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This is a major work of scholarship on the nature and significance of local cartography in the Middle Ages. It reproduces - in colour if the original is coloured - all local maps dated before 1501 that were known to survive when the book went to press; more than half have never before been reproduced or described in print. The volume has been produced to the highest standards by the Printer to the University, and is limited to an edition of five hundred copies, numbered by hand. The medieval maps of the whole of England or Scotland are few in number and well known; but maps of smaller areas in Britain from the Middle Ages have mostly been little investigated until now. In all there are thirty such maps or related groups: the earliest dates from the mid-twelfth century, but most come from the fifteenth century and they differ widely in purpose, style, and elaboration. Accompanying each map in this volume is an article by a distinguished scholar knowledgeable in the area, placing it in its local and historical setting. Modern survey maps of the same area are included in the articles for reference. The editor's introduction discusses the maps as a group, in the context of local maps from other parts if Europe and of the general early development of topographical mapping. Among other conclusions it is suggested that even the simplest sketch-map involves concepts that were not familiar to our medieval ancestors; that these maps had no connection with the development of surveying - the union of map-maker and surveyor was to come later; and that they share characteristics with maps produced in widely differing cultures and periods. The maps themselves vary from the roughest sketches to elaborate pictorial compositions; but they all reflect medieval man's response to the landscape around him and his attempts to portray it in what we now recognize as cartographic form.
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