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Now in paperback, an illustrated history of the wholly imaginary place on the globe: the equator, an entirely human construct that has fascinated and challenged explorers for 3,000 years. The equator--its location not only on the globe but also in the minds and exploits of navigators, travelers, poets, and dreamers since the dawn of civilization--is the magical thread on which the eminent Italian historian Gianni Guadalupi strings some of humankind's most intriguing lore and most amazing adventures in this original and riveting intellectual history. The mysterious source of the Nile and the enigma of the Congo's swell, the perils of the Doldrums, and the vicissitudes of El Nino, the quest for the lost Eden and the search for El Dorado, all fall within the compass of Guadalupi's extraordinary volume. So do the names of Columbus, Magellan, Don Lope de Aguirre, Sinbad the Sailor, Henry Stanley, Charles-Marie de la Condamine, and Dante Alighieri, who placed Purgatory on an island athwart the equator. "A series of historical vignettes ... for the armchair traveler: history rendered as a libretto to the planet's grand opera."--Kirkus Reviews "These engagingly written stories are perfect jumping-off points for armchair adventurers or perhaps journey enough for commuting conquistadors."--Booklist "Filled with stories that are well written and captivating"--Library Journal
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