Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 November 2018
The emergence of a positive attitude toward mountains is commonly regarded as an eighteenth-century phenomenon. The facts tell otherwise. Unearthing a number of hitherto-unknown sources, this article demonstrates that interest in and enthusiasm for mountains already began to evolve around 1500: from then on, mountains gained in importance in political, religious, and scientific discourses. Travel through mountainous regions increased, and people started to climb mountains. The interplay between theoretical interests and practical engagement led to a new emotional response, or what may be called mountain feeling, that anticipated the attitude of the eighteenth century and of the present.