The world maps

In times when the stories created the base for knowing and naming the world, the world maps acted as visual compendium of knowledge. In the Middle Ages, the particular genre was distinguished: mappa mundi – world maps. Mappa mundi The earliest version of it was the O-T (orbis terrarum) map. It was based on the…

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Tympanum at Vézelay

Today, I will tell you about the sculptural decoration of the tympanum at Vézelay. But first a few words of introduction. The functioning of the Romanesque sculpture was closely related to architecture. It decorated portals, jambs, archivolts, lintels and sometimes spilled over the entire facade. Inside the building, it focused on columns, accumulated on capitals,…

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Mirabilia

I have recently focused here on describing images of monstrous human races in order to understand the mechanism of creating an image of other in European culture. In previous entries, I summarized how the ancient Greeks and Romans perceived the inhabitants of distant lands and how this influenced knowledge developed in the Middle Ages. Today’s…

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Monstrous races & christianity

After a short overview of ancient texts describing the inhabitants of inaccessible lands, it is time for medieval authors. The knowledge of the world developed in antiquity penetrated the imagination of Christian writers. On the one hand, they rejected everything that was associated with pagan practices, but they remained faithful to the belief that monstrous…

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