Transcultural Knowledge and Christian Worldviews. The Influence of Arabic Cartographic Traditions on Latin Maps from the 12th to the 15th Century

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description (abstract)

The project questions the exchange cartographical knowledge between the Islamic and Christian world. Based on the results of post-modern concepts like the ‘spatial turn’, Arabic and Latin diagrams, world maps and Portolan charts from the 12th to the 15th century will be examined. In analyzing the spatial concepts of the schematic climate maps e.g. in a religious polemic written by Petrus Alfonsi, the ‘transitional maps’ of Marino Sanudo or the richly decorated Catalan Atlas of 1375 the ways, contents and structures of the transfer of knowledge will be worked out. The project asks, how transcultural knowledge was transformed and integrated in the own world view, in which ways this knowledge was legitimized and what consequences this had for religious and scientific worldviews.
Stimulated by the contemporary experience of Europe with its cultural and religious mixture, the project also questions the traditional view of medieval Europe and the Arabic culture as unified worlds of Christianity and Islam. Rather, the project shows the transcultural interaction of scholars and cartographers in the Mediterranean and will provide new insights of the impact of the Islamic world on the development of European sciences.
Effective start/end date01/04/2012 → …