Close-up of Africa from Hereford Mappa Mundi revealing a number of Marvels from Hereford Mappa Mundi (original), c.1280, Hereford Cathedral. This close-up from P. D. A. Harvey, Medieval Maps, (London, The British Library, 1991), fig. 25, p. 33.

Close-up of Africa from Hereford Mappa Mundi revealing a number of Marvels from Hereford Mappa Mundi (original), c.1280, Hereford Cathedral. This close-up from P. D. A. Harvey, Medieval Maps, (London, The British Library, 1991), fig. 25, p. 33.

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One glance at a map developed at the time of the Crusades reveals a map of an alien planet. This world is a flat, circular disc, centred on Jerusalem and populated with the monstrous and the magnificent. The land is distorted, the seas deformed and the rivers displaced. When John Kirkland Wright suggested that, 'It is a mistake to regard accuracy a...