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IMC 2015: Sessions

Session 605: Mappings, II: World Maps, (ii)

Tuesday 7 July 2015, 11.15-12.45

Sponsor:Historisches Institut, FernUniversität Hagen
Organisers:Felicitas Schmieder, Historisches Institut, FernUniversität Hagen
Dan Terkla, Department of English, Illinois Wesleyan University
Moderator/Chair:Tomáš Klimek, Manuscriptorium Digital Library, National Library of the Czech Republic, Praha
Paper 605-aHugh of St Victor's Theography and the Processing of Medieval Mappae Mundi
(Language: English)
Dan Terkla, Department of English, Illinois Wesleyan University
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography, Theology
Paper 605-bThe Polychronicon Maps: Mappae Mundi and Memorization
(Language: English)
Cornelia Dreer, Mittelalterliche Geschichte, Universität Kassel
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Manuscripts and Palaeography
Paper 605-cRenewal at World's End: The Voyage of St Brendan and the Hereford Map
(Language: English)
Diarmuid Scully, School of History, University College Cork
Index terms: Geography and Settlement Studies, Theology

Paper -a:
This talk extends work I have done on the Duchy of Cornwall and Hereford world maps and on Victorine monks in 12th- and 13th-century Britain. That work examines the ways Victorines spread Hugh of St Victor’s pedagogy theories and theography, his theological cartography, to institutions with well-known world maps. Specifically, this talk is about contextualizing these eschatological world maps from the florescent period of Anglo-French mappae mundi and showing how they might have been designed to be processed on the literal, allegorical, anagogical, and tropological levels.

Paper -b:
To gain a better understanding of mappae mundi, it is helpful to consider how knowledge was handled in the original contexts of those maps. The use that was made of media, and of images in particular, affected the design of these maps. The Polychronicon maps, for example, share characteristics with contemporary works of art. Both types of images display strategies that can be linked to the practice of memorization in a largely oral society. If the benefit of an image lies in its remembered content, rather than in the use of the object itself, elaborate details, which would make a depiction more lifelike, must seem redundant if not distracting. A schematic structure, on the other hand, complies with the intended function of mappae mundi.

Paper -c:
The Hereford map is one of the earliest world-maps to feature the voyage of St Brendan. It traces the extension of salvation from East to West, culminating in the Last Judgement, depicted in the map’s pictorial framework. The map locates a number of the Navigatio Brendani's islands in the furthest West: the Island of Sheep and the Island of Birds between Ireland and Scotland, and 'the six Fortunate Islands [which] are the islands of St Brendan' beyond the Straits of Gibraltar. This paper explores the significance of the map's selection and location of these islands, reading the map in the context of the Navigatio and the Ebstorf map, which depicts Brendan’s Lost Island. The paper argues that the Hereford map uses Brendan's islands to complete its narrative of salvation extending to the ends of the earth at the end of time, and the renewal of creation via the Second Coming.