This chapter takes on the changes in semantics of the word “world.” In the 1550s, Scottish polymath George Buchanan composed the poem “In colonias brasilienes” as a means of attacking the Portuguese colonial enterprise in Brazil. His attacks through poetry often take a semantic and rhetorical approach. In them, he not only questions whether the empire is justified spiritually and politically, but also asks how their conquest affects his and his contemporaries’ understanding of the world. “World” in this sense, may differ from how we understand it today, and from how the ancients understood it during their time. The chapter explores the semantics of the “world”—such as what is the relation of the self to the world, or how the term world itself either suffices or fails to serve the desired meaning or effect.
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