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Accidental Gravity
Residents, Travelers, and the Landscape of Memory
Bernard Quetchenbach
Oregon State University Press, 2017
The compelling essays in Bernard Quetchenbach’s Accidental Gravity move from upstate New York to the western United States, from urban and suburban places to wild lands. In the first section of the book, he focuses on suburban neighborhoods, where residents respond ambivalently to golf-course geese and other unruly natural presences; in the second section, he juxtaposes these humanized places with Yellowstone National Park. Quetchenbach writes about current environmental issues in the Greater Yellowstone area—wildfire, invasive species, ever-increasing numbers of tourists—in the context of climate change and other contemporary pressures.
Accidental Gravity negotiates the difficult edge between a naive belief in an enduring, unassailable natural world and the equally naive belief that human life takes place in some unnatural, more mediated context. The title refers to the accidental but nonetheless meaningful nexus where the personal meets and combines with the universal—those serendipitous moments when the individual life connects to the larger rhythms of time and planet.

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Exploration and Travel
Steven E. Kagel
University of Wisconsin Press, 1979

Travel gets us from one place to another—often with wonderful attendant enjoyment–but exploration makes us understand our travel, the places we travel to—and ourselves. The essays in this collection constitute a major step toward this understanding. They open up new areas for concern and draw many valuable insights and conclusions.


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Swedenborg Foundation Publishers, 2004

Flight 785 is bound for London and Brussels, but its passengers are destined to arrive at an unexpected destination. Theirs is a journey that will continue until they each find their true home and, in the process, uncover their innermost being.

Written by Naomi Gladish Smith, The Arrivals will intrigue readers from all walks of life and faiths and provoke discussion. We follow a small group of travelers---a husband and wife on their way to Ireland, a young woman beginning a fellowship at a prestigious British university, business people on their way to various conferences and meetings in Brussels, a minister coming to terms with his wife's desertion and his own fading faith, a small boy going to meet his mother in London---as they slowly unravel the mystery of the afterlife and learn that home is truly where the heart is.


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Birkon Artzi
Blessings and Meditations for Travelers to Israel
Rabbi Serge Lippe
Central Conference of American Rabbis, 2012
Collection of traditional, historical, and creative prayers, meditations, readings, and songs for the Jewish traveler to Israel

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Boswell’s Enlightenment
Robert Zaretsky
Harvard University Press, 2015

Throughout his life, James Boswell struggled to fashion a clear account of himself, but try as he might, he could not reconcile the truths of his era with those of his religious upbringing. Boswell’s Enlightenment examines the conflicting credos of reason and faith, progress and tradition that pulled Boswell, like so many eighteenth-century Europeans, in opposing directions. In the end, the life of the man best known for writing Samuel Johnson’s biography was something of a patchwork affair. As Johnson himself understood: “That creature was its own tormentor, and I believe its name was BOSWELL.”

Few periods in Boswell’s life better crystallize this internal turmoil than 1763–1765, the years of his Grand Tour and the focus of Robert Zaretsky’s thrilling intellectual adventure. From the moment Boswell sailed for Holland from the port of Harwich, leaving behind on the beach his newly made friend Dr. Johnson, to his return to Dover from Calais a year and a half later, the young Scot was intent on not just touring historic and religious sites but also canvassing the views of the greatest thinkers of the age. In his relentless quizzing of Voltaire and Rousseau, Hume and Johnson, Paoli and Wilkes on topics concerning faith, the soul, and death, he was not merely a celebrity-seeker but—for want of a better term—a truth-seeker. Zaretsky reveals a life more complex and compelling than suggested by the label “Johnson’s biographer,” and one that 250 years later registers our own variations of mind.


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or Up and Down with Schreiber and Baggish
Richard Stern
Northwestern University Press, 2007

Originally published in 1961, this shrewd, smartly written novel follows two American men traveling in Europe. Though both have struck out for the same continent, each man’s methods of and motives for travel lead him to have a very different experience than the other. Underlying it all is the premise that Europe--the contrast, the otherness of it--can be a refiner’s fire, deeply affecting a person’s character. Europe represents a crucial step in Stern’s development as a writer and stands as a witty, sharp point of entry into his writings and the writings of novelists who rose to prominence in the 1960s.


