In the book Pinocchio in Venice by Robert Coover, there's this sentence:

On a winter evening of the year 19—, after arduous travels across two continents and as many centuries...

What does "and as many centuries" means?

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  • As many refers to five countries. It's short for I've travelled across five countries and across five centuries (yes, as many centuries as countries!) – oerkelens Aug 3 '15 at 13:07
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    I think you may have misunderstood the word 'context'. Context is something that you provide to us to help us in answering the question. E.g. - where you found the sentence and who the author is. – chasly from UK Aug 3 '15 at 13:14

"As many" in this context means "the same number as before". So in this context, your sentence equals

I have travelled across five countries and across five centuries.

It is probably a hyperbolic statement, meant to suggest that the speaker has been travelling for a very long time.

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    Travelled across five centuries might be visiting historical sites (Egypt to Greece perhaps) or technological levels of cultures (Amazon tribes to modern). But without context who knows? It might be Dr Who. – Avon Aug 3 '15 at 13:21
  • @Avon That's a good point -- I hadn't considered the historical interpretation. That sounds more likely to me now. – Sawbones Aug 3 '15 at 13:49
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    Hellion has found the source and corrected the quote to two continents and as many centuries and it is a story about "Pinocchio, former puppet, now a 100-year-old author, returns to Venice to finish a book" (from NY Times book review) so it appears both of our speculations were wrong: it is just literal. – Avon Aug 3 '15 at 21:28

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