While recent scholarship dealt with the economic and political historio-graphies of road systems, this book focuses on routes as stimuli of cultural transfer and artistic production.
Framed in the historiography of longue durée, routes may be addressed as trajectories that cut across cultural geographies and periodizations. With focus on the early modern period, the volume foregrounds an unprecedented expansion and transformation of route-networks. New combinations of transcontinental routes profoundly affected cultural topographies and symbolic paradigms. The rise of Asian and European port cities as nodes of maritime systems and prosperous cultural contact zones is closely linked to these shifts; routes, hubs, and the fabrication of collective imaginations about them therefore constitute the central themes of this book.