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From Honolulu to Brooklyn
Running the American Empire’s Base Paths with Buck Lai and the Travelers from Hawai’i
Joel S. Franks
Rutgers University Press, 2022
From 1912 to 1916, a group of baseball players from Hawaiʻ i barnstormed the U.S. mainland. While initially all Chinese, the Travelers became more multiethnic and multiracial with ballplayers possessing Chinese, Japanese, Hawaiian, and European ancestries. As a group and as individuals the Travelers' experiences represent a still much too marginalized facet of baseball and sport history. Arguably, they traveled more miles and played in more ball parks in the American empire than any other group of ballplayers of their time. Outside of the major leagues, they were likely the most famous nine of the 1910s, dominating their college opponents and more than holding their own against top-flight white and black independent teams. And once the Travelers’ journeys were done, a team leader and star Buck Lai gained fame in independent baseball on the East Coast of the U.S., while former teammates ran base paths and ran for political office as they confronted racism and colonialism in Hawaiʻ i.

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A Green River Reader
Alan Blackstock
University of Utah Press, 2005

"There is something ominous about a swift river, and something thrilling about a river of any kind."—from Beyond the Hundredth Meridian by Wallace Stegner

Beginning above Flaming Gorge Dam in southwestern Wyoming, the Green River traverses the complete variety of terrain on the Colorado Plateau before joining the Colorado River above Cataract Canyon in southeastern Utah. Like its more famous cousin, the Colorado, the Green has captivated, capsized, and cajoled all types of characters with challenges and beauty to match its geologic variety.

In A Green River Reader editor Alan Blackstock brings this mysterious, magnificent, thrilling river to the reader with an interpretive guide that will inform both river novices and river veterans. Assembled here is every significant written testament to this "awesome ditch," from Domínguez-Escalante to Kit Carson and John C. Frémont; to contemporary American naturalists and writers including Wallace Stegner, Bernard DeVoto, David Brower, Ann Zwinger, Ellen Melloy, and Edward Abbey. Those with a story to tell—those who trapped the Green’s beavers, endured its wild rapids, were humbled by its imposing canyon walls, fought for its beautiful landscapes, or whose "pulse was hurried" by the "lofty chasms, walled in by precipices of red rock"—are collected here.

If you’re headed down the Green, make sure that your dry bag or ammo can has room for just one more thing, your copy of A Green River Reader.


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Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space
Peter I. Rose
Ohio University Press, 2003
Peter Rose has spent a lifetime exploring patterns of culture, examining issues of race and ethnicity, working with refugees, teaching sociology, and roaming the world. In Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space, he reflects on his adventures and the formative experiences that led him to a fascination with lives that seem quite unlike our own.

Guest Appearances and Other Travels in Time and Space introduces us to many of those whom Rose has met along the way, a cast of characters as colorful as it is diverse. It includes his music-loving mother; his tour guides in China, Germany, and Israel; Indochinese refugees he followed to the United States; the notorious murderer, Nathan Leopold; the simple tailor, Mr. David; and three writers for whom Rose has a special affinity: Philip Roth, John Updike, and Paul Theroux.

Peter Rose gives us an entirely pleasurable and insightful look into the life of an American scholar actively involved in contemporary issues as he takes readers along on his field trips and guest appearances.

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Illusion and Disillusionment
Travel Writing in the Modern Age
Roberta Micallef
Harvard University Press

Illusion and Disillusionment: Travel Writing in the Modern Age seeks to understand, expand, and challenge the boundaries of the modern travelogue across several literary traditions. Through an engaging cast of characters—China-bound missionaries, an Indo-Persian diplomat, a Turkish exile in India, a French schoolteacher touring America, Arab students in Moscow, a Japanese woman writer in Europe—this volume extends the study of travel writing beyond the frameworks of colonialism, imperialism, and Orientalism, focusing on the experience of travel itself.

