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Reviews 111 PeUkan's treatment of Augustine's canonical rule (or rules) of interpretation in relation to the doctrine of the Trinity is both learned and accessible. But, in a short paper, Augustine's blend of confident theological affirmation on the one hand and negation on the other (to speak of God is 'to think things unspeakable') is not subjected to much critical analysis. It is not clear that a negative or apophatic theologian can speak quite so positively about the divine as Augustine does. R. A. Markus' paper deals with themes of intense interest in Augustine's social and political thought: the legitimacy of the respublica, the nature of political obligation, the significance of social and pubhc life, pride of empire as the vehicle of oppression at the expense of peace and justice, pride in the individual as the isolation of self from community and the desire for private goals at the expense of sociability and the common good. This is an excellent paper which is aU too short. Paul Crittenden Department of General Philosophy University of Sydney Tracey, James D., Holland under Habsburg rule, 1506-1566: the formation of a body politic, Berkeley, University of California Press, 1990; cloth; pp. ix, 330; 4 maps, 12 tables; R. R. P. US$45.00. This is a prologue to one of sixteenth-century Europe's longest dramas, the Revolt of the Netherlands, and is the second that Tracey has given us. His first, A financial revolution in the Habsburg Netherlands: 'renten' and 'renteniers' in the county of Holland, 1515-1565 (1985), dealt with the faceless men of the HoUand towns and cities. These traders, brewers, merchants, members of the urban oligarchies, and deputies to the States of Holland, achieved a goal that was always beyond the reach of their splendid betters, Charles V and Phdip II. They created a relatively secure, reliable, and efficient machinery for mobilising investment in public finance at reasonable rates. Holland under Habsburg rule uncovers the changes in political attitudes that grew out of the changes in the handhng of public finance. Even in a Europe that took the principle of privilege for granted, the towns of the Habsburg Netherlands were notorious for their sensitivity about local charters, exemptions, specialrights,and liberties. The towns of Holland were no different from the rest. The province itself was so small that it could easily have fitted in between Philip II's residence in Madrid and his summer retreat in Aranjuez, yet the proximity of its cities, in one of the most highly urbanised areas in Europe, was as likely to bring rivalry as it was to bring friendship. The very multiplicity of differing sets of privileges worked against the emergence of a common purpose. But the question of distance could operate in the other direction. N o town was more than a day's journey or so from the others. Internal communication was 178 Reviews rapid and easy. It could be difficult for a 'foreign' power, whether the royal government in Brussels, or the royal government beyond Brussels, or even a Netherlands state (Guelders, for instance, in the 1520s) to threaten one town in Holland, without alarming others. If towns had privileges to guard, so too, of course, did the landed nobiUty, especiaUy the clans of 'the three great personages', the heads of the houses of Nassau, Egmont, and Montmorency. There were constant sources of conflict here and matters were complicated no end by thefluctuatingrelations of each of the components of these two potential groupings with the royal government, itself always anxious to stand on its prerogatives. O n the other hand, the government could not function effectively without some degree of consensus with the nobles and with the towns. This is where the question of money and credit came in. As the reign of Charles V went on, the government's need for money grew, while its credit sank. Yet the credit of the towns and the States remained firm. To a certain extent, then, it was in the government's interest not only to aUow, but even to stimulate the growth of the States' financial and administrative responsibilities. The further this went, the more possible it...


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