Medieval Practices of Space

A glance at medieval maps tells us that cartographers of the Middle Ages divided space differently than we do today. In the great mappae mundi, for instance, Jerusalem takes center stage, with an image of the crucified Christ separating one place from another. The architects of medieval cathedrals manipulated space to clarify the roles and status of anyone who crossed the threshold. Even in the most everyday context, space was allotted according to gender and class and was freighted with infinitely subtle and various meanings. The contributors to this volume cross disciplinary and theoretical boundaries to read the words, metaphors, images, signs, poetic illusions, and identities with which medieval men and women used space or place to add meaning to the world.