Asa Simon Mittman deposited England is the World and the World is England in the group Medieval Art on Humanities Commons 3 years, 6 months ago
Medieval Christians arguably lived in a ‘real’ world – a tangible place in which they lived, worked, loved, hated, and died – but through a process of worldbuilding continually reconstructed it anew around themselves as the mythical land they called ‘Christendom.’ This was predicated first on reconceptualizing and then ultimately on removing (or attempting to remove) the non-Christians in their midst. In twelfth- and thirteenth-century England, Jews were the prime focus of such efforts, demonized and monsterized, and then expelled en masse. Still, it seems that every work
that seeks to reconstruct England by othering Jews also undercuts its efforts by collapsing differences in time and space, so that England becomes everywhere, and the present moment becomes everywhen. This brief essay will consist of a whirlwind tour through the Hereford Map, tracing various vectors along its buckling surface, to and from that small, marginalized protuberance at the lower-left corner of creation – Britain.