Dante, Sanudo and Polo : from the Crusades to the perpetuation of early modern descriptions of the East as a literary genre
My research focuses on the literary texts of the first half of the fourteenth century, such as those by Marco Polo and Odorico of Pordenone, which opened the path to the geographical and cultural exploration of the East in Early Modern Europe. In less than fifty years, a considerable number of innovative and successful travel accounts marked a sharp rupture with the previous thousand years of indifference towards the empirical description of Eastern lands provided either by Arab geographies, Greek and Roman cosmographies or even the accounts of European travelers to Asia such as Benjamin of Tudela in the twelfth century and John of Pian Carpini and William of Rubruck in the thirteenth century.
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