Culture Of The World : Tasman And Cook 's Explorations

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1: Theatrum Orbis Terrarum tells us much about the experience of modernity in the late sixteenth century. It demonstrates how those individuals at the time - who would consider themselves to be at the cutting edge of discovery - were documenting the world around them. Along with this expansion of boundaries came the expansion of knowledge and understanding; understanding of the nature of the world, its structure and formation, shown by this map’s relative accuracy and fullness. Whilst it is not perfect in its execution – Japan and the Americas are misshapen and Oceania has been incorporated into Antarctica – this map is the most accurate that had been produced at the time, and produced a respectable image of the world. This urge - to understand – is further evidenced by the fact that explorers continued to venture across the world: Tasman and Cook’s explorations revealing the continent of Oceania, and further expanding our knowledge of the world. According to Subrahmanyam, “the early modern period … is, in a fundamental way an age … of geographical redefinition” . The creation of Theatrum Orbis Terrarum was preceded by, and facilitated by, the discovery of the Americas by Columbus in 1492 and the circumnavigation of the world by Magellan in 1522. These two discoveries challenged commonly held notions at the time: Magellan proved conclusively that the world was round and not flat, and Columbus discovered an entire continent. These men on their voyages not only improved on the
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