Exploration and Empire

Norman A. Etherington, John M. MacKenzie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


All empires develop a worldview embracing the horizons of their actual and aspirational power. Exploration generally involved efforts to push these horizons further outwards, sometimes through the enterprising journeys of traders, travelers, and geographers interested in what lay beyond their immediate world, and of the military in search of further conquests. Exploration is a characteristic of the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Asian worlds with further maritime explorations in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. European explorations of northern Europe, the North Atlantic, the Mediterranean, and the Black Sea were prosecuted by medieval Norsemen, while there were also exploratory journeys in Asia in the same period. Modern European exploration is dated from the late 15th century, building to a climax in the 19th. By this time exploration was ideologically charged, closely bound up with the extension of western empires, of white settlement across the world, as well as the development of all forms of scientific study.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Empire
EditorsJohn MacKenzie
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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