Dr. R.P. (Raymond) Fagel

  • Lecturer at the History Institute of Leiden University
  • Profesor titular en el Departamento de Historia de la Universidad de Leiden

Telephone number: +31 (0)71 527 2730
E-Mail: r.p.fagel@hum.leidenuniv.nl
Faculty / Department: Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen, Institute for History, Algemene Geschiedenis
Office Address: Johan Huizingagebouw
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Room number 2.04a

Research Project: Facing the Enemy. The Spanish Army Commanders during the First Decade of the Dutch Revolt (1567-1577) NWO Vrije Competitie 2014-2019

It is time for the Dutch to face their primordial enemy. While the image of a heroic struggle for freedom against an oppressive Spanish army during the Dutch Revolt may be firmly embedded in the story of the birth of the Dutch national state, Dutch historiography has never dared to closely examine these Spanish antagonists. National creation myths demand clear-cut opponents, but prefer to treat them as an anonymous, monolithic collective. Analyzing this classic historical case will provide an example for confronting other national stories worldwide with their most fundamental enemies. As national borders become increasingly permeable, canonical national histories should follow suit.

This project concentrates on the commanders of the Spanish army residing in the Low Countries between 1567 and 1577. Drawing on both Dutch and Spanish sources, it literally gives a face to the enemy. We want to know how these historical figures became either war heroes or war criminals in narrative sources from Spain and the Low Countries but also how these images relate to actual war experiences as reflected in the commanders’ letters, a rich source virtually neglected up to the present. By combining modern narrative analysis from cultural studies with in-depth archival research, this project aims to bridge the methodological gap still yawning between the two traditions, creating a dynamic vision of the Spanish army in the Low Countries and placing the subject in a wider context of warfare and military violence.  

PhD Researchers of the project: Beatriz Santiago Belmonte and Leonor Álvarez Francés


Both teaching and research of Raymond Fagel are centered on the Renaissance (ca. 1480- ca. 1580), especially on the relations between the Low Countries and Spain during the Early Habsburgs, when both territories were part of the same conglomerate of states. Attention is given to social and economic relations, as well as to political developments and international relations. The research focusses on trade between Spain and the Low Countries, on wars, on court culture, migration, and the development of national identities. Another field of research is the history of emigration from the Low Countries between 1480 and 1560.

Books and edited volumes

K.W. Swart, Willem van Oranje en de Nederlandse Opstand. Fagel R.P., Mout M.E.H.N. & Nierop H.F.K. van, ed. (Den Haag 1994).

De Hispano-Vlaamse wereld. De contacten tussen Spanjaarden en Nederlanders 1496-1555. Proefschrift KU Nijmegen. Archief- en Bibliotheekwezen in België Extranummer 52 (Brussel, Nijmegen 1996).

Leids beleg en ontzet door Spaanse ogen (Den Haag 1998).

K.W. Swart, William of Orange and the Revolt of the Netherlands 1572-1584. R.P. Fagel, M.E.H.N. Mout en H.F.K. van Nierop, ed. (Aldershot 2003).

Groenveld, Simon, Ebben, Maurits en Fagel, Raymond ed., Tussen Munster en Aken. De Nederlandse Republiek als grote mogendheid 1648-1748 (Maastricht 2005).

Fagel, Raymond en Onnekink, David ed., Oorlog en samenleving in de Nieuwe Tijd (Maastricht 2005).

Voortrekkers, cultuurdragers, emigranten. De Nederlandse emigratie in de Renaissance 1480-1560 (Den Haag 2005).

Fagel R.P., Geurts J. & Limberger M., ed., Filips de Schone. Een vergeten vorst (1478-1506) (Maastricht 2008).

Vermeir R., Ebben M.A. & Fagel R.P., ed., Agentes e identidades en movimiento. España y los Países Bajos.Siglos XVI-XVIII ( Madrid 2011).  

Fagel R.P. & Storm H.J., ed., Het land van Don Quichot. De Spanjaarden en hun geschiedenis (Amsterdam 2011).  

Kapitein Julián. De Spaanse held van de Nederlandse Opstand (Hilversum 2011).

Last Modified: 10-12-2015