First published in 1949 and revised in 1966, Fernand Braudel's The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II offered a sweeping exploration of social history and geography in the late sixteenth century.1 Braudel used the long reign of Philip II (r. 1556–98) as a temporal framework for his study. He also employed the image of the Spanish Habsburg king to push his analysis beyond the geographic limits of the Mediterranean Sea to the larger globe, given that Philip had overseen the “first economic and political system that spanned the known world.”2 Building was one of the primary activities of this global political...

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