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Defining ‘Europe’ in Medieval European Geographical Discourse

Project Blog

More Globes

The earliest European globe, made by Martin Beheim in 1492 (mentioned in our previous blog post “Globes and Celestial Spheres”), precedes the discovery of the Americas and shows the world as it had been known throughout the Middle Ages. The globe can now be seen digitally, in 3-D at https://c.bnf.fr/CnE. It is also currently on show at the “Monde en sphères” exhibition at the BnF (https://c.bnf.fr/BkL) . Following its trend of brilliant digital exhibitions, the BnF is also running wonderful digital exhibition on globes and spheres (http://expositions.bnf.fr/monde-en-spheres) which includes a section on the ‘Sphere in the Medieval West’ (in French) containing information on and images of medieval astronomical manuscripts. There is a reference on the website to the Image du monde of Gossouin de Metz, the medieval French vernacular adaptation of the Imago mundi of Honorius Augustodunensis (the focal point of our project). Indeed, one of the illustrations on the digital exhibition page comes from the Image du monde and shows a page from a fourteenth-century illuminated manuscript of the text, demonstrating the sphericity of the world. The manuscript in question is BnF, département des Manuscrits, Français 574 (the page used in the exhibition is f. 42), and the entirety of the beautiful book can be seen on the Gallica.

post by NP