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The Other Side of EmpireJust War in the Mediterranean and the Rise of Early Modern Spain$
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Andrew W. Devereux

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781501740121

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501740121.001.0001

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The Mediterranean in the Spanish Imaginary During the Age of Exploration

The Mediterranean in the Spanish Imaginary During the Age of Exploration

Chapter:
(p.21) Chapter 1 The Mediterranean in the Spanish Imaginary During the Age of Exploration
Source:
The Other Side of Empire
Author(s):

Andrew W. Devereux

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9781501740121.003.0002

This chapter explores the ways that late medieval Spaniards thought about the Mediterranean and the lands surrounding its shores. The chapter mentions the geographers' belief that the three constituent parts of the earth, namely Asia, Africa, and Europe, met in the Mediterranean and that the lordship of the world could only be attained through control of the inner sea. It also points out that the early expansion of primitive Christianity suggest that the Mediterranean possessed a latent religious unity. Aware of the history of the early Church in North Africa and western Asia, jurists devised arguments to the effect that Christian conquests in those regions were in fact acts of recuperation or defense. It then describes the nuances of fifteenth-century Spaniards' perspectives on Mediterranean space by demonstrating that the proximate western Mediterranean was familiar and known, while the more distant eastern Mediterranean was more exotic and often depicted as the site of fabulous wonders.

Keywords:   medieval Spaniards, Mediterranean, primitive Christianity, Christian conquests, inner sea, religious unity

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