Accessibility statement

Mapping the World, 1100-1300 - HOA00075M

« Back to module search

  • Department: History of Art
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Hanna Vorholt
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module focuses on the way in which the medieval world is represented in visual form through maps and diagrams: images which have to this day remained crucial to the organisation, communication and transmission of knowledge. Through the analysis of key examples we will assess how the cosmos was imagined in its overall structure and its individual components (including phenomena such as the movement of the planets, and the relationship between the four elements), and how the known world was visualised in its geographical and historical dimensions. The twelfth and thirteenth centuries witnessed important developments in the way in which this type of knowledge was laid out and visualised, and we will thus begin in the early twelfth century with images in Lambert of Saint-Omer's important encyclopaedia Liber Floridus, and end around 1300 with the famous Hereford and Ebstorf world maps.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should have acquired:

  • a good knowledge of key examples of medieval maps and diagrams of the period
  • acquaintance with their intellectual and cultural contexts
  • an understanding of the debates about and approaches to the subject


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on summative assessment within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

  • Evelyn Edson, Mapping time and space: how medieval mapmakers viewed their world (London, 1997)
  • Evelyn Edson and Emilie Savage-Smith, Medieval Views of the Cosmos: Picturing the Universe in the Christian and Islamic Middle Ages (Oxford, 2004)
  • Michael Evans, 'The Geometry of the Mind', in Architectural Association Quarterly 12/4 (1980), pp. 32-55
  • P. D. A. Harvey (ed.), The Hereford World Map: Medieval World Maps and their Context (London, 2006)
  • Sybille Krämer, "Epistemology of the Line. Reflections on the Diagrammatical Mind", in: Studies in Diagrammatology and Diagram Praxis, ed. by Alexander Gerner and Olga Pombo(London, 2010), pp. 13-38
  • Pippa Salonius and Andrea Worm (eds), The Tree: Symbol, Allegory, and Mnemonic Device in Medieval Art and Thought (Turnhout, 2014), pp. 1-12
  • John E. Murdoch, 'Album of Science: Antiquity and the Middle Ages (New York, 1984)
  • James Elkins, 'The Domain of Images' (New York, 1999), pp. 3-12




The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.