The simplest medieval map of the world was the T-O map: a circle divided by a T into the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa. It is found in many copies of two works written in the early 7th century by Isidore, bishop of Seville: the Etymologies and The Nature of Things. This example is from an 11th-century copy of the Etymologies.
The Etymologies, named after one of its constituent chapters is a compilation of all the knowledge that was available to Isidore, from a wide variety of sources. This manuscript from the Royal manuscripts collection has a 13th- or 14th-century flyleaf inscription stating that it belonged to the priory at Horsham St. Faith, Norfolk.
- Article by:
- Josephine Livingstone
- Myths, monsters and the imagination
Medieval Europeans were fascinated by the lands that lay beyond their own continent. Josephine Livingstone looks at the real and imaginary travels of explorers and tradesman through works including The Book of John Mandeville, The Travels of Marco Polo and medieval maps.