David Wallace has asked me to post this, and I have to say I myself am very interested in the answer: can you, ITM readers, think of any premodern instances of the aerial view, either textual or visual? Here is the note sent to David by his BBC producer:
One of my Clouds essayists is working on a cultural history/tie in Courtald exhibition on the aerial view: you know the kind of thing: de Certeau on the transition from the itinerary to the overhead map; the development of war from the air etc etc. I`ve told him I`d flag any nice passages from modern/postmodern literature that occur to me. But, though he`s pretty well prepared from the early modern period on, I was wondering if any particular premodern passages come to mind: obviously one thinks of angel-eye views, Dante, etc etc. SO, if you have any thoughts on texts/passages he might examine for his study, do please let me know..
Can anyone think of other examples? How about texts that describe the world as if from vanatge of heaven?