Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Medieval Invention of Travel$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Shayne Aaron Legassie

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226442563

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226442730.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

Travail and Authority in the Forgotten Age of Discovery

Travail and Authority in the Forgotten Age of Discovery

(p.59) Chapter Two Travail and Authority in the Forgotten Age of Discovery
The Medieval Invention of Travel

Shayne Aaron Legassie

University of Chicago Press

As scholarly tradition would have it, geographic modernity begins with Columbus, and unfolds like a morality play—an allegorical triumph of “empiricism” (nebulously defined) over “authority” (narrowly identified with the reading practices of the medieval university). Stereotype depicts the Middle Ages as a period that cleaved dogmatically to ancient authorities such as Aristotle, Cicero, and Augustine, while greeting new ideas with a mixture of indifference and twitching paranoia. In reality, not only did medieval people eagerly anticipate new geographical knowledge, they also engaged in searching debates about its potentially disruptive implications. Relatedly, they also thought in complex ways about the basis of the traveler’s authority and about how that authority could best be translated into textual form for a world where written information—not all of it reliable—seemed to proliferate, mutate, and spread faster than it ever had before.

Keywords:   geographic exploration, authority, legal writing, The Book of John Mandeville, Odoric of Pordenone, John of Plano Carpini, missionaries, Mongol Empire, merchants, Franciscans, Mandeville's Travels

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.