Globalism in the Middle Ages and the early modern age: Innovative approaches and perspectives

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Although it is fashionable among modernists to claim that globalism emerged only since ca. 1800, the opposite can well be documented through careful comparative and transdisciplinary studies, as this volume demonstrates, offering a wide range of innovative perspectives on often neglected literary, philosophical, historical, or medical documents. Texts, images, ideas, knowledge, and objects migrated throughout the world already in the pre-modern world, even if the quantitative level compared to the modern world might have been different. In fact, by means of translations and trade, for instance, global connections were established and maintained over the centuries. Archetypal motifs developed in many literatures indicate how much pre-modern people actually shared. But we also discover hard-core facts of global economic exchange, import of exotic medicine, and, on another level, intensive intellectual debates on religious issues. Literary evidence serves best to expose the extent to which contacts with people in foreign countries were imaginable, often desirable, and at times feared, of course. The pre-modern world was much more on the move and reached out to distant lands out of curiosity, economic interests, and political and military concerns. Diplomats crisscrossed the continents, and artists, poets, and craftsmen traveled widely. We can identify, for instance, both the Vikings and the Arabs as global players long before the rise of modern globalism, so this volume promises to rewrite many of our traditional notions about pre-modern worldviews, economic conditions, and the literary sharing on a global level, as perhaps best expressed by the genre of the fable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Publisherde Gruyter
Number of pages643
ISBN (Electronic)9783111190228
ISBN (Print)9783111189079
StatePublished - Sep 4 2023


  • Economic globalism
  • Inter-religious dialog
  • Pre-modern globalism
  • Travel literature

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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