The Maps of Matthew Paris

The Maps of Matthew Paris

Medieval Journeys through Space, Time and Liturgy

Daniel K. Connolly


Boydell Press



An examination of the intricate cartography of Matthew Paris, and the meanings of the maps themselves.
The illustrations of the Benedictine monk, artist, and chronicler Matthew Paris offer a gateway into the thirteenth-century world. This new study of his cartography emphasises the striking innovations he brought to it, and shows how the maps became an investment and repository of certain medieval spatial practices: travel through the world, the occurrence of history in that world, and the religious practices and devotional attitudes that were assiduously cultivated within the larger visual culture of St. Albans abbey (in great measure produced by Matthew's own images). Travel (i.e. space), history (time), and devotion (liturgy), then, are the primary issues and meanings deposited in and registered by Matthew Paris's cartographic landscape. In searching out these contexts, the book explores the paradigm of imagined pilgrimage as an organizing principle that pushes into greater relief medieval understandings of their arrangements of places and of histories. Thus traveling through geography could enact its meanings in a dynamic, religious, even devotional performance of the maps' materials. Richly illustrated with black and white and colour plates.


October 2009
10 colour, 48 black and white illustrations
278 pages
24.4x17.2 cm
ISBN: 9781843834786
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
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Table of Contents

Taken in the Spirit: Imagined Pilgrimage in Medieval Spirituality and Art
Journeys through Space: the codex as conveyance
Journeys through Time: the format of history
Journeys through Time: geography as prophecy
Journeys through Liturgy
Monarchical Journeys: the King's Gaze, the "Royal" Itinerary and Matthew's Maps of Britain


Connollys kulturgeschichtliche Annäherungen an die Karten Matthew Paris' sind anregend, da sie Karten auf verschiedenen Ebenen in den Kontext zeitgenössischer Tradition und religiöser Praktiken einbetten und auf dieser Grundlage neue Lesarten erproben. SEHEPUNKTE

(The author) has approached the work of Matthew Paris in an original and stimulating way and has made a meaningful contribution to our knowledge of the ways manuscripts, texts, images, rituals and prayers provided the fertile ground for the pictorial and cartographic imagination of Matthew Paris. (...) His book will surely invite much discussion among scholars and serve as a springboard for much future work. THE MEDIEVAL REVIEW

This book has a scintillating subject. The sumptuous illustrations of course whet the appetite. JOURNAL OF ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY