Die Welt in Karten : Umbrüche und Kontinuitäten im Mittelalter

This paper addresses the changes and continuities within the wide range of cartographic practices that existed in the Middle Ages. Following introductory thoughts on methodological issues, the text focuses on three different types of maps, all of which represent the world in its entirety: schematic maps, world maps and nautical charts. Within different texts, as independent artifacts or as atlases, these maps were employed for diverse purposes, such as the representation of fundamental principles, of encyclopaedic knowledge or of nautical surveys. At least from the twelfth century on, the different genres existed side by side – with adjustments of content and form occurring in each. By relating spacial order and historical content medieval maps produce meaning and assert the significance of the knowledge they display. The literal and philosophical world-views they provide make them valuable sources in modern education.


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