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198 × 129 × 21 mm
208 pages
44 illustrations
12 Nov 2018

Trading Territories Mapping the Early Modern World Jerry Brotton

Trading Territories tells the compelling story of maps and geographical knowledge in the early modern world from the fifteenth to the early seventeenth century. Examining how European geographers mapped the territories of the Old World –Africa and Southeast Asia – this book shows how the historical preoccupation with Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the New World of America in 1492 obscured the ongoing importance of mapping territories that have since been defined as ‘eastern’, especially those in the Muslim world.

In this book, now available in paperback and updated with a new preface by the author, Jerry Brotton shows that trade and diplomacy defined the development of maps and globes in this period, far more than the disinterested pursuit of scientific accuracy and objectivity, and challenges our preconceptions about not just maps, but also the history and geography of what we call East and West.

‘Jerry Brotton's Trading Territories is a history not just of how the first truly global maps were made but how they were conceptualised, and how they shaped as well as described the early-modern world . . . Trading Territories covers a wide sweep of shifting territory with verve and authority.’ — Geographical Magazine

‘A beautifully illustrated account of the status, construction and purposes of maps in the Early Modern world.’ — History Today

‘Jerry Brotton’s elegant Trading Territories shows how historically maps were about facilitating trade and celebrating (and exerting) influence.’ — The Independent

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Jerry Brotton is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London and a leading expert in the history of cartography. He presented the BBC4 series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession in 2010, and is the author of numerous critically acclaimed books, including Global Interests: Renaissance Art between East and West (Reaktion, 2000), co-written with Lisa Jardine, and the bestselling and prize-winning A History of the World in Twelve Maps (2012).


1. Introduction
2. An Empire Built on Water: The Cartography of the Early Portuguese Discoveries
3. Disorienting the East: The Geography of the Ottoman Empire
4. Cunning Cosmographers: Mapping the Moluccas
5. Plotting and Projecting: The Geography of Mercator and Ortelius
6. Conclusion