Renegotiating the World by Compass and Card
Part III, “Plus Ultra! Further Yet!”, traces the attempt by humanists, including poets, natural philosophers, and cartographers, to hold on to the classical past even as they were more “objectively” extending the boundaries of the globe, thanks to compass navigation and the discovery of new worlds. This chapter specifically explores the different facets of compass culture upon which authors drew, additionally homing in on the compass’ offshoot, cartography. Regarding the latter, Nayar exposes the (often fraught, but also festive) emergence of a mapped world that had been defined largely by the ancients, now in tension with newly discovered territories, as well as with cartographical voids and terra incognita.