Synopsis (from book cover):
The Hereford mappa mundi is the largest an most elaborate world map surviving from before teh fifteenth century. Designed at Lincoln by one Richard of Holdingham, it was made for Hereford in about 1300 and Hereford has been its home ever since.
There has been much speculation as to the identity of the author of the map, and the purposes for which it might have been made. More than just a map, it can be seen as an encuuclopaedia of distant lands, their peoples, myths and natural history, all held to gether within a framework of Christian belief – the figure of Christ in judgement is placed in a prominent position at the top of the map. It presents an illuminating view of the world as it appeared to a cultured and will read person in theirteenth-century England.
In this book P. D. A. Harvey provides an authoritative introduction to the map, based on recent work, showing how it was made, what it depicts and what sources the author used. Many detailed photgraphs, specially commiddioned for the purpose, together with illustrations of othe related medieval maps, accompany the text.
I picked this book up in Hereford Cathedral, when I visited the Mappa Mundi. The book dated 2010 is an updated version of an earlier book that was first published in 1996. The book covers the most recent research and findings regarding the map.
The book covers the making of the map, the history of the map and sources of information for the content of the map. The book also sets the map into context with other similar world maps. The text is enhanced by many colour photographs showing the Hereford map and other world maps of this type.
I found the book very interesting and recommended it to anyone who is interested in the subject.