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Diagram Of The World, In St. Isidore Of Seville's 'Etymologies'

Diagram Of The World, In St. Isidore Of Seville's 'Etymologies'

Medium: Ink and pigments on vellum

Date: 1075

Shelfmark: Royal MS 6 C.i

Item number: f.108v

Length: 32

Width: 23.1

Scale: Centimetres

Genre: Illuminated manuscript

Isidore of Seville (599-636) wrote probably the most famous and important encyclopaedia of the Middle Ages, the 'Etymologies', named after one of its constituent chapters. It is a compilation of all the knowledge that was available to Isidore, from a wide variety of sources. This manuscript was written at St. Augustine's Abbey, Canterbury, and remained there for several centuries. Until at least the 13th century, a standard way of depicting the world was as a circle, divided into one semi-circle and two quarter-circles, representing the continents respectively of Asia, Europe, and Africa. Sometimes individual countries, cities, etc., are marked, such as Jerusalem which was thought to lie at the centre; but often, as here, only the continents are shown.

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