This title was first published in 2002. When did Africa emerge as a continent in the European mind? This book aims to trace the origins of the idea of Africa and its evolution in Renaissance thought. Particular attention is given to the relationship between the process of acquiring knowledge through travel and exploration, and its representation within a discourse which also includes previously acquired cosmographical elements. Among the themes investigated are: How did the image of Africa evolve from the conception of a symbolic space to a Euclidean representation? How did the Renaissance rediscovery of Antiquity interact with the Portuguese discoveries along the African coast? And once Africa was circumnavigated, how was the inner landmass depicted in the absence of first-hand knowledge? Also, overall, in this whole process what was the interplay of myth and reality?