Historian Serge Gruzinski (1949-)’s 2004 monograph “The Four Parts of the World: A History of Globalization” (hereinafter referred to as “The Four Parts of the World”) is like a huge picture. Mosaic jigsaw – under his conception and arrangement, the seemingly messy small pictures together create a picture of the world from the 16th to the 17th century. This epoch-making book describes the sixty years of the Iberian alliance between the Spanish and Portuguese royal families under Philip II, a short, rapid, turbulent history that represents Western society. new challenges and connections with the cultures of three other distant continents.
Because of the simultaneity of the emergence of the Iberian Catholic monarchy and the phenomenon of globalization, the New World also seems to be organically linked to “world history”, which is characterized by the themes of Gludinsky’s work: mixed-race, The process of westernization and globalization. “Mixed” means a mixture of intense contacts between different societies and individuals, “Westernization” transforms European knowledge and traditions into a potentially universal heritage, and “globalization” embodies the globalization of European habits and ideologies in the world Mimic copying elsewhere.
Gludinsky takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the Iberian Empire from the mid-sixteenth to the early decades of the seventeenth: “From the frozen mountains of the Andes to the suffocating jungles of the Philippines , some were under the dominion of another part of the earth that they had been completely unknown to until then.” In his book, he skillfully uses works of art, literary texts, and official documents of the time (this It mainly records the encounters of personnel sent by Iberia around the world), allowing readers to follow these early modern missionaries, businessmen, explorers, and diplomats into a new world that had never been open to Europe before, so as to understand the subsequent Here comes the collision and fusion of mixed races and cultures.
Gludinsky is a historian known for his studies of Latin American history. In 1970, a trip to Mexico aroused his interest in this “New Spain” and Latin America in general. In 1983, he entered the prestigious French National Centre for Scientific Research, and since 1989 has been the director of the largest basic scientific research institution in Europe. Since 1993, he has been Director of the French Institute for Advanced Study in Social Sciences. Gludinsky is interested in the colonization of the Americas and Asia, and his research interests include colonial experience as the birthplace of hybrid and hybrid spaces and as the first manifestation of globalization. In 1999 Gludinsky published La Penséemétisse (The Mind of the Mestizo), which echoed this idea, which he published on February 26, 1999. As explained in the talk show, “…because of Spain and Portugal, the first global empires around the world appeared as early as the sixteenth century.
” Excellent curator. In 2004 he curated an exhibition entitled “Planète Métisse” (Planète Métisse) at the prestigious Musée du Quai Branly- Jacques Chirac in Paris and organized The symposium “L’Expérience Métisse” was held with great success. In August 2005, as an expert on Latin America from the 16th to the 18th centuries, Gludzynski is known for his new thinking on global and transnational history on “métissage” (métissage) and cross-cultural “circulation” ( The concept of circulations) won the International History Award at the 22nd International Congress of History Science (ICHS) held in Jinan.
Gludinsky is a distinguished historian recognized in Europe, the United States, and Spanish-speaking countries, and his achievements in writing include the character of his innovation, the originality of the questions he asked, and the The method of each argument makes the reader amazed by his works. Many of his historical works have become classics once they are completed. The Four Parts of the World, published in 2004, is the culmination of Gludinsky’s work, which he has accumulated over the decades. He unfolds a global scene in the book, taking readers through the world of that era. In his writings, it is the distant past, but also the present that is closely connected with us today.
In The Four Parts of the World, Gludinsky explores the intricate variety of cultural encounters around the world in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, drawing on the intellectual and scholarly methods already constructed in his earlier writings, with a particular focus on The period from 1580 to 1640, when the Portuguese and Spanish empires were under the same royal family – King Philip II of Spain also served as King of the Kingdom of Portugal, forming the Spanish-Portuguese Commonwealth of Nations – The Iberian Union – thus becoming the country with the largest Shanghai power and the most extensive territory in the world at that time. It was from this period that Philip II began to build dynastic, political and ideological within the framework of a global program spanning four continents, establishing the first global anti-Islamic coalition: the then Castile The union of the two royal families of Asia and Aragon, together with Portugal and its overseas dependencies, truly formed a veritable “global empire”. Gludinsky quotes the Spanish poet and playwright Vega (1562-1635): “Through the soil of King Philip II, one can travel around the world.”
