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Rethinking The Peutinger Map

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Chapter Summary

The Peutinger map is a map of the inhabited world from Britain to Sri Lanka, drawn c. 1200 C.E. onto a parchment roll nearly seven meters long and 32 to 34 centimeters high. Carolingian rulers had ample motivation for commissioning a map to display their Roman imperial ambitions, while ninth-century scribes had the expertise and resources necessary for creating an antiquarian work based on Roman itinerary lists. This chapter extends that argument by highlighting the probable site for the production of both the Carolingian original and its extant &t;copy,&t; our Peutinger map. It begins with a few words about Roman and early medieval world maps. Reichenau, a Benedictine monastery in southern Germany, was one of the great centers of the Carolingian renaissance. The Reichenau scriptorium nurtured the Benedictine passion for manuscript production as a meditative activity that cared for the soul even as it produced valuable and often beautiful texts.

Keywords: Carolingian; Peutinger map; Reichenau scriptorium



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