Publication Details

Lucas, A. R. (2005). Book Review: Francesc Relano, The shaping of Africa: cosmographic discourse and cartographic science in late medieval and early modern Europe (2004). British Journal for the History of Science, 38 (4), 477-478.


The main ambition of Francesc Relan˜ o’s fascinating book The Shaping of Africa is to show how the idea of Africa, as a continent distinct from Europe and Asia, emerged between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period from a mixture of natural philosophical, theological, nautical and popular discourses, as well as from several initially separate traditions of mapmaking. He illustrates in the process that the African interior remained largely a mystery to Europeans until the late nineteenth century.