The Sawley Map
From the Imago mundi by Honorius Augustodunensis
England, probably Durham, ca. 1190
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, MS 66, Part 1
This early map performs an encyclopedic function, bringing together and organizing in a visual compendium a wealth of accumulated geographical knowledge from the Bible, Greek legends, Alexandrian adventure tales, and ancient cosmographies. It organizes the world in terms of centrality and remoteness: the Mediterranean Sea, outlined in green, lies at the center, while Britain (Britannia insula at the lower left corner) and the desert monasteries of Egypt (at the upper right) appear at the outer edges. It includes the Red Sea, divided, in the top right corner; Scylla and Charybdis, the sea monsters of Greek myth, in the Mediterranean; and Paradise, appropriately, at the top.