”The Four Parts of the World” in 17-18 Century Latin America was a very popular theme, and the so-called “four parts” were the four continents known at the time: Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas. This was the ruling ambition of the Catholic monarchy at the time and the definition of the world by the biracial chronicler Chimalpahin (1579-1660). Showing these four continents is the whole of the world, because it is completely in line with the scientific understanding of the time. Gludinsky sought to rebuild the connections and interactions that took place not only in Europe, but also between Asia, the Americas and Africa, as the Iberian Catholic monarchy’s scope of action was global. Political unity ensures the institutional linkage of these large parts of the world and is achieved through the constant flow of people, goods and ideas. In this regard, Gludinsky has his own logic. In addition to the “Introduction” and “End”, the four parts of his book are “Iberian Globalization”, “The Chain of the World”, “The Thing of the World” and “Crystal Ball”, with a view to transcending the one-way and Eurocentric view of the mere concept of overseas expansion.
”Globalization” is a contemporary concept, and Glujinsky examines “globalization” in the early modern period from our understanding of the concept today: history used as “a wonderful toolbox for understanding The events that have taken place over the centuries between Westernization, hybridization, and globalization”. It is these events and phenomena that connect the different parts of the world and the people who inhabit them.
The Four Parts of the World: A History of Globalization, in French, is Les quatreparties du monde: Histoire d’une mondialisation. It is worth noting that Gludinsky’s “globalization” uses mondialisation rather than globalisation, which subtly echoes the monde (world) in the title.
For Gludinsky, “globalization” does not simply mean the conquest and expansion of the West. From the perspective of global history, it means a “mobility” (mobilité), which is both men’s and women’s Mobility, but also the flow of institutions, and the movement of missionaries, businessmen and bureaucrats around the world—from Europe to Asia or the Americas. And the result of mobility is an effort to adjust to a new situation, to another culture, while maintaining the original idea. It is a question of new adaptation policies, and these forerunners, who first arrived in the new world, unconsciously link the various local histories, making them synchronous histories. The identity of these “historians” from Iberia therefore has three attributes: the place from which they set off, the place where they are now settled, and the vision of the world to which they feel they belong, that is, the “universal monarchy” ( monarchie universelle).
According to Gludinsky, from the study of the expansion of Iberia in the sixteenth century, it can be seen that globalization was driven by a total force formed by various motive forces and other forces. “Unlike the individual impetus of each empire, these combined forces did not arise from a clear, conscious political attempt, nor from a directly discernible programmatic plan.” This is an early modern era with Iberian characteristics. “Globalization”.
The reason why Gludinsky uses “mondialisation” instead of “globalisation” in the title of this book is also because the Iberian “globalisation” that took place in the early modern period is essentially different from today’s European and American “globalisation”. of: “Globalization developed along the Iberian path from the sixteenth century and peaked in the nineteenth and first half of the twentieth century. Iberian globalization transformed into a European and then Western-dominated global “Globalization”.” After we have patiently read this more than 400-page book, we will have a richer, deeper and more complete understanding and understanding of “globalization” in different eras.
At the beginning of the Chinese edition of “To Chinese Readers”, Gludinsky wrote: “Today European historians have realized that reducing world history to European history is not only impossible, but also inappropriate, even if We are still the holders of Eurocentrism.” Therefore, in Grujinsky’s view, today’s history is not just the result of the historical development of Europe, but the history of global communication and integration. In the era of the Iberian League in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, four parts of the world participated in this process of change, so today we need to use multiple perspectives to examine the mutual contact, collision and integration of these parts, so that the global To see the world and understand this history.
Glujinsky believes that the traditional Western method of historical division, that is, the division of reality into economic, political, religious and cultural dimensions, is not suitable for the “globalization of such breadth and complexity” in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. development process”. Therefore, he believes that the “connection of civilizations” proposed by Fernand Braudel (1902-1985) when expounding the connection between Christian Europe and Islamic Turkey, the “connection of civilizations” between the Iberian peninsula and the Balkan peninsula “The Problems of Connection and Communication Between Different Civilizations and Cultures” is his method guide for dealing with such cases of “connected history”.
