The Only Mappamundi in a Bestiary Context: Cambridge, MS Fitzwilliam 254
Taylor & Francis, Imago Mundi, 58.1, 2006, 7 - 22
The Mappa Mundi in Fitzwilliam Museum, MS 254 folio 1v, which dates from approximately 1220–1230, is the only one to appear in a medieval Latin bestiary. It does not fit well in any of the established classifications of mappae mundi. This paper will account for the map’s unusual features and also for its presence in a Third Family bestiary. The prominence of the islands in the map’s Outer Ocean suggests that the mapmaker wanted to represent the most distant parts of the world as objects of the Christian mission to bring the Gospel ‘to the ends of the earth’. Accounting for the presence of a mappamundi in Fitzwilliam 254 requires an examination of the composition of Third Family bestiaries.
ISSN: 0308-5694; DOI: 10.1080/03085690500362256
Last update May 28, 2022