The Invention of the Eyewitness: Witnessing and Testimony in Early Modern France
In an examination of eyewitness travel writing in thirteenth- through sixteenth-century France, Andrea Frisch studies the figure of the witness at a historical juncture and in a cultural context in which that figure is generally thought to have begun to assume a recognizably modern form and function.
Whereas most accounts of early modern travel literature tend to read modern presuppositions about witnessing and testimony back into the material, Frisch approaches the early modern witness in terms of the cultural legacy of the Middle Ages. Through primary readings in law and theology, Frisch documents the tension between the ethical witness (the characteristic witness of premodernity) and the epistemic witness (the modern witness) and explores the impact of that tension on the figure of the witness in pre- and early modern French-language travel literature.
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... it is notorious that in the hundred years following his return home Marco Polo '
s effect on the state of European knowledge of the world was minimal ” whereas
Mandeville ' s Travels " was the most famous travel book of the later middle ages
Moreover , the meaning Ribaut gives to the gesture is presented here specifically
as an interpretation ( “ it seemed to me ” ) , an interpretation that awaits
subsequent confirmation ( “ later we learned . . . ” ) – a confirmation that , we learn
One cannot deny that predestination became a central , even defining feature of
later Calvinisms ; however , in sixteenth - century France in general , and in Léry
in particular , we are dealing with a Calvinism whose doctrine of predestination ...
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THE WITNESS AND THE JUDGE
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