The Importance of the Periphery.

How the ocean was perceived during late medieval Christianity in the Iberian southwest

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Abstract

The following article focuses on two fundamental questions about how the ocean was perceived in late medieval Christianity: how did Christians envisage the oceanic element at a time of historical crossroads? What weight did this “world view” have in (people’s) daily contact with the ocean, especially along the southwestern coasts of Christianity? During the Middle Ages, two perceptions of the ocean prevailed in the Iberian territory. The first, inherited from the medieval autorictas, was in consonance with medieval Europe’s more continental and rural view, and tended to eliminate the aquatic element from the horizon – or minimize it as much as possible. The second, more positive and optimistic, became especially predominant in the south of Christendom, and was therefore closer to the Classical and Muslim heritage. In the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Portugal, the second view of the ocean prevailed after the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era. However, it was still permeated by vestiges of the continental vision, more averse to the sea…
Original languageEnglish
Article number8
Pages (from-to)159-178
Number of pages19
JournalFronteiras - Journal of Social, Technological and Environmental Science.
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2018

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Christianity
Medieval
middle ages
Middle Ages
ocean
Portugal
Muslim
contact
coast

Keywords

  • Representação do oceano
  • Idade Média
  • Cristandade
  • Sudoeste Ibérico
  • Ocean perception
  • Middle Ages
  • Christianity
  • Iberian Southwest

Cite this

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title = "The Importance of the Periphery.: How the ocean was perceived during late medieval Christianity in the Iberian southwest",
abstract = "The following article focuses on two fundamental questions about how the ocean was perceived in late medieval Christianity: how did Christians envisage the oceanic element at a time of historical crossroads? What weight did this “world view” have in (people’s) daily contact with the ocean, especially along the southwestern coasts of Christianity? During the Middle Ages, two perceptions of the ocean prevailed in the Iberian territory. The first, inherited from the medieval autorictas, was in consonance with medieval Europe’s more continental and rural view, and tended to eliminate the aquatic element from the horizon – or minimize it as much as possible. The second, more positive and optimistic, became especially predominant in the south of Christendom, and was therefore closer to the Classical and Muslim heritage. In the Iberian Peninsula, particularly in Portugal, the second view of the ocean prevailed after the transition from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era. However, it was still permeated by vestiges of the continental vision, more averse to the sea…",
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