From the standpoint of Iberia alone, the whole of early modern history is the history of the conquest and colonization of the world by Catholic Europe. As a historian specializing in the history of exchanges between Europe and Latin America, Gludzynski found an “other” position:
these clues I stumbled upon during my travels are the starting point of this book. They made me think about globalization from a place outside Europe and America, which as a peripheral space of the Western world offers Westerners an inexhaustible treasure trove of exoticism and primitiveness.
This is actually a roundabout logic (logique de détour), looking back at the West through a kind of heterogeneous space (l’hétérotopie).
In Gludinsky’s view, the impetus for world history does not come from Europe alone, nor is it the history of spreading European achievements to the rest of the world over time. The Portuguese physician Garcia de Orta (1501-1568), who was engaged in botanical research in India, believed that the “Portuguese voyages” were the source of truth. Since at least the sixteenth century, there has been interaction between Iberian Europe and the Americas, Africa and Asia, which has played an institutional role in the development of modern societies. The development of Europe is not fundamentally the result of some internal factor, but the result of communication and interaction with the rest of the world. Gludinsky provides us with a rich global history of Iberia, a narrative that highlights the Catholic West but neutralizes Eurocentrism with socially vivid scenes from the Americas, Asia, and Africa.
Since globalization in the era of the Iberian League was mainly recorded in Western languages such as Latin, Spanish, and Portuguese, many of the stories told by Grujinski are unheard of in the Chinese-speaking world. In particular, a large number of “bad guys” were exiled from Iberia to the New World, and their stories are rarely recorded.
Gludinski argues that Portuguese exiled criminals who were deported from Lisbon to Brazil, Africa or Asia were not much better off than African slaves, many of whom died of scurvy even on ships. There was a mulatto named Maria Barbosa who made his name through the trial files of the Saint-Office de l’Inquisition.
Maria’s life shows another aspect of Iberian globalization. The woman who shares the same name with Our Lady was born in the beautiful white city of Evora, a city known for its Portuguese humanities scholars and home to a Jesuit university that preached the Counter-Reformation to Portugal and the empire. Gaspar da Cruz (ca. 1520-1570), who was sent to Asia by the Dominican Mission and wrote the earliest chronicle of China in Europe, was also a native of Evora. According to the files on the trial of Maria: She was in Portugal and was exiled to Angola in Portuguese West Africa on charges of witchcraft. In Africa, she continued to “enchant” and pimp, and she was whipped. Later, she crossed the Atlantic to Pernambouc in northern Brazil, a sugar production base built by the Portuguese and Indians, where she still risked being punished for her old business. This mixed-race woman who has traveled to many places in the world was expelled wherever she went. In 1610, she lived in Bahia, a Brazilian land discovered by the Portuguese in 1500, and was caught again on charges of the same chain of crimes. There, she prostituted Portuguese men with the city’s Amerindian-European mulattos, who were said to have made decent bids. Maria was accused of being “obviously the most harmful and shameful woman in this region of many bad women”, and she was once again deported to more distant parts of southern Brazil. Thanks to the mercy of the local ruler Diogode Meneses (c. 1520-1580), she was able to stay in Bahia, but was thrown into the local prison. While there, she hooks up with an African fetish wizard who can provide her with medicinal herbs. For her excesses, authorities sent her to the courtroom of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Lisbon to stand trial.
But the story didn’t end there. Maria’s displaced life is compounded by a new tragic event on her sea-crossing journey. The ship she was on was intercepted by pirates, and this woman, who had suffered countless misfortunes, was abandoned on the beaches of Gibraltar. She managed to get out of her predicament and finally reached Lisbon alone after all the hardships. Since Mary had no source of livelihood at this time, she could only turn to the judges of the Inquisition for help. She needed a coat to cover her body because she was a decent woman. Her identity in the Inquisition’s verdict was one of her favorite notorieties – “diablemarin”. The Inquisition ruled that she could no longer enter Brazil, arguing that for her, the transatlantic trip was like an excursion in the Portuguese countryside. Witchcraft is spreading around the world as quickly as Christianity, and witches who wander physically and mentally between continents know how to protect themselves by migrating at sea.