Ranging from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, its eight essays analyze travelers from varied nationalities and social backgrounds, who followed different itineraries, used different means of transportation, and wrote for different audiences. The authors place the East and South Asian, Middle Eastern, and European texts and travelers in their socio-historical contexts. Exploring recurrent themes and structures in a set of travel narratives, these essays contribute to broader comparative and cross-cultural studies of travel, self-writing, and transnational lives.


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Life Under the Palms
The Sublime World of the Anti-colonialist Jacob Haafner
Paul van der Velde
National University of Singapore Press, 2019
Jacob Gotfried Haafner (1754–1809) was one of the most popular European travel writers of the early nineteenth century, writing in the Romantic mode. A Dutch citizen, Haafner spent more than twenty years of his early life living outside of Europe, in India, Ceylon, Mauritius, Java, and South Africa. Books like his popular Travels in a Palanquin were translated into the major European languages, and his essays against the work of Christian missionaries in Asia stirred up great controversy. Haafner worked to spread understanding of the cultures he’d come to know in his journeys, promoting European understanding of Indian literature, myth, and religion, translating the Ramayana into Dutch.
With the help of generous excerpts from Haafner's own writings, including material newly translated into English, Paul van der Velde tells an affecting story of a young man who made a world for himself along the Coromandel Coast, in Ceylon and Calcutta, but who returned to Europe to live the last years of his life in Amsterdam, suffering an acute nostalgia for Asia. This will be compelling reading for anyone interested in European response to the cultures of Asia.

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Mobility and Masks
Cultural Identity in Travel Literature
Elizabeth C. Goldsmith
Harvard University Press
Travelers have always experimented with disguise while observing the disguises of others. Each of the chapters in Mobility and Masks illustrates the strategies of concealment in the experience of travel: a seventeenth-century German aristocrat discovers new freedom as she travels incognito, Jesuits write home from China in the eighteenth century about how costume changes serve their mission, a Chinese opera star reflects on his own masked art during a tour of Russia in 1935. Masking can be a racial marker, as shown in two nineteenth-century accounts: an English woman encountering the creole culture of the West Indies and a French woman observing how cosmetic beauty is defined in Shanghai. Fictional representations of the masked traveler are illustrative, too: masked voices in the lyric poetry of Horace, the masked woman as an obstacle in classic adventure tales, the failure of cultural masking in the story of a modern immigrant.

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Northern Arcadia
Foreign Travelers in Scandinavia, 1765 - 1815
H. Arnold Barton
Southern Illinois University Press, 1998

Northern Arcadia is a comparative study of the accounts of foreign visitors to the Nordic lands during the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Before the late eighteenth century, few foreigners ventured as far as Scandinavia. The region seemed a cold hyperborean wilderness and a voyage there a daring adventure. From the mid-1760s on, however, foreigners arrived in the Nordic lands in increasing numbers, leaving numerous accounts that became increasingly popular, satisfying a growing curiosity about regions beyond the traditional grand tour.

The pre-Romantic mood of the period—with its predilection for untamed nature and for peoples uncorrupted by overrefined civilization—further stimulated fascination with the North. European titerati discovered the Nordic sagas, finding them exhilarating, passionate, imaginative, and original. The French Revolution and the ensuing European wars effectively closed off much of the Continent to foreign travel, turning attention to the still neutral northern kingdoms.

Travel literature about Scandinavia thus illuminates the shift in the European intellectual climate from the enlightened rationalism and utilitarianism of the earlier travelers in this period to the pre-Romantic sensibility of those who followed them. In a Europe torn by war and revolution, sensitive souls could find their new Arcadia in the North—at least until the Scandinavian kingdoms themselves became engulfed by the Napoleonic wars after 1805.

The first scholar to examine as a whole the travel literature dealing with Denmark, Schleswig-Holstein, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Iceland, and the Færø Islands, H. Arnold Barton discusses accounts left by both the celebrated and the obscure. Well-known travelers include Vittorio Alfieri, Francisco de Miranda, Mary Wollstonecraft, Thomas Malthus, and Aaron Burr. Literary travelers of the day included Nathanael Wraxall, William Coxe, Charles Gottlob Küttner, Edward Daniel Clarke, and John Carr.

