Literary Territories: Cartographical Thinking in Late Antiquity by Scott Fitzgerald Johnson

Literary Territories: Cartographical Thinking in Late Antiquity

byScott Fitzgerald Johnson

Hardcover | January 4, 2016

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Literary Territories introduces readers to a wide range of literature from 200-900 CE in which geography is a defining principle of literary art. From accounts of Holy Land pilgrimage, to Roman mapmaking, to the systematization of Ptolemy's scientific works, Literary Territories argues thatforms of literature that were conceived and produced in very different environments and for different purposes in Late Antiquity nevertheless shared an aesthetic sensibility which treated the classical "inhabited world," the oikoumene, as a literary metaphor for the collection and organization ofknowledge. This type of "cartographical thinking" stresses the world of knowledge that is encapsulated in the literary archive. The archival aesthetic coincided with an explosion of late antique travel and Christian pilgrimage which in itself suggests important unifying themes between visual andtextual conceptions of space. Indeed, by the end of Late Antiquity the geographical mode appears in nearly every type of writing in multiple Christian languages (Greek, Latin, Syriac, and others). The diffusion of cartographical thinking throughout the real-world oikoumene, now the Christian RomanEmpire, was a fundamental intellectual trajectory of Late Antiquity.

About The Author

Scott Fitzgerald Johnson is Assistant Professor of Classics and Letters at the University of Oklahoma.
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Title:Literary Territories: Cartographical Thinking in Late AntiquityFormat:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9.29 × 6.42 × 0.91 inPublished:January 4, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190221232

ISBN - 13:9780190221232

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsIntroduction1. Pilgrimage and Archive2. An Aesthetic of Accumulation3. Locus Amoenus / Loca Sancta4. Apostolic Geography5. The Westwardness of ThingsConclusionAppendix Astrological, Astronomical, Cosmographical, Geographical, and Topographical Texts in Greek, Latin, and Syriac from 0 to 700 CEWorks Cited

Editorial Reviews

"Literary Territories is a dazzling study of geography and travel in late antiquity. Johnson brilliantly illuminates a variety of texts from the Mediterranean world, identifying both the traces of earlier classical modes of description, and their manipulation into an array of complex newforms. The result is an invigorating and original reading of many important literary works, and a persuasive portrait of the societies for which they were written." --Andrew Merrills, University of Leicester