Publisher description for Inventing the indigenous : local knowledge and natural history in early modern Europe / Alix Cooper.


Bibliographic record and links to related information available from the Library of Congress catalog


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In the wake of expanding commercial voyages, many people in early modern Europe became curious about the plants and minerals around them and began to compile catalogs of them. Drawing on cultural, social and environmental history, as well as the histories of science and medicine, this book argues that, amidst a growing reaction against exotic imports -- whether medieval spices like cinnamon or new American arrivals like chocolate and tobacco -- learned physicians began to urge their readers to discover their own "indigenous" natural worlds. In response, compilers of local inventories created numerous ways of itemizing nature, from local floras and regional mineralogies to efforts to write the natural histories of entire territories. Tracing the fate of such efforts, the book provides new insight into the historical trajectory of such key concepts as indigeneity and local knowledge.


Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Traditional medicine -- Europe.
Traditional medicine -- Europe -- Sources.
Natural history -- Europe.
Natural history -- Europe -- Sources.
Europe -- History -- 1492-