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Medieval Maps – The Sawley Map

The Sawley Map is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the medieval drawing exhibit, “Pen and Parchment: Drawing in the Middle Ages.”

The museum has a post about it on its blog, along with an image of the map. According to the post, the map was “created by a twelfth-century English monk … the first image in a book called the Imago Mundi (Image of the World), a kind of medieval encyclopedia. A rare early example of a detailed world map, the Sawley Map places the Mediterranean Sea at its center, Paradise at the top, and Africa and the British Isles at its edges.”

I sat and studied the map for a few minutes but had a difficult time deciphering the various landmarks. I might have to spend more time looking over it. The larger version of the image posted on the site is extremely clear, but at first glance, it’s challenging to interpret. Might help if I spoke some latin. I did find Rome.