This edited collection examines the meeting points between travel, mobility, and conflict to uncover the experience of travel – whether real or imagined – in the early modern world. Until relatively recently, both domestic travel and voyages to the wider world remained dangerous undertakings. Physical travel, whether initiated by religious conversion and pilgrimage, diplomacy, trade, war, or the desire to encounter other cultures, inevitably heralded disruption: contact zones witnessed cultural encounters that were not always cordial, despite the knowledge acquisition and financial gain that could be reaped from travel. Vast compendia of travel such as Hakluyt’s Principla Navigations, Voyages and Discoveries, printed from the late sixteenth century, and Prévost's Histoire Générale des Voyages (1746-1759) underscored European exploration as a marker of European progress, and in so doing showed the tensions that can arise as a consequence of interaction with other cultures. In focusing upon language acquisition and translation, travel and religion, travel and politics, and imaginary travel, the essays in this collection tease out the ways in which travel was both obstructed and enriched by conflict.

chapter |18 pages


Travel and conflict

part I|60 pages

Language, translation, and assimilation

chapter 1|18 pages

Babel as a source of conflict

A case study of two discovery narratives

chapter 2|19 pages

Language, mediation, conflict and power in early modern China

The roles of the interpreter in Matteo Ricci’s Journals

chapter 3|21 pages

“Strange accidents”

Navigating conflict in Sir Thomas Smithes voiage and entertainment in Rushia (1605)

part II|66 pages

Travel, religion, and the violence of the road

chapter 4|27 pages

Arming the Alps through art

Saints, knights, and bandits on the early modern roads

chapter 5|19 pages

Between hermits and heretics

Maronite religious renewal and the Turk in Catholic travel accounts of Lebanon after the Council of Trent

chapter 6|18 pages

Avoiding conflict in the early modern Levant

Henry Blount’s adaptations in Ottoman lands

part III|58 pages

War, diplomacy, and dissimulation

chapter 8|22 pages

Squadrons of inkpots

Pietro Aretino and the narrativity of conflict

chapter 9|14 pages

The wars in Europe and the journeying play

Thomas Drue’s The Duchess of Suffolk (1624)

part IV|68 pages

The art of travel and imaginary journeys

chapter 10|21 pages

Ars apodemica gendered

Female advice on travel

chapter 11|22 pages

Travel, utopia, and conflict

Patterns of irony in early modern utopian narratives

chapter 12|23 pages

Lunar travel and lunacy

Reading conflict in Aphra Behn’s The Emperor of the Moon (1687)