Unit 1 Essay

851 words - 4 pages

Unit 1 Essay
The period of European history between the mid-fifteenth and late-seventeenth centuries was a time of great advancement in terms of geographical, scientific and technological knowledge. For Europeans, this time included “the first major victories of empirical inquiry over authority,” which helped scholars of the time discover and define the natural laws of the universe (Parry, 1). In turn, this helped in the development of new technologies that assisted mariners in their pursuits on the sea from more accurate navigation to warfare. It was during this time that explorers mapped out previously unknown coastlines and passages, discovering new lands and peoples. Because of this ...view middle of the document...

Science was quite practical in the fields of war and military engineering, of course; outside of the that, geographical exploration (with the obviously linked sub-categories of navigation and cartography) was virtually the only field where science and technology met in a practical way; “hence its immense significance in the history of science and thought” (Parry, 3).
In J.H. Parry's The Age of Reconnaissance, the author has chosen to redefine the name of the era. According to Parry, The Age of “Discovery” simply does not accurately reflect the attitudes and real motivations of the peoples either directly engaged in the act or financing them (Parry, 4). The focus of these explorers and mariners, as tasked by their governments and financiers, “was to link Europe, or particular European countries, with other areas known or believed to be of economic importance” (Parry, 4). To venture further out into the little-known seas and coastlines, the explorers sought reports to give them an idea on what to expect.
Scholars and explorers turned to the ancient sources who in a time long gone existed in a world that was more connected than they were. The ancients were viewed as “more civilized, more elegant in behavior and expression, more sagacious in the conduct of their affairs than his contemporaries; save in the field of revealed religion,” and were considered better informed (Parry, 9). Certainly, those ancients' knowledge of geography was better than their fifteenth-century counterparts (Parry, 10), though this is not to say they were...

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