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Title: Curiosity, learning and observation : Britons in Greece and Asia Minor, 1603-1688
Author: Pollard, Lucy Petica
ISNI:       0000 0004 2734 8592
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a study of English-speaking travellers (both 'passengers' and 'inhabitants') who travelled to Greece and Asia Minor between 1603 and 1688. It includes diplomats and chaplains, merchants, scholars, individual adventurers and a Quaker missionary, almost all of them men and all but two (who were Scots) English. The study is based on their published and unpublished writings. Chapter 1 is an analysis of the texts (classical, biblical and later) cited by travellers, a subject which is considered in the light of the classical education which many of them had received. This is followed in chapter 2 by a discussion of travellers' attitudes to antiquities and ancient sites, their practice as collectors, and changes which began to take place in the 1670s. The third chapter looks at attitudes to various ethnic and religious groups: Greeks and the Greek church, Turks/Muslims, Catholics, Jews, and other Europeans whom travellers encountered in the Greek world. The thesis concludes (in chapter 4) with a study of John Covel, chaplain to the English embassy in Constantinople in the 1670s, and is based on his unpublished diaries and other papers. I suggest that travellers to the Greek world carried with them the intellectual inheritance of the classics, which had an overwhelming effect on their reactions to the Greek landscape, including classical remains, and people. While earlier travellers visited sites such as Troy because of their literary associations, in the 1670s a group of scholars began to look at classical sites in a more analytical way that can perhaps be described as a kind of 'proto-archaeology'. They attempted more systematically to relate the ruins they saw to the texts they had read. Although the 'terrible Turk' is a stock character in English literature at this period, the attitudes of those who actually visited the Ottoman world are much more nuanced than this stereotype would suggest.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available