Frontier, identity constructions and environment: Water as an essential condition for viewing the Muslim Other in the journey to the Iberian Peninsula by the physician Hieronymus Münzer (1494-1495)

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Abstract

Between 1494 and 1495, the German physician Hieronymus Münzer travelled to the Iberian Peninsula, which resulted in an extensive written testimony traditionally known as Itinerarium. The main focus of this northern traveller's observations is not the human element, as several authors have already pointed out. In fact, he focuses his attention especially on the economic element (products, goods, trade, etc.) and, by association, the territories and places where this element takes place. However, he also unquestionably develops evaluative perspectives of the Iberian human landscape, in its most diverse expressions. We sought to reflect precisely upon one of the components of the human sphere the northern traveller contacted –the Muslims –, with special consideration for the resulting identity constructions and alterity exercises, which, in our perspective, are often closely associated with the central issue of water and, consequently, with the territories/places visited and the intrinsic frontiers. We looked for the answer to, what we consider, a paramount and truly original question: to what extent does water assume a "centrality" in this northern European doctor's view of the Other, specifically the Muslim, in the context of direct observation and first-hand experience.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-130
Number of pages15
JournalFronteiras - Journal of Social, Technological and Environmental Science.
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2022

Keywords

  • Frontier
  • Identity constructions
  • Water
  • Iberian Peninsula
  • Muslims

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