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Medieval Maps of the Holy Land Hardcover – Illustrated, 28 Sep 2012

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: The British Library Publishing Division; 1st edition (28 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712358242
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712358248
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 2.5 x 30.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,164,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"[C]ogently organized, richly illustrated . . . and pithily written, offering nothing less than a journey to the centre of the earth, as it was once conceived."--Anthony Bale "Times Literary Supplement "

"The latest publication from a prolific contributor to the history of maps, Harvey's tome provides an important source of the cartographic depiction of the Holy Land's medieval period, a much-neglected area of research. . . . The analysis of the book's thirteen short, chronologically arranged chapters is full of detail and valuable insights. Recommended."--L. Yacher, Southern Connecticut State University "Choice "

[C]ogently organized, richly illustrated . . . and pithily written, offering nothing less than a journey to the centre of the earth, as it was once conceived. --Anthony Bale "Times Literary Supplement ""

The latest publication from a prolific contributor to the history of maps, Harvey s tome provides an important source of the cartographic depiction of the Holy Land s medieval period, a much-neglected area of research. . . . The analysis of the book s thirteen short, chronologically arranged chapters is full of detail and valuable insights. Recommended. --L. Yacher, Southern Connecticut State University "Choice ""

About the Author

P.D.A. Harvey is Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at University of Durham. His previous publications include The History of Topographical Maps: Symbols, pictures and surveys (1980). Medieval Maps (British Library, 1991), and (as Editor) The Hereford World Map in a Historical Context (British Library, 2006).

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"This book looks in detail at eight regional maps of Palestine that were first drawn between the late twelfth century and mid-fourteenth"

These first words describe this book exactly, and act as a guide to the readership and a warning. I am not a historian, but I have an amateur interest in both the history of maps and the Latin kingdoms of Palestine. Without these specific interests, this book would be very heavy going indeed.

After sections on the historical background and some context by way of other maps of similar time and place, we quickly get into the detailed description and analysis (and I mean detailed) of each of the eight maps. I am not qualified to judge the academic quality of the descriptions provided, but I found the text and pictures an ideal way to understand the cartographic techniques of the mid middle ages. I was surprised to learn that although the maps often did not follow a true overhead view of buildings (for example, Plan of Jerusalem p23 shows frontages of buildings, not plans), mapmakers had already started to use standard symbols for castles, towns and cities. Analysis of the errors and corrections made gave understanding of how traditional and new information combined in creating these new maps. How places mentioned in the Bible were mixed with castles built by the crusaders.

The use of colour plates is exceptional, including a large fold out reproduction of the Pierpont Morgan Library version of the Large Burchard map. The quality of these reproductions allow the reader to check the details described in the text for themselves. It also highlights the way the map creators used colour in their maps.

Also included was information of the history of the maps after they were created.
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