Mappa Mundi and Chained Library

Posted by admin on July-6-2011 Add Comments

mappamundi1mappamundi2chainedlibraryDescribed by a leading scholar as “the most remarkable illustrated English manuscript of any kind” the Mappa Mundi is the largest medieval map of the world still in existence. Once thought to have been made in Lincoln, it is now considered to have been drawn in Hereford itself, and in the Mappa Mundi and Chained Library exhibition at Hereford Cathedral, one can still see the map itself and the ancient board upon which it may well have originally been stretched. Dating from about 1300, it is not intended to be geographically accurate; it is oriented literally, with the Orient or East at the top of the map, Jerusalem in the middle and Rome below it on the same axis. You would certainly get lost trying to follow it as Africa is labelled Europe and vice versa! Made of vellum (calf skin), seas, rivers, cities and buildings are marked, and also strange creatures and peoples (including a mermaid and people with four eyes) and Biblical events. The entire exhibition is fascinating and well worth a visit.  Click on the photos to take you to the website.

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