Medieval Ethnographies : European Perceptions Of The World Beyond
by Joan Pau RubiГ©s /
2009 / English / PDF
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This anthology of classic articles in the history of medieval ethnographies illustrates the growing sense of cultural confidence in the Latin West, from the twelfth century. What needs emphasizing is the multiplication of original writings over time, their increased circulation, and their authoritative status as a 'scientific' discourse. In conjunction with the important introduction, the studies reprinted here explore the contexts and genres of travel writing, the transformation of enduring myths (ranging from oriental marvels to the virtuous ascetics of India or Prester John), the practical expression of particular encounters from the Mongols to the Atlantic, and the various attempts to explain cultural differences, either through the concept of barbarism, or through geography and climate.