By Kim M. Phillips

ISBN-10: 0812245482

ISBN-13: 9780812245486

A precise eu point of view on Asia emerged within the overdue heart a long time. Early studies of a homogeneous "India" of marvels and monsters gave technique to debts written through medieval tourists that indulged readers' interest approximately far-flung landscapes and cultures with out displaying the attitudes obtrusive within the later writings of aspiring imperialists. Mining the debts of greater than twenty Europeans who made—or claimed to have made—journeys to Mongolia, China, India, Sri Lanka, and Southeast Asia among the mid-thirteenth and early 16th centuries, Kim Phillips reconstructs a medieval eu imaginative and prescient of Asia that used to be via turns serious, impartial, and admiring.

In providing a cultural background of the stumble upon among medieval Latin Christians and the far away East, Before Orientalism finds how Europeans' triumphing preoccupations with foodstuff and consuming conduct, gender roles, sexualities, civility, and the international physique contributed to shaping their perceptions of Asian peoples and societies. Phillips supplies specific recognition to the texts' identified or most likely audiences, the cultural settings in which they discovered a foothold, and the wider impression in their descriptions, whereas additionally contemplating the motivations in their writers. She unearths in wealthy element responses from ecu tourists that ranged from pragmatism to ask yourself. worry of army may perhaps, admiration for prime criteria of civic lifestyles and court docket tradition, or even relish overseas beauty not often assumed the type of secular Eurocentric superiority that will later signify Orientalism. putting medieval writing at the East within the context of an emergent "Europe" whose explorers sought to benefit greater than to rule, Before Orientalism complicates our realizing of medieval attitudes towards the foreign.

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Before Orientalism: Asian Peoples and Cultures in European Travel Writing, 1245-1510 (The Middle Ages Series) by Kim M. Phillips

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