© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2007 JEMH 11,6 Also available online – www.brill.nl/jemh * An early version of this paper was presented at the Sixteenth Century Studies Conference in Toronto (October 2004). I would like to thank my fellow panelists: Christian Kiening, Stephanie Leitch, and Gerhild Scholz-Williams for their initial interest and comments, as well as Steve Miles and Carina Johnson. 1 “fabel” “gaucklerey” “fastnachspil” “heylose[n] ding” “alter weiber fabel”. Stadtbibliothek Nürnberg, Pirckheimer Papiere, 423, No. 2. 2 Claudius Ptolemaeus, Geographicae enarrationis libri octo , trans. and ed. Willibald BUYING STORIES: ANCIENT TALES, RENAISSANCE TRAVELERS, AND THE MARKET FOR THE MARVELOUS* CHRISTINE R. JOHNSON Washington University in St. Louis A bstract Why did Renaissance writers continue to repeat ancient descriptions about the distant places of the world, even after the arrival of new eyewitness accounts from contemporary travelers? Scholars have usually presented the survival of ancient reports as a reactionary clinging to “ancient authority” in the face of “modern experience.” However, both ancient and modern descriptions purported to be based on direct observation, supplemented by hearsay, a claim that gave both sources some, but not undisputed, authority. Furthermore, modern explorations, although rendering certain ancient reports increasingly suspect, also
Journal of Early Modern History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
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