Did Alexander the Great Discover America? Debating Space and Time in Renaissance Istanbul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Following the first European voyages of exploration to the New World, several Ottoman authors debated whether Alexander the Great may have already known of the American continent in classical antiquity. By exploring the contours of this previously unstudied intra-Ottoman debate, the present article challenges the prevailing scholarly view that sixteenth-century Ottoman writings about the Americas were at best frivolous and at worst incoherent. Instead, these texts engaged with many of the same questions provoked by the discoveries in contemporary Europe, while at the same time intersecting with the most profound and contested concerns of Ottoman statecraft.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)863-909
Number of pages47
JournalRenaissance Quarterly
Volume72
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Casale Giancarlo University of Minnesota / European University Institute Research for this article was supported by a fellowship from Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies. Previous versions were presented at the Collège de France, in Paris; the Central European University's Center for Eastern Mediterranean Studies, in Budapest; the Kunsthistorisches Institut, in Florence; and the Seminar for Medieval and Early Modern Art History at Concordia University, in Montreal. 27 09 2019 Fall 2019 72 3 863 909 Copyright © Renaissance Society of America 2019  2019 Renaissance Society of America Following the first European voyages of exploration to the New World, several Ottoman authors debated whether Alexander the Great may have already known of the American continent in classical antiquity. By exploring the contours of this previously unstudied intra-Ottoman debate, the present article challenges the prevailing scholarly view that sixteenth-century Ottoman writings about the Americas were at best frivolous and at worst incoherent. Instead, these texts engaged with many of the same questions provoked by the discoveries in contemporary Europe, while at the same time intersecting with the most profound and contested concerns of Ottoman statecraft. pdf S0034433819002525a.pdf

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Renaissance Society of America.

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