Fitting Medieval Europe into the World. Patterns of Integration, Migration, and Uniqueness
This essay explains different patterns demonstrating how medieval Europe was situated in global visions of the world. Concerning medieval concepts of integration, entanglements, and migrations, three different perspectives are highlighted: (1) Europe was considered, together with Asia and Africa, to be an integral part of the whole world and covered a quarter of its surface. (2) Medieval sources contributed to Europe becoming a destination of immigration of peoples, cultures, and religions of Asian roots. (3) In the second half of the fifteenth century, previous memories of origin changed. The article outlines conflicting opinions about whether European peoples were shaped by migrations or by remaining on their own patch of soil. Just when Europeans began to conquer the world, they realised the geographical limitations of their continent. At the same time, however, they stylised Europe as an exceptional queen ruling the world.
The essay was translated from the German by Malcolm Green.