Travel and Ethnology in the Renaissance: South India Through European Eyes, 1250-1625
This book, first published in 2000, offers a wide-ranging and ambitious analysis of how European travellers in India developed their perceptions of ethnic, political and religious diversity over three hundred years. It analyses the growth of novel historical and philosophical concerns, from the early and rare examples of medieval travellers such as Marco Polo, through to the more sophisticated narratives of seventeenth-century observers - religious writers such as Jesuit missionaries, or independent antiquarians such as Pietro della Valle. The book's approach combines the detailed contextual analysis of individual narratives with an original long-term interpretation of the role of cross-cultural encounters in the European Renaissance. An extremely wide range of European sources is discussed, including the often neglected but extremely important Iberian and Italian sources. However, the book also discusses a number of non-European sources, Muslim and Hindu, thereby challenging simplistic interpretations of western 'orientalism'.
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In search of India the empire of Vijayanagara through European eyes
Marco Polos India and the Latin Christian tradition
Establishing lay science the merchant and the humanist
Ludovico de Varthema the curious traveller at the time of Vasco da Gama and Columbus
The Portuguese and Vijayanagara politics religion and classification
The practice of ethnography Indian customs and castes
The social and political order Vijayanagara decoded
The historical dimension from native traditions to European orientalism
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Achyuta Albuquerque analysis antiquarian Asia authority Barros Bijapur Botero brahmins Calicut Castanheda China Christian chronicle civilization coast context Conti Couto cultural customs defined described detailed discourse discussion diversity Duarte Barbosa edition empire Europe European fact Fernao Firishta Friar genre gentile geographical Hindu historians humanist Ibid Ibn Battuta idea idol idolatry important indigenous interpretation Italian Jesuits king of Vijayanagara kingdom kingship Krishna Deva Raya language language-games Latin letters Malabar manuscript Marco Polo medieval merchants mission missionary Muslim narrative Narsinga native Nayaka Nobili Nunes Nunes's observations oriental original Paes particular Persia Pietro della Valle Pires Poggio political Polo's Portugal Portuguese Prester John Rama Raja Ramusio religion religious Renaissance ritual role Rome ruler Saint Thomas secular seventeenth century sixteenth century social sources South India Tafur temple tradition translation travel literature Valignano Valle Valle's Varthema Venkata II Vijayanagara writing