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Immediacy, Mediation, and Media in Early Modern Catholic and Protestant Representations of Safavid Iran

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In this paper I argue that none of the sources produced by European visitors to Safavid Iran are unmediated, immediate expressions of observations, experiences, emotions and descriptions of the country's nature and culture. I offer as evidence different kinds of textual sources created by four travelers in the early seventeenth century, maps of Iran produced in various European cities and prints and engravings made by artists. I show that partly contradictory discourses governed these textual and visual representations of Iran and that particularities of each kind shaped the practices and norms of the creation of its individual representatives.

Affiliations: 1: Seville


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