Medieval European Maps of the World Profiled in Faculty Book
Dec. 6, 2019
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –– The seven most significant English maps of the world from the
twelfth and thirteenth centuries –– known as mappae mundi –– are the focus of a new book co-edited by Dan Terkla, Emeritus Professor of English
at Illinois Wesleyan University.
This is the first collection devoted to this group of maps and makes use of current
digital and spectral technologies to flesh out their historical context, creation
A Critical Companion to English Mappae Mundi of the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, co-edited by Terkla and Nick Millea, Maps Librarian at Oxford University’s Bodleian
Library, profiles mappae mundi that present viewers with contemporary geography, along with theological, historical,
legendary and fantastical material. Terkla, Millea and their expert contributors offer
significant insights into the ways in which medieval scholars conceived of the world
and their place within it.
The Companion begins with a survey of the maps' materials, types, shapes, sources, contents, conventions,
idiosyncrasies, commissioners and users. It then moves on to locate the maps' creation
and use in the realms of medieval rhetoric, Victorine memory theory and clerical pedagogy.
Uniquely, it also establishes the shared history of map and book making, by demonstrating
how pre-and post-Conquest monastic libraries in England fostered and fed the complementary
relationship of books and mappae mundi. A chapter is then devoted to each individual map. Millea’s annotated bibliography
of multilingual resources reaching back to 1985 completes the volume.
The book was supported in part by funds from Illinois Wesleyan’s Andrew W. Mellon
Foundation grant, and editorial assistance was provided by senior English major Jon