Medieval maps look nothing like modern ones. And that’s not just because geographical knowledge and cartographic techniques were different in the medieval period. Medieval maps served specific purposes, and the goal wasn’t always getting from point A to point B. These may look like weird medieval maps to us, but they were valuable objects in the Middle Ages.
These strange maps, which stamp the head of Jesus Christ on the world, or show the location of the Earthly Paradise, often served religious purposes. Medieval cartography was an art form, and maps often manipulated size or features to emphasize a moral message.
Medieval maps carry a message that many of us can understand today - and remind us that beliefs about the world are constantly changing.
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T-O Map From Isidore Of Seville's 'Etymologies,' Circa 600
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Psalter World Map, Circa 1265
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Tabula Peutingeriana, 1265
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Anglo-Saxon World Map, Circa 1025-1050
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Itinerary Map By Matthew Paris, Circa 1250s
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Beatus Map, Circa 776