Exploring, Traveling, Mapping

in Placing the Enlightenment

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2007 | ISBN: 9780226904054
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226904078 | DOI:
Exploring, Traveling, Mapping

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  • Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)


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This chapter examines the ways in which the world was geographically revealed during the Enlightenment. It uses three sets of related terms: encountering and imagining, mapping and inscribing, envisioning and publicizing. They are linked by matters connected to the ways in which knowledge was made—as maps, as narratives of travel; to the ways in which geographical knowledge traveled; and to the fact that audiences back home received new geographical information about the “out there” in particular forms—as books, specimens on display, or paintings—more often than they experienced them firsthand. Enlightenment exploration and the individuals and institutions that promoted it sought to bring the globe under the sovereignty of science. Doing this meant getting out into the world, traveling safely, and returning to tell others—through books, correspondence, maps, and word of mouth.

Keywords: Enlightenment; maps; narratives; travel; exploration; science; correspondence; books

Chapter.  9158 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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