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The Venetian Discovery of America
Geographic Imagination and Print Culture in the Age of Encounters

$29.99 (C)

  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316606841

$ 29.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Few Renaissance Venetians saw the New World with their own eyes. As the print capital of early modern Europe, however, Venice developed a unique relationship to the Americas. Venetian editors, mapmakers, translators, writers, and cosmographers represented the New World at times as a place that the city's mariners had discovered before the Spanish, a world linked to Marco Polo's China, or another version of Venice, especially in the case of Tenochtitlan. Elizabeth Horodowich explores these various and distinctive modes of imagining the New World, including Venetian rhetorics of 'firstness', similitude, othering, comparison, and simultaneity generated through forms of textual and visual pastiche that linked the wider world to the Venetian lagoon. These wide-ranging stances allowed Venetians to argue for their different but equivalent participation in the Age of Encounters. Whereas historians have traditionally focused on the Spanish conquest and colonization of the New World, and the Dutch and English mapping of it, they have ignored the wide circulation of Venetian Americana. Horodowich demonstrates how with their printed texts and maps, Venetian newsmongers embraced a fertile tension between the distant and the close. In doing so, they played a crucial yet heretofore unrecognized role in the invention of America.

    • Proposes a new understanding of the Renaissance by considering Italian history in a global context
    • Makes significant new arguments about the Mediterranean world
    • Brings discussions from Italian scholarship into an Anglophone arena
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘[a] richly illustrated and fascinating and convincing work in its argument.’ Felicitas Schmieder, Quellen und Forschungen aus italienischen Archiven und Bibliotheken

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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316606841
    • length: 343 pages
    • dimensions: 245 x 176 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.657kg
    • contains: 74 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: printing the new world in early modern Venice
    2. Compiled geographies: the Venetian travelogue and the Americas
    3. Giovanni Battista Ramusio's Venetian new world
    4. The Venetian mapping of the Americas
    5. Venetians in America: Nicolo Zen and the virtual exploration of the New World
    6. Venice as Tenochtitlan: the correspondence of the old world and the new

  • Author

    Elizabeth Horodowich, New Mexico State University
    Elizabeth Horodowich is Professor of History at New Mexico State University. She is the author of Language and Statecraft in Early Modern Venice (Cambridge, 2008), and A Brief History of Venice (2009), and is the recipient of awards and fellowships from a variety of institutions, including Harvard University's Villa I Tatti, the American Historical Association, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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