The Eurasian origins of empty time and space: modernity as temporality reconsidered

Understood as a form of temporality, modernity is seen as consisting of empty time and space. However, careful examination of the origins of modern notions of empty time and space suggest they arose from background assumptions in wide use across Eurasia in the early modern period, and also that they arose prior to, and independent of, the emergence of the modern nation-state. Here, various Eurasian versions of astronomy and philology are examined to show that they relied on such background assumptions and could therefore be readily translated and shared across the boundaries separating quite different cosmologies.