George M Roure
Thesis Title: Pedro Fernández de Quirós: The Role of Eschatology on Events at Espíritu Santo.
The aim of this research project is to investigate how Terra Australis Incognita fitted in with the Utopian ideas prevalent in Early Modern Europe.
Most historians are aware that Dutch, Spanish & Portuguese explorers searching for the great southern land were influenced by the idea that the mythical continent either was or contained an earthly paradise. The voyage narratives and petitions (Memoriales in Spanish) written by Pedro Fernández de Quirós (1565 – 1614) to Philip III of Spain provide an astonishingly detailed account of what he and no doubt others thought were the implications of finding that Garden of Eden. The Quirós accounts outline the idea that Terra Australis was a paradise and would become a Utopian society, a new Holy Land for Christianity and the source of a theocratic government whose influence would bring a global Golden Age.
This investigation aims to shed further light on what Quirós envisaged, how pervasive such a vision of Terra Australis was in Early Modern Europe and to what extent similar views influenced key institutions of the time. The writings of Quirós challenge the contemporary European history of Australia. They reveal that as early as the 16th century, Europeans were looking to this region for inspiration on how to transform their religious, political, economic and social culture.
Other Research Interests:
• Spanish Imperial History focusing on expeditions to the South Pacific.
• The influence of Eschatological thought on Early Modern Utopias.
• Translating Early Modern Spanish and Catalan texts