Chris Meyns on Elisabeth of Bohemia

Even in scholarship of early modern philosophy, Descartes easily gets credit for ideas that were at least as much Bohemia’s. Not that Bohemia is totally ignored. It’s more subtle than that. We find ample cases where, because of how Bohemia’s role is represented, she’s just ever so slightly pushed away from center stage.

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One thought on “Chris Meyns on Elisabeth of Bohemia

  1. Not really the point of this, but while I acknowledge that how to refer to royalty is in general vexed, and I can see how it’s problematic to refer to her by her first name when we refer to almost all contemporaries by their last names, Bohemia isn’t actually her name. Sure, she was briefly princess of Bohemia, but also princess of the Palatinate, and of the house of Palatinate-Simmern; since naming conventions of the time and for royalty did not line up with ours, there just isn’t anything that exactly corresponds to a family name for her. Sure, royals were sometimes referred to by the name of their country, but generally only if they were the current monarch and generally only in diplomatic contexts, and of course that isn’t the usual modern pattern. I would like for there to be a good alternative to calling her Princess Elisabeth, but I don’t think Bohemia is it.

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