Martius, Carl Friedrich Philipp von: Von dem Rechtszustande unter den Ureinwohnern Brasiliens
Hrsg. und mit einem Vorwort von Peter Trawny
From 1817 to 1820, on behalf of the Austrian Emperor Franz I, the Bavarian botanist Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius traveled in Brazil, then the largest European colony, in order to bring a large collection of ethnologically important objects to Munich. In 1832, back in Europe, he wrote „Von dem Rechtszustande unter den Ureinwohner Brasiliens“ („On the state of law among the native peoples of Brazil“). The slender volume affords today's readers with a look through the very eyes of the explorers at the world they were entering, but also at the world they were bringing with them: the early 19th centuries’s conception of science before Darwin, shaped by Humboldt's scientific findings and the innovative systematics of Linné, who saw man as being a part of the system of nature and no longer as a creature of God. This new view is tantamount to a quantum leap in the science of man, and thus the travelogue of Schelling's student Martius can be read as an anthropology avant la lettre, precedings Claude Lévi-Strauss's famous book „Sad Tropics“ by a good hundred years.
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