Geography and Ethnography

Geography and Ethnography : Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies

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This fascinating volume brings together leading specialists, who have analyzed the thoughts and records documenting the worldviews of a wide range of pre-modern societies. * Presents evidence from across the ages; from antiquity through to the Age of Discovery* Provides cross-cultural comparison of ancient societies around the globe, from the Chinese to the Incas and Aztecs, from the Greeks and Romans to the peoples of ancient India* Explores newly discovered medieval Islamic materials
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Product details

  • Hardback | 376 pages
  • 178 x 251 x 25mm | 748g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405191465
  • 9781405191463

Back cover copy

Societies have typically reflected upon their place in the world in relation to the space in which they live, those who surround them, the universe, and divine forces that they believe determine their fate. In this fascinating volume, the editors bring together leading specialists who have analyzed the thoughts and records of a wide range of pre-modern societies from around the globe and across the ages. Some societies, like the Chinese, Greeks, and Arabs, have left extensive written cultural and scientific documentation. Others, as in India and Mesopotamia, used myth and epic for memory and understanding. Still others, such as the Incas and Aztecs, did not write, but their ideas and beliefs can be recovered from later narratives, as well as from their artwork, monuments, and shaping of the landscape.
A wide range of common questions are examined, from evidence, interpretations, and methodology, to the way geographic and ethnographic concepts and views of the cosmos were developed and expressed. The resulting cross-cultural comparisons clearly describe the specific characteristics of these societies, how they differ and overlap. What emerges is a rich and astonishing variety of responses developed to meet universal challenges.
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Table of contents

List of Figures vii Notes on Contributors xi Series Editor's Preface xvii 1 Introduction 1 Richard J. A. Talbert and Kurt A. Raaflaub 2 Where the Black Antelope Roam: Dharma and Human Geography in India 9 Christopher Minkowski 3 Humans, Demons, Gods and Their Worlds: The Sacred and Scientific Cosmologies of India 32 Kim Plofker 4 Structured Perceptions of Real and Imagined Landscapes in Early China 43 Hsin-Mei Agnes Hsu 5 Nonary Cosmography in Ancient China 64 John B. Henderson 6 Knowledge of Other Cultures in China's Early Empires 74 Michael Loewe 7 The Mississippian Peoples' Worldview 89 Kathleen DuVal 8 Aztec Geography and Spatial Imagination 108 Barbara E. Mundy 9 Inca Worldview 128 Catherine Julien 10 Masters of the Four Corners of the Heavens: Views of the Universe in Early Mesopotamian Writings 147 Piotr Michalowski 11 The World and the Geography of Otherness in Pharaonic Egypt 169 Gerald Moers 12 On Earth as in Heaven: The Apocalyptic Vision of World Geography from Urzeit to Endzeit according to the Book of Jubilees 182 James M. Scott 13 'I Know the Number of the Sand and the Measure of the Sea': Geography and Difference in the Early Greek World 197 Susan Guettel Cole 14 Continents, Climates, and Cultures: Greek Theories of Global Structure 215 James Romm 15 The Geographical Narrative of Strabo of Amasia 236 Daniela Dueck 16 The Roman Worldview: Beyond Recovery? 252 Richard J. A. Talbert 17 The Medieval Islamic Worldview: Arabic Geography in Its Historical Context 273 Adam J. Silverstein 18 The Book of Curiosities: An Eleventh-Century Egyptian View of the Lands of the Infidels 291 Emilie Savage-Smith 19 Geography and Ethnography in Medieval Europe: Classical Traditions and Contemporary Concerns 311 Natalia Lozovsky 20 Europeans Plot the Wider World, 1500--1750 330 David Buisseret Index 344
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Review quote

"The 20 papers originated in a workshop held at Brown University in March 2006 and fully reflect the series' world focus and broad definition of ancient societies." (CHOICE, July 2010)
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About Kurt A. Raaflaub

Kurt A. Raaflaub is David Herlihy University Professor, and Professor of Classics and History, at Brown University. His numerous publications include The Discovery of Freedom (2004) and Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007, co-authored with Josiah Ober and Robert Wallace). He is also the editor of Social Struggles in Archaic Rome (Blackwell, 2005), and War and Peace in the Ancient World (Blackwell, 2007), and co-editor of A Companion to Archaic Greece (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Richard J.A. Talbert is William Rand Kenan, Jr, Professor of History and Classics at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the editor of the Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (2000), and co-editor of Space in the Roman World: Its Perception and Presentation (2004), as well as of Cartography in Antiquity and the Middle Ages: Fresh Perspectives, New Methods (2008). His major study Rome's World: The Peutinger Map Reconsidered will appear in 2010.
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