Ranulph Higden (d. 1364), was a monk of the Benedictine abbey of St. Werburg, Chester. His 'Polychronicon' is a universal history, based on earlier writers, but extended down to his own lifetime. As it was the most complete such work available in the 14th century, it enjoyed considerable popularity, being translated into English in the late 14th century, and printed by William Caxton in the late 15th century. This manuscript has the ownership inscription of John Wardeboys, who was abbot of Ramsey at the time of its dissolution in 1539.
This page from the Royal manuscripts collection contains the right half of a map of the world. England is to the lower right side, with a red background. Fourteen cities are represented and identified, including London, Winchester, Lincoln, Oxford, Worcester, Gloucester, Norwich, Northampton, York, and Exeter. The heads around the map represent the 12 winds which encircle the world.
- 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.
- Article by:
- Claire Harrill
- Heroes and heroines, Gender and sexuality, Faith and religion
Claire Harrill considers how 'Saracen' characters are portrayed in Middle English romances, and what these texts can reveal about ideas of Otherness in this period.