Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World

Trading Territories: Mapping the Early Modern World

Hardback Picturing History

By (author) Jerry Brotton

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Paperback $34.99
  • Publisher: Reaktion Books
  • Format: Hardback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 160mm x 247mm x 21mm | 667g
  • Publication date: 3 October 2004
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1861890117
  • ISBN 13: 9781861890115
  • Illustrations note: 8 colour and 44 b&w illustrations

Product description

Offering an account of the status of maps and geographical knowledge in the Early Modern world, this work focuses on how early European geographers mapped the territories of the Old World (Africa and South-East Asia). It contends that the historical preoccupation with Columbus's "discovery" of the New World in 1492 has tended to obscure the importance of the mapping of territories which have been defined as "eastern". The author places the rise of Early Modern mapping within the context of the seaborne commercial adventures of the early maritime empires - the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Ottoman, the Dutch and the English. He explores the ways in which maps and globes were used to mediate in the commercial and diplomatic disputes between these empires, which came to value the map for what it told their power-brokers about their place in the world, over and above its objective depiction of the world. Brotton argues that it was trade, diplomacy and financial speculation which defined the development of early maps and globes, rather than disinterested intellectual pursuit of scientific accuracy and objectivity.

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Author information

Jerry Brotton is lecturer in Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and is the co-author of Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West (2000).

Review quote

'In this outstanding study of maps and mapping, Jerry Brotton reveals a dynamism in the transaction between East and West beyond anything we have previously appreciated.' - Lisa Jardine, Queen Mary University of London