minima maxima sunt

The Small things are the Great things; as in a grain of mustard seed.

Psalter Mappa Mundi

Psalter World Map c. 1260 AD

Several posts on minimamaximasunt have delved into the maps of the world from the middle ages. Some have been utilitarian, and some have been works of art and interpretation. The world map here is known as the Psalter world map and was found in a 13th century psalter.

The mappa is thought to be from around 1260 and the artist is unknown. As with many of the mappae from this period, east is at the top, and Jerusalem at the center. In the east, or rather at the top is Christ with his hands in the act of blessing.

Here also is another example of the earth being drawn circular, demonstrating the belief in a spherical world which was known from the time of the Greeks. This map predates Columbus by over two hundred years, and is among many others which do the same, thus raising the question of how the myth of the flat earth ever carried any weight in the enlightenment, let alone through the twentieth century. Further, that it is found in a religious manuscript helps to put to rest other stereotypes and myths about the middle ages and the Church. The more I read about these times the more I am amazed at the involvement of the Church and Christianity, as well as Islam, in the development of modern science.

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