After telling the saga of the Kraken spanning three continents, Grujinski concluded
that most of the migrations that Maria experienced were involuntary. This woman of color is controlled by an intercontinental network of Portuguese Inquisitions. From Evora via Angola and Brazil to Lisbon, Maria played cat and mouse with the judges of the Inquisition, reflecting the positives and negatives of Iberian globalization. Paradoxically, it is through the union of her body with magical herbs, through her actions as a witch and a prostitute, that Maria connects Europe, Africa and America, in complete violation of the laws intended by the Catholic Church. On the other hand, thanks to Mary and people like her, the Inquisition has adapted its methods and strategies to help it function more effectively on a global scale.
This is a little-known story. Through Grujinsky’s superb narrative skills and keen perception, behind historical materials in different regions, the fate of a woman who is constantly fighting against fate and authority has been reconstructed. She ultimately failed to escape the clutches of the court of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. It is through Grignard’s hook and sink that we can enter the history of different worlds that once relied on abstract concepts to enter through vivid images.
In the 1980s Gludinsky’s research was limited mainly to Mexico, the Viceroy of New Spain, but since the publication of The Mind of the Mestizos (1999), Gludinsky has researched The object is expanded to explain the relationship between globalization and the mixed races of the various classes that make up human society. In “The Four Parts of the World”, he expanded his perspective to the overall outline of the first globalization. Methodologically speaking, Glujinsky uses the concept of “interaction” to deal with the problems of global interconnectedness after early modernity, including many themes: divergence, convergence, cross-cultural trade, mission, species dispersal and exchange, Cultural clashes, colonization, immigration and diaspora, disease, artistic exchange, and more. In addition, he also added the concept of “Connected History” proposed by Sanjay Subrahmanyam (1961- ), with Catholic monarchs making his analysis unit, from a series of fascinating From a dazzling archive of material relevant to European civilization: at
first glance the task seems simple, in fact it involves rediscovering the various connections that take place between different parts of the world and between different societies, somewhat similar to that of electricians the work of restoring what the era has separated from the historian.
Through constant reflection, Glujinsky seeks a broader academic vision and avoids the fetters brought by today’s disciplinary divisions. In this way he moves out of the binary logic of center and periphery, and sees the world from Mexico, Manila or Cape Verde, thus forming a vision of global interaction consisting of multiple centers and touching borders or middle grounds.
In addition to “flow”, Gludinsky also uses the concept of “circulation” in the book. The transformations that took place in the 16th and 17th centuries were not limited to the establishment of the Iberian way of life in America, Asia, etc., but also included a “circular” movement. The high tide of globalization has brought these transformations in new spaces back to Europe. Commodities, luxury goods and scientific knowledge from other continents gained new value through their integration into European society. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that The Four Parts of the World is the intellectual outline of human civilization in the sixteenth to seventeenth centuries, and the biggest difference from the previous era is its cross-cultural nature.
The greatest feature of this book is the unconventional relationship that Gludinsky himself maintains with history, which can also be regarded as the greatest originality of his works. This is not a work that provides a unified narrative of past history and society with a single point of view and method, nor is it an ordinary work of global history with a focus on case studies. Gludinsky recognizes a history of connections through the transfer of researchers and institutions, and the concomitant transfer of practices, techniques, and beliefs that permeate every aspect of human life. Like a traveler through time and space, he used his superb historical skills to freely enter the labyrinth of global historical documents from the 16th to the 18th centuries, and through storytelling, he pursued the clues hidden behind these historical narratives. He is particularly good at telling stories, often starting from movies that young people have just watched not long ago – “Blade Runner” (Blade Runner, 1982), “The Matrix” (The Matrix, 1999), “Happy” (Happy) Together, 1997) et al. For researchers, you can get various inspirations on the theory of knowledge and methodology from this heavy historical work, while for history lovers, you can hear the thrilling and bizarre stories that happened on four continents in that era.
In Chapter 10 of the book, “Individual Destiny and Iberian Globalization,” Gludinsky writes: “The
overall picture is impressive, with Different undertakings arranged and tenaciously insisted on, intellectually, European knowledge is mixed with indigenous knowledge, Western knowledge is often more than indigenous knowledge, but they have been Americanized, Africanized or Easternized, which makes us not They can be confused with what is displayed and disseminated in European pavilions. For these discovered treasures, even today Western Europe is far from assimilated.
I think this is the fundamental reason why the author wrote such a work on the history of globalization in the early modern period.