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Renaissance Craftsmen and Humanistic Scholars

Circulation of Knowledge between Portugal and Germany


Thomas Horst, Marília dos Santos Lopes and Henrique Leitão

The study of the relations between Portugal and the German-speaking countries in the 15th and 16th centuries is an intriguing topic that has attracted the interest of scholars for some decades. In recent years evidence accumulated has shown that there was still much to be known and even some large areas were still unexplored. In order to better grasp the nature of what was a complex historical phenomenon, an interdisciplinary approach to the topic turned out to be necessary by deepening the understanding of what is usually termed the circulation of knowledge. The present book shows how knowledge travels with people, with artifacts, along commercial lines, and is created and transformed by the intervention of individuals from various educational and social strata.

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Kaiser Maximilian I. und die Rezeption der portugiesischen Entdeckungen im Nürnberger Kaufmanns- und Gelehrtenkreis am Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts (Jürgen Pohle)


Jürgen Pohle

Kaiser Maximilian I. und die Rezeption der portugiesischen Entdeckungen im Nürnberger Kaufmanns- und Gelehrtenkreis am Ende des 15. Jahrhunderts

Abstract: In the so-called “first age of globalization” the Portuguese overseas expansion influenced decisively the political, economic and cultural relations between Portugal and Germany, as no other event of this age. In the 1490’s a more intense intellectual occupation with the maritime expansion of Portugal began in the territory of the Holy Roman Empire. The starting point for the reception of the news about voyages of discovery was Nuremberg, where wealthy merchants and an erudite circle (where important humanists stood out like Hartmann Schedel, Hieronymus Münzer and Conrad Celtis) followed closely and with much curiosity the Portuguese overseas enterprises. Inspired primarily by the information that Martin Behaim had spread throughout his stay in Nuremberg between 1490 and 1493, the German scholars attempted to gain a more accurate picture of the extent of the Portuguese colonial empire and a picture of the world significantly changed. The Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I entered this debate not so much for humanistic reasons, but mainly for political and dynastic reasons, given its proximity with the House of Avis.

This paper tries to shed light on the discussion about the Portuguese discoveries in Nuremberg at the end of the fifteenth century, and on the special role of Martin Behaim and Hieronymus Münzer as mediators and also on the growing interest of Maximilian I in...

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