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  • Author: Arndt Brendecke x
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»Monitor Yourself!« The Controlled Emotions of Spanish Office Holders in the Early Modern Period

Abstract

The essay is dedicated to the idealized emotionlessness of early modern Spanish office holders. It focuses on the so called corregidores, which represented the king and administered justice in major Spanish cities. Their instructions often idealized the total lack of pasiones or at least their complete invisibility. Such a discarding of all affects echoed the ideals of impartial judges, just kings and uninterested clerics and had specific functions, especially in cities with their high density of mutual observation. To live accordingly, that is, with one’s own emotions permanently held in check, required personal aptitude, appropriate age and a process of education and study which should convert certain habits into a ›second nature‹ and thus distinguish the corregidor significantly from the society over which he was to judge. Constantly checked by society however, this second nature would corrupt, if not protected by a rigid and permanent »vigilance over oneself«.

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