• Asa Simon Mittman and Suzanne Conklin Akbari, “Seeing Jerusalem: Schematic Views of the Holy City, 1100-1300,” Aspects of Knowledge: Preserving and Reinventing Traditions of Learning in the Middle Ages, ed. Marilina Cesario and Malte Urban (Oxford: Oxford University Press)

    Suzanne Conklin Akbari, Asa Simon Mittman (see profile)
    Marilina Cesario, Malte Malte
    Medical Humanities, Medieval English Literature, Medieval Studies
    Art, Medieval, Cartography, Geography, History, Archaeology, Medieval
    Item Type:
    Medieval art, History of cartography, Medieval archaeology
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    The fine details of this map are worth close attention. The design, layout, judicious employment of spot colour, inscriptions, inclusions and exclusions are carefully modulated to provide rich material for ruminative viewing. This folio does, after all, present the sacred omphalos of the world, a space layered with ancient meanings and caught up in dynamic, immediate political circumstances and military conflicts. In this chapter, we will focus on this single sheet, with attention paid to three main aspects of its construction and contents: the history of the abbey where it was drawn; its role as micro- and macrocosm; and its negotiation of the interplay between space and time, which meet at the intersection of the ‘Street to the Temple of the Lord’ and the ‘Street of the Gate of Mount Zion’ with eschatological significance. Maps sit in a potent position between the recording and production of knowledge, reflecting the ‘real world’ but necessarily transforming it through the process of reduction and schematisation. The map of Jerusalem and its environs in Add. 32343 actively negotiates between various forms of knowledge, as it makes arguments about the significance of Jerusalem in political and divine history. By exploring the layered significance of this map in two dimensions – first, through a close visual study of the Add. 32343 map, in the context of other medieval maps; second, through a narrative examination of the document’s origins and comparative study of a prose itinerary of Frankish Jerusalem – we aim to provide views of the sacred city from two different perspectives, as it was conceived in the high medieval imagination.
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    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


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