Antipodes to Terra Australis

Stallard, Avan (2010). Antipodes to Terra Australis PhD Thesis, School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Stallard, Avan
Thesis Title Antipodes to Terra Australis
School, Centre or Institute School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2010-12
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Supervisor Marion Diamond
Martin Crotty
Total pages 379
Total colour pages 64
Total black and white pages 315
Subjects 21 History and Archaeology
Abstract/Summary The idea of an imaginary southern continent persisted in European discourse for two millennia in an unbroken chain of scholarship stretching from antiquity to the cusp of modern times. The unavoidable question is what drove belief, and what compelled people to persist with the notion of a southern continent even when faced with falsifying evidence? In addressing this question I attempt to draw the historical traces together in a way that not only illuminates what people thought and what actions came from those beliefs, but also suggests how belief, desire and expectation structured the interpretation and reception of geographical data. Misconceptions about the role that theories of hemispheric balance played in the discourse of a southern continent have long obscured the more complicated interplay of geographical lore and empirical discovery with the imperial and commercial milieus of early modern Europe. To say that people believed and held onto their belief in a southern continent because they wanted it to exist is to answer the basic question addressed to all imaginative geographies – why did people believe in something that does not exist? Where I attempt to go further is in showing exactly how desire and expectation structured the entire discourse as it evolved across the centuries.
Keyword Antipodes
Terra Australis
Southern continent
Equipoisure
Symmetry
Imaginative geography
Historical cartography

 
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Created: Tue, 28 Jun 2011, 22:28:33 EST by Mr Avan Stallard on behalf of Library - Information Access Service