Tiller, Elisabeth (2020):
"Humanist Transfer of Knowledge from Foreign Lands: Modes of Cognitive Perception of the World among Florentine Travelers to America between 1490 and 1530." Neohelicon 47.2: 357-378.
Journal Article

Abstract In fifteenth and sixteenth century Italy, even before the beginning of the Age of Discovery, numerous (travel) reports were written by commercial travellers to Asian countries, soon followed by those to the Americas and the African coastal regions. In Florence, which was a Renaissance center of cultural innovation and a financially powerful hub for the exchange of knowledge, ideas, techniques and strategies, reports from Florentine travelers received particular attention. These epistemic materializations transformed, in primary emplotments, newfound material reality and real-space travel events into codified knowledge. Once they arrived Europe and circulated among European scholars, these cultural materials were then stored in further processes of knowledge materialization. Such secondary emplotments, from 1492 on, refer to a (geographically and historically) global framework that enforces the generation and classification of knowledge. For these purposes reports from travelling authors who already use a humanist standard of knowledge—like the erudite Florentine travelers Vespucci and Verrazzano—are able to deliver precious epistemic material, that, beyond the requirements of power politics, will contribute to re-coding not only the European perspective on the world, but especially the knowledge of the others.