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Black LegaciesRace and the European Middle Ages$
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Lynn T. Ramey

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780813060071

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813060071.001.0001

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Mapping the Monstrous

Mapping the Monstrous

Humanness in the Age of Discovery

(p.89) 5 Mapping the Monstrous
Black Legacies

Lynn T. Ramey

University Press of Florida

This chapter focuses on the “monstrous races” as seen on medieval maps. These were created to warn travelers not to go to certain areas. It is suggested that historical travelers were drawn to the margins of the known world in search of other races, driven by sheer curiosity. The 15th- and 16th-century explorers carried with them medieval ideas about difference. The chapter discusses the humanness of pygmies and the imposing of medieval ideas onto new places, which shows the desire to relate what has come before to what is presently being experienced. It was the imposing of Old World ideas onto New World people that formed the racism endemic in Western societies that we see in the modern era.

Keywords:   medieval map, travelers, races, pygmies, racism, Western societies

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