Northern Arcadia brings out contrasts: among the various Nordic lands and regions; among the reactions of travelers of differing nationality; between the earlier as opposed to the later travelers of the time; between native Scandinavian and foreign perceptions of the North; between conditions in Scandinavia and those in other parts of the Western world; between then and now. It incorporates continuity and change, reality and mentality.


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The Odyssey of Ibn Battuta
Uncommon Tales of a Medieval Adventurer
David Waines
University of Chicago Press, 2010

Ibn Battuta was, without doubt, one of the world’s truly great travelers. Born in fourteenth-century Morocco, and a contemporary of Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta left an account in his own words of his remarkable journeys, punctuated by adventure and peril, throughout the Islamic world and beyond. Whether sojourning in Delhi and the Maldives, wandering through the mazy streets of Cairo and Damascus, or contesting with pirates and shipwreck, the indefatigable Ibn Battuta brought to vivid life a medieval world brimming with marvel and mystery. Carefully observing the great diversity of civilizations that he encountered, Ibn Battuta exhibited an omnivorous interest in such matters as food and drink; religious differences among Christians, Hindus, and Shia Muslims; and ideas about purity and impurity, disease, women, and sex.

David Waines offers here a graceful analysis of Ibn Battuta’s travelogue. This is a gripping treatment of the life and times of one of history’s most daring, and at the same time most human, adventurers.


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Blazing a New Wilderness Trail in Modern America
Ron Strickland
Oregon State University Press, 2011

Ron Strickland has spent a good deal of time walking. He hiked the 1200 miles of the Pacific Northwest Trail in 1983. In 2004, he completed the Pacific Crest Trail, with a 1500-mile hike from the Mojave Desert to the Columbia River. In 2009, he hiked the length of the New England Trail.

He has also held a longtime dream of showcasing the best hiking of the Rockies, Purcells, Okanogan, Cascades, Olympics, and Wilderness Coast. He spent years raising funds, recruiting volunteers, cutting brush, digging dirt, and lobbying landowners, officials, and politicians—and in 2009, the Pacific Northwest Trail, which runs from the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean, traversing three National Parks and seven National Forests, was finally declared a National Scenic Trail.

In this adventurous and moving memoir, Strickland—known in the backcountry as “Pathfinder”—shares his insider view of the joys and adventures of long-distance hiking. He intersperses colorful portraits of memorable trail characters and lush descriptions of hikes he knows firsthand. He also describes the experience of conceiving and establishing the Pacific Northwest Trail, detailing the setbacks and triumphs along the way.

Pathfinder offers the rich insights and experiences of a longtime hiker, inspiring readers to the wonder of hiking and the outdoors.


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Richard Halliburton and the Voyage of the Sea Dragon
Gerald Max
University of Tennessee Press, 2020

Richard Halliburton (1900–1939), considered the world’s first celebrity travel writer, swam the length of the Panama Canal, recreated Ulysses’ voyages in the Mediterranean, crossed the Alps on an elephant, flew around the world in a biplane, and descended into the Mayan Well of Death, all the while chronicling his own adventures. Several books treat his life and travels, yet no book has addressed in detail Halliburton’s most ambitious expedition: an attempt to sail across the Pacific Ocean in a Chinese junk.

Set against the backdrop of a China devastated by invading Japanese armies and the storm clouds of world war gathering in Europe, Halliburton and a crew of fourteen set out to build and sail the Sea Dragon—a junk or ancient sailing ship—from Hong Kong to San Francisco for the Golden Gate International Exposition. After battling through crew conflicts and frequent delays, the Sea Dragon set sail on March 4, 1939. Three weeks after embarking, the ship encountered a typhoon and disappeared without a trace.

