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Mappa Mundi: The Hereford World Map
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The Hereford Mappa Mundi is the largest and most elaborate world map surviving from before the fifteenth century. Made in the late thirteenth century at Lincoln by one Richard of Holdingham, it was then taken to Hereford, which has been its home ever since. There has been much speculation as to the identity of the author of the map, and the purposes for which it might have been made. More than just a map, it can be seen as an encyclopedia of distant lands, their peoples, myths, and natural history, all held together within a framework of Christian belief - the figure of Christ in judgment is placed in a prominent position at the top of the map. It presents an illuminating view of the world as it appeared to a cultured and well-read person in thirteenth-century England. In this book, P.D.A. Harvey provides an authoritative interpretation of the map, based on a fresh examination of its surface, and reveals evidence of how it was made, what it depicts, and what sources the author used. Many detailed photographs, specially commissioned for the purpose, together with illustrations of other related medieval maps, accompany the text.
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