europe (Oxford, 1997), chap. 1.

25. Bernard McGinn, Antichrist: Two Thousand Years of the Human Fascination with Evil (New York, 1994); Jonathan B. Riess, The Renaissance Antichrist: Luca Signorelli’s Orvieto Frescoes (Princeton, N.J., 1995).

26. José de Acosta, Historia natural y moral de las Indias (1590; repr., Madrid, 1608), bk. 5. In Puritan Conquistadors, I further study this tradition of demonological inversion as ethnography.

27. Acosta, Historia, bk. 4, chap. 1, 304.

28. Ibid., bk. 7, chap. 4, 459–460.

29. Gregorio García, Origen de los Indios del Nuevo Mundo e Indias Occidentales (Valencia, 1606), bk. 3, chap. 3, sec. 3, fol. 234.

30. Juan de Torquemada, De los veinte i un libros rituales i monarchia indiana, 3 vols. (1615; repr., Madrid, 1723), vol. 1.

31. Joseph Mede, The Works of the Pious and Profoundly-Learned Joseph Mede (London, 1672), bk. 4, epistle 43 (Answer to Dr. Twisse’s fourth letter, March 23, 1634/35), 800. The influence of the Spanish inverted typological reading of Aztec history proved long-lasting. In 1680 and 1695, William Hubbard and Cotton Mather, respectively, still quoted the Spanish sources almost verbatim: “When the devil was put out of his throne in the other parts of the world, and that the mouth of all his oracles was stopped in Europe, Asia, and Africa, he seduced a company of silly wretches to follow his conduct into this unknown part of the world, where he might lie hid and not be disturbed in the idolatrous and abominable, or rather diabolical service he expected from those his followers; for here are no footsteps of any religion before the English came, but merely diabolical”; Hubbard, A General History of New England from the Discovery to 1680 (1680; repr., New York, 1972), 26; “When the Silver-Trumpets of the Lord Jesus were to sound in the other Hemisphere of our World, the devil got a forlorn Crue over hither into America, in hopes that the Gospel never would come at them here”; Mather, Batteries upon the Kingdom of the Devil (London, 1695), 20.

32. Mede, “Conjecture Concerning Gog and Magog,” in John Mede, The Key of the Revelation (1627; repr., London, 1650).

33. Mede, Works, bk. 4, epistle 43, 800.

34. Samuel Sewall, Phaenomena quadem apocalyptica … Some few lines toward a description of the new heaven as it makes those who stand upon the new earth (Boston, 1697); Nicholas Noyes, New Englands duty and interest, to be an habitation of justice and mountain of holiness (Boston, 1698). It is not clear why it took the colonists so long to articulate a sophisticated theological reply to Mede’s ideas.

35. John Canup, Out of the Wilderness: The Emergence of an American Identity in Colonial New England (Middletown, Conn., 1990), esp. 73–79. See also Oliver Scheiding, “Samuel Sewall and the Americanization of the Millennium,” in Bernd Engler, Joerg O. Fichte, and Oliver Scheiding, eds., Millennial Thought in America: Historical and Intellectual Contexts, 1630–1860 (Trier, 2002), 165–185; John Bowman, “Is America the New Jerusalem or Gog and Magog? A Seventeenth Century Theological Discussion,” Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society 6 (1950): 445–452.

36. For my readings of The Tempest, Paradise Lost, and the colonization of Virginia and New England as derivative of Spanish (or more generally medieval) models, see my Puritan Conquistadors.