Richly enhanced with historic photographs, Richard Halliburton and the Voyage of the Sea Dragon follows the dramatic arc of this ill-fated expedition in fine detail. Gerry Max artfully unpacks the tensions between Halliburton and his captain, John Wenlock Welch (owing much to Welch’s homophobia and Halliburton’s unconcealed homosexuality). And while Max naturally explores the trials and tribulations of preparing, constructing, and finally launching the Sea Dragon, he also punctuates the story with the invasion of China by the Japanese, as Halliburton and his letters home reveal an excellent wartime reporter. Max mines these documents, many of which have only recently come to light, as well as additional letters from Halliburton and his crew to family and friends, photographs, films, and tape recordings, to paint an intricate portrait of Halliburton’s final expedition from inception to tragic end.


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Road-Book America
Contemporary Culture and the New Picaresque
Rowland A. Sherrill
University of Illinois Press, 2000
In this wide-ranging and sophisticated study, Rowland Sherrill explores the resurgence and transformation of an old literary form--the picaresque narrative--into a new form that he shows to be both responsive and instructive to late twentieth-century American life.
Road-Book America discloses how the old picaresque tradition, embodied in such novels as Henry Fielding's Tom Jones and Daniel Defoe's Moll Flanders, opens to include a number of new American texts, both fiction and nonfiction, that decisively share the characterizing form. Sherrill's discussion encompasses hundreds of American narratives published in the past four decades, including such examples of the genre as William Least Heat-Moon's Blue Highways, John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, James Leo Herlihy's Midnight Cowboy, Bill Moyers's Listening to America, and E. L. Doctorow's Billy Bathgate.
Sketching the socially marginal, ingenuous, traveling characters common to both old and new versions, Sherrill shows how the "new American picaresque" transforms the satirical aims of the original into an effort to map and catalog the immensity and variety of America.
Open, resilient, perennially hopeful, and endowed with a protean adaptability, the protagonist of the new American picaresque follows a therapeutic path for the alienated modern self. Mining the relevance of the reformulated picaresque for American life, Road-Book America shows how this old form, adaptable as the picaro himself, lays the groundwork for spiritual renewal and a restoration of cultural confidence in some old ways of being American.

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Russian Travelers to Constantinople in the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Centuries
George P. Majeska
Harvard University Press, 1984

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Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates
Essays in Estrangement
Frances Bartkowski
University of Minnesota Press, 1995

Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates was first published in 1995. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

Identities are always mistaken; yet they are as necessary as air to sustain life in and among communities. Frances Bartkowski uses travel writings, U.S. immigrant autobiographies, and concentration camp memoirs to illustrate how tales of dislocation present readers with a picture of the complex issues surrounding mistaken identities. In turn, we learn much about the intimate relation between language and power.

Combining psychoanalytic and political modes of analysis, Bartkowski explores the intertwining of place and the construction of identities. The numerous writings she considers include André Gide's Voyage to the Congo, Eva Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Sandra Cisneros's House on Mango Street, Zora Neale Hurston's Dust Tracks on a Road and Tell My Horse, and Primo Levi's Survival in Auschwitz.

Elegantly written and incisive, Travelers, Immigrants, Inmates stands at the crossroads of contemporary discussions about ethnicity, race, gender, nationalism, and the politics and poetics of identity. It has much to offer readers interested in questions of identity and cultural differences.

Frances Bartkowski is associate professor of English and director of women's studies at Rutgers University in Newark. She is the author of Feminist Utopias (1989).


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Travelers in Disguise
Narratives of Eastern Travel by Poggio Bracciolini and Ludovico de Varthema
Poggio Bracciolini and Ludovico di Varthema
Harvard University Press

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Travelers In Texas, 1761-1860
By Marilyn McAdams Sibley
University of Texas Press, 1967

History passed in review along the highways of Texas in the century 1761–1860. This was the century of exploration and settlement for the big new land, and many thousands of people traveled its trails: traders, revolutionaries, missionaries, warriors, government agents, adventurers, refugees, gold seekers, prospective settlers, land speculators, army wives, and filibusters. Their reasons for coming were many and varied, and the travelers viewed the land and its people with a wide variety of reactions. Political and industrial revolution, famine, and depression drove settlers from many of the countries of Europe and many of the states of the United States. Some were displeased with what they found in Texas, but for many it was a haven, a land of renewed hope. So large was the migration of people to Texas that the land that was virtually unoccupied in 1761 numbered its population at 600,000 a century later.

