Unsigned and untitled T-O world map
- Unsigned and untitled T-O world map
Simple map-like diagrams, known as T-O world maps, reflect a medieval European world view. These simple drawings portray the Earth's land masses as a circle surrounded by water. The land is separated into three parts, demarcated by a T or a Tau cross, suggesting that Christ's head (or Jerusalem) was the center of the universe. The horizontal arms represent the Nile and Don Rivers, while the vertical arm is the Mediterranean. Oriented with East at the top, Asia occupies the top half of the circle, while Europe and Africa occupy the two bottom quarters. In addition, the continents are often, as in this example, identified with Noah's three sons -- Shem, Japeth, and Ham. Originally conceived by Isidore, Bishop of Seville, in the early 7th century, such a diagram was included in his manuscript encyclopedia which was based primarily on classical authors, but also reflected the beginnings of Christian scholarship. Isidore's text and image were first printed in 1472. Shown here, is a version of the T-O diagram that appeared in the 1483 edition of Isidore's encyclopedia.
- Isidore, of Seville, Saint, -636
- Löslein, Peter, active 1476-approximately 1487
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
- Collection (local):
Special Collections, Rare Books
Published in ''Etymologiae'' (Venice, 1483).
Exhibited: "Journeys of the Imagination" organized by the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library, 2006.
- 1 map ; on page 44 x 30 cm
- Call #:
BPL Rare Books Dept. Q.403.13
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.