Department Blog

Map Collection

Circular Maps showing Europe-Africa-Asia

The known world – or at least the European, African, and Asian continents — were represented by maps drawn in a circle during the 13th-15th centuries.  

These circular maps usually feature Jerusalem as the center of the map, and sometimes north is at the bottom and south at the top.  So, maps displayed information related to the church rather than expressing interests of scientific geography.

Many of these maps show elaborate artistic work.

This week, the Map Collection features circular maps dated 1200-1500 AD.

1284  —  Ebstorf world map by Gervasius of Tilbury

1290-1300  — Hanc quam videtis terrarum descripsit delineavitque Richardus de Haldingham sive de Bello dictus A. S. circa MCCC

1448  —  Andreas Walsperger’s map of the world

1452  —  The Leardo map of the world by Giovanni Leardo

1457-1459  —  Il mappamondo by Fra Mauro

Of course, all our maps are facsimiles — no 13th century originals on display in the Map Collection.

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