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Deconstructing The Map: The Hereford World Map

783 words - 4 pages

The Hereford World Map is the world’s oldest surviving map of the world; it was made in 1300, during the beginning of the Renaissance in Europe. There was a wider range of influences on mapping during the later medieval period. With an increase in exploration, Europe began to evolve into an international continent; widespread travel can be seen by the influences of the Islamic world on architecture. While map making in China had flourished in the 11th C, mapping was beginning to evolve in Europe. By around 1400 there was a peak in map making in Europe. There is evidence of the influence of Roman mapping on medieval maps in Europe. The Medieval world maps but together information from ...view middle of the document...

The map is a work of art, containing many images which tell a story. One main influence of the Hereford World Map is the Christian ideology of the Middle Ages. The Holy Lands of Jerusalem are depicted at the centre of the world, while this is not an accurate location the presence of the Holy Lands conveys the dominant Christian belief, the crucifixion of Christ is seen just above the map of Jerusalem. The map is drawn to the East and included at the top is the Garden of Eden. The map documents Christian history, from the Garden of Eden, to Noah’s ark to the Crucifixion of Christ. Religion was clearly important in medieval society and thus influenced the creation of The Hereford Map.
The map depicts other historical events from the past such as the image of Caesar, Caesar is sending out surveyors to map the world. There is also evidence that the map was influenced by writers of the past. This can be seen in the image of the Roman writer Pliny. Pliny is known for his book on Natural History in which he wrote of all the known animals of the world.
As mentioned earlier the map was labelled as a “monstrosity”, the scholar Sir Cyril Beazley wrote of the 'monstrosities of Hereford and Ebstorf'. ...

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