This is a contribution to be published in a volume entitled Mediterranean Studies, edited by Roberto Dainotto and Eric Zakim for the Modern Language Association (MLA), as part of a new MLA series on Transnational Literatures. The editors had asked their contributors to respond to their introduction in which they encourage new ways of conceptualizing cultural contact, and to suggest new approaches to reading and writing the Mediterranean, creating a new epistemology of place, especially with a view to literature. Contributions span all geographic areas of the Mediterranean. While I was initially asked to look at modern travelers with a view to Greek antiquity and ancient travelers, the paper gradually turned into an essay on how to integrate some recent work on the ancient Mediterranean within the editors’ agenda.
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