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New Perspectives On Paradise—The Levels Of Reality In Byzantine And Latin Medieval Maps

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Chapter Summary

This chapter concentrates on certain aspects of the depiction and description of Paradise during Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages which seem to be illustrative of a particular perception of reality and space. The principal focus is on the map of the world in the Christian Topography and in the Commentary on the Apocalypse of Beatus of Liebana. The original manuscript of the Christian Topography is not preserved. There are three Byzantine copies extant, dated to the ninth (Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, Cod. Gr. 699) and eleventh centuries (Sinai, Saint Catherine Monastery, Cod. Gr. 1186; Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Cod. Plut. IX.28). The Commentary on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liebana, composed around 776, provides an interesting comparison to the treatise of Cosmas. The maps of both Cosmas and Beatus seem to be based on a combination of ancient geographical traditions and Biblical interpretation.

Keywords: ancient geographical traditions; Beatus? maps; Biblical interpretation; Christian topography; Cosmas? map



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