By Walker Womack
The issue of just how one is supposed to represent the near-spherical, three-dimensional world on a quite flat, planar surface—that is, a map—has led, naturally, to debate, some of a particularly nasty nature.
Proponents of the Mercator say their map is practical and easily implemented, while those of the Galls-Peter cry foul, claiming the inflations produced by the Mercator carry unfortunate political implications as to the significance, or lack thereof, of equatorial countries.
This Bunting clover leaf map is an ultra stylized version of the T and O map ideal, which places the Holy City of Jerusalem at the center of the world, which in turn makes Europe, Asia and Africa into arms of that city.
All of this is rubbish. For, although the muse and poet Madonna might have put forth that we are living in a material world, in truth we reside within a dualistic cosmos of a harmonious and ordered nature wherein that which we touch and behold carries spiritual and metaphorical significance.
Quite clearly, then, it is the projection put forth by Beatus of Liebana—elsewhere called the “T and O map” after its general shape—that must be reproduced and used by people everywhere, for it correctly illustrates the Holy City of Jerusalem as lying at the center of the globe—thus indicating that spiritual matters ought to occupy the center of man’s attention.
For that seemly city—which has been deemed sacred by Jew, Christian and Muslim alike—has been home to more amazing and sundry marvels than of any city in the world, even more indeed than in Rome the divine, that imperial city which in ancient times did hold sway over all the nations of the earth; more also than in Alexandria, built by the very hands of that prince of men, Alexander of Macedonia; even more, methinks, than in Nyse, that golden city on the Isle of Pentexoire in which resideth and ruleth that great emperor Prester John in magnificence and resplendor.
On the periphery of the map, the three great continents—Asia, Europa, and Africa, whom, in ancient times, the founders of the nations divided amongst themselves to rule and govern as they saw fit—reflects the threefold divisions we find in nature—for who can dispute that which hath been so plainly demonstrated by Plato, who divided even the soul into three parts?
Moreover, displaying only one half of the world improves upon the messiness created by having to deal with seven continents, although the seemliness of that number is right noble indeed.
And be as it may that such a map as Beatus did put forth might cause difficulties in petty matters such as navigation, or the indication of the boundaries drawn by men, these things are trifles beneath those contemplative and spiritual benefits that could be reaped instead.