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The Idea of Europe

Catriona Seth
Rotraud von Kulessa

10. The Geography of Europe

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1Diego de Torres Villarroel (1693–1770),i who was a professor at the University of Salamanca, a mathematician, a priest and a dramatist, wrote The Fantastic Voyage of the Great Piscátor of Salamanca (1724), which gives a geographical description of Europe that reminds us of the limits of knowledge at a time when the very existence of Australasia was unknown in Europe.

2It is clear from the circumnavigations of the globe that it is divided into two continents or main areas of land. The first comprises the entire area of the Arctic Pole and the four main regions of the world: Europe, Asia, Africa and America and the other part or continent includes the entire unknown territory to the South and these two areas or continents are separated by the Ocean. The continent that encompasses the southern territory remains unknown […]. Europe extends one thousand and fifty leagues from East to West and spans seven hundred and forty-nine leagues from North to South. To the North it borders on the frozen sea, to the West on the Atlantic Sea, to the South on the Strait of Gibraltar and to the East on the Ægean sea. Apart from its islands, its fourteen largest and most important provinces are: Spain, France, Italy, Germany, The Netherlands, Poland, Hungary, Illyricum, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Lesser Tartary, The Grand Duchy of Moscow, Moldova, Walachia and Scandinavia.

3Diego de Torres Villarroel,
The Fantastic Voyage of the Great Piscátor of Salamanca (1724).

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