Several hundred of these travelers left published accounts of their impressions and adventures. Collectively the accounts tell a panoramic story of the land as its boundaries were drawn and its institutions formed. Spain gave way to Mexico, Mexico to the Republic of Texas, the Republic to statehood in the United States, and statehood in the Union was giving way to statehood in the Confederate states by 1860. The travelers’ accounts reflect these changes; but, more important, they tell the story of the receding frontier.

In Travelers in Texas, 1761–1860, the author examines the Texas seen by the traveler-writer. Opening with a chapter about travel conditions in general (roads or trails, accommodations, food), she also presents at some length the travelers’ impressions of the country and its people. She then proceeds to examine particular aspects of Texas life: the Indians, slavery, immigration, law enforcement, and the individualistic character of the people, all as seen through the eyes of the travelers. The discussion concludes with a “Critical Essay on Sources,” containing bibliographic discussions of over two hundred of the more important travel accounts.


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Travelers to an Antique Land
The History and Literature of Travel to Greece
Robert Eisner
University of Michigan Press, 1993
Stories of scholars, writers, artists, and explorers woven together in a narrative of Greek travel

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The Travelers' World
Europe to the Pacific
Harry Liebersohn
Harvard University Press, 2006

In a beautifully crafted narrative that transports the reader from the salons of Europe to the shores of Tahiti, Harry Liebersohn examines the transformation of global knowledge during the great age of scientific exploration. He moves beyond the traditional focus on British and French travelers to include Germans, Russians, and some Americans, as well as the Tahitian, Hawaiian, and other Pacific islanders they encountered. Germany gets special attention because its travelers epitomized the era’s cosmopolitanism and its philosophers engaged most fully in a multicultural understanding of humanity.

Famous adventurers like Captain Cook make appearances, but it’s the observations of such naturalists as Philibert Commerson, George Forster, and Adelbert von Chamisso that helped most to generate a new understanding of these far-flung societies. These European travelers saw non-Europeans neither as “savages” nor as projections of colonial fantasies. Instead the explorers accumulated a rich storehouse of perceptions through negotiations with patrons at home, collaborators abroad, salon philosophers, and missionary rivals.

Liebersohn illuminates the transformative nature of human connections. He examines the expectations these servants of empire brought to the peoples they encountered, and acknowledges the effects of Oceanian behaviors, including unexpected notions of sexuality, on the Europeans. Equally important, he details the reception of these travelers upon their return home.

An unforgettable voyage filled with delightful characters, dramatic encounters, and rich cultural details, The Travelers’ World heralds a moment of intellectual preparation for the modern global era. We now travel effortlessly to distant places, but the questions about perception, truth, and knowledge that these intercontinental mediators faced still resonate.


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Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture
Silvia Montiglio
University of Chicago Press, 2005
From the Archaic period to the Greco-Roman age, the figure of the wanderer held great significance in ancient Greece. In the first comprehensive study devoted to this theme, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture unearths the many meanings attached to this practice over the centuries. Employing a broad range of literary and philosophical texts, Silvia Montiglio demonstrates how wandering has been conceptualized from Homer's Odysseus—the hero "who wandered much"—in the eighth century BCE to pagan sages of the early Roman Empire such as Saint John the Baptist in the first century AD.

Attitudes toward wandering have evolved in accordance with cultural perspectives, causing some characterizations to persist while others have faded. For instance, the status of wanderers in Greek societies varied from outcasts and madmen to sages, who were recognized as mystical, even divine. Examining the act of wandering through many lenses, Wandering in Ancient Greek Culture shows how the transformation of the wanderer coincided with new perceptions of the world and of travel and invites us to consider its definition and import today.

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