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Terrarum Orbis (TO 15)
K. Kogman-Appel
Catalan Maps and Jewish Books
The Intellectual Profile of Elisha ben Abraham Cresques (1325-1387)

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358 p., 122 colour ill., 210 x 270 mm, 2020
ISBN: 978-2-503-58548-2
Languages: English
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Retail price: EUR 130,00 excl. tax
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This books describes the life of Elisa ben Abraham Cresques, known to many as the author of the Catalan Atlas, and focuses on the Jewish aspects of his fascinating career, his professional profile, and his scholarship.

This book presents a small chapter in the intellectual history of the Jews of Majorca. Its key figure is Elisha ben Abraham Bevenisti Cresques (1325–1387) a cartographer in the service of King Peter IV of Aragon and a scribe and illuminator of Hebrew books. Elisha Cresques’ career evolves at a point in time when some of the most fascinating threads of methodological interests relevant to intellectual history meet. He emerges as a hub, so to speak, where mapmaking converged with scribal work, miniature painting with scientific knowledge, and the culture of a minority with that of the majority. How he was able to negotiate his patron’s expectations and his own cultural identity and frame them within the political, cultural, and religious discourses of his time is the subject of this book.

Katrin Kogman-Appel holds an Alexander von Humboldt Professorship in Jewish Studies (2015–2020), which she took up at the University of Münster. A scholar of medieval Jewish book culture, she is the author of Illuminated Haggadot from Medieval Spain (2007), which won the Premio del Rey Prize of the American Historical Association in 2009. Her A Mahzor from Worms (2012) was a finalist of the National Jewish Book Award.

Table of Contents
Preface
List of Illustrations
Introduction
1  Book Art for the Jewish Call – Charts for the Court
2 Collecting Books
3 Visualizing the Ecumene at Large
4 Filling in the Details
5 Political Space Between the Baltic Sea, the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
6 Imaging Islam in Africa and the Middle East
7 The Mongol Khanates
8 Mythical Space: Past and Future
Epilogue
Bibliography and Sources
Index
Review

« Avec son livre sur Elisha ben Abraham Cresques, Katrin Kogman- Appel a réussi la difficile gageure de recréer le milieu intellectuel et religieux de ce juif de Majorque, homme religieux, homme de cour, savant, calligraphe, enlumineur, cartographe, et au-delà de lui de tout un monde soumis à des influences non seulement juives, mais aussi chrétiennes et musulmanes, qui lui ont permis de réaliser ces oeuvres qui nous étonnent encore. » (Jacques Paviot, in Francia-Recensio, 3, 2021)

“Scholars will return to the chapters of this book for years to come, and although it is written for an academic audience and fulfills the highest standards in that regard, its arguments deserve to be brough to the wider public.” (Matthew J. Westerby, in The Medieval Review, 21.12.10)



 

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Judaism
Medieval & Renaissance History (c.400-1500)
Medieval European history (400-1500) : main subdisciplines
Cultural & intellectual history
Medieval History (400-1500) : subperiods
Modern History (1501 to the present)
Modern history (1801 to present) : auxiliary sciences & methodology
Geography & cartography

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