The Hereford Map, a depiction of the inhabited world drawn around 1300, is among the largest surviving examples of medieval mappamundi. It measures 1.59 meters by ca. 1.30 meters (52 1/2 inches by c. 52 inches). On it appear some 1,091 inscriptions, ...
or legends; most of these are placed adjacent to a painted figure of what they identify. They range from simple place-names to long descriptions containing historical, ethnographical, theological and zoological information. The book's introduction offers essential background on the Map's history, sources, and scholarship. Particularly important is an explanation of its close relationship to a text recently discovered - Expositio mappe mundi - a work most composed a century before the Map was made. Right-facing pages contain, for each legend: (1) an exact line-for-line transcription, (2) an edited version of this transcription, and (3) an English translation. Left-facing pages offer commentary on each legend, giving information about its literary and cartographical source, the item it identifies, and textual problems. Included in the book is a colour illustration of the entire Map (approximately 40% of its actual size), as well as detail photographs, taken in January 2001 under special conditions, enabling readers to see each legend precisely, as well as to locate all transcribed and translated text. Because of its thorough examination of all aspects of the Map, this book is a tribute to the richest, most complicated surviving example of medieval cartography, as well as an essential tool about medieval culture.
Number of pages: 476
Date of publication: 01/06/2001
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