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T-in-O Maps

  • By: Thomas O'Loughlin
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The label T-in-O maps, or simply “T-O maps,” is the modern name given to a simple world map found in a variety of sources during the Middle Ages. They appear as explicit graphics (i.e., diagrams made with circles and straight lines with names attached), as the structure underlying far more complex maps (e.g., the Hereford mappa mundi has one as its underlying structure for the continental landmasses), and as symbolic representations of the earthly, human, sublunar world (e.g., it inspired the “royal orb” that is or was part of the regalia of European royalty, and in that form, it can be found linked to many Christian statues). In form, the T-O map is a circle with its horizontal diameter marked and with a radius ...

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