Macedonia on a Mappa Mundi – 12th century

MedievalMacedonia on a Mappa Mundi - 12th century

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In our Macedonia on Maps category today we are looking at an interesting “Mappa Mundi”, which means a map of the world. The map dates from the 12th century, but who created the map it is still disputed.

Originally, this world map was attributed to a German. This is how Heinrich I of Mainz is said to have created the world map in 1110. However, more recent research by historians indicates that the map was once drawn by monks from the Cistercian monastery of Sawley Abbey in England.

English professor and member of the British Academy Paul D.A. Harvey claims, that the map is from Yorkshire in England. Furthermore, his investigations revealed that the map probably originated in Durham Cathedral Priory or was copied from a Durham specimen, as he claims.

However, Harvey is still unsure about the dating of the Mappa Mundi. While Heinrich originally dated the map to 1110, the Englishman speaks of “late 12th early 13th century.

As Harvey writes in the introduction to his study “The Sawley Map and Other World Maps in Twelfth-Century England”:

The misnamed ‘Henry of Mainz’ world map of the late twelfth or early thirteenth century comes from Sawley Abbey, Yorkshire, but was probably drawn either at Durham Cathedral Priory or from a Durham exemplar. In this note, the map is set into the context of recent work on the manuscript volume containing the map and on the text it accompanies. The evidence for other world maps in twelfth- and early thirteenth-century England is examined, and it is shown how the words “mappa mundi” in a booklist do not necessarily mean a map.

On a website for old maps, we find another indication of a possible author. On, Honorius Augustodunensis (German: Honorius von Autun) is credited as the author of the map, as well as dating the map to the year 1110 (same year mentioned above).

The map with overlay, as a guide with markings and labels:

Macedonia, Achaya, Tracia, Illiricum on this Mappa Mundi

On this world map, a mappa mundi (Latin, plural: mappae mundi), i.e. a medieval world map in the tradition of European cartography, we also find Macedonia. Besides its neighbors who are named as Achaya (Achaia, for Greece), Tracia (mostly Bulgaria) and Illiric (probably Albania)

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