The Franciscans in Cathay: memory of men and places. A Contribution for the genealogy of geographical knowledge of Alexander von Humboldt

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HiN XVI, 30 (2015)

Autor: Giuseppe Buffon

erschienen in HiN XVI, 30 (2015)

Giuseppe Buffon analyzes the process that leads to the elaboration of the thesis of a continuity between the Medieval Asia mission and the New World mission. This effort, undertaken by the Catholic historiography of the mission during the XIX century, is the result of the impulse provided by Alexander von Humboldt’s studies about the discovery of America (Examen critique). The data about the geography of Asia collected by the missionaries-travelers working in the territory between Karakorum and Khanbalik during the XIII e XIV century reaches Christopher Colombus with the mediation of Roger Bacon, whom Humboldt himself esteems as a true cultural mediator. The conclusion of the article tries to identify reasons and modalities of the secularization of the missionary concept, i.e. the shift from the ideal of the propagation of the Christian message to a prevailing interest for cartography and topography, transformations arranged by a late medieval historiography that introduces into martyrolagia the loca toponomastica. >> read full article

Julia Bayerl

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im BMBF-Verbundprojekt “Alexander von Humboldts Amerikanische Reisetagebücher” der Universität Potsdam und der Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin-PK. Teilprojekt: “Genealogie, Chronologie, Epistemologie” (Leitung: Prof. Dr. Ottmar Ette). ++ Studium der Romanistik und Kunstgeschichte an der Universität Regensburg, der Universdad de Buenos Aires und der Universidad de Santiago de Compostela. ++ Seit 2014 Promotion zu Alexander von Humboldts Zeichnungen und Bild-Text Beziehungen in den Amerikanischen Reisetagebüchern.

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