Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Medieval Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Graham

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas Amos

Third Advisor

Dr. Naomi Kline

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The Hereford Mappa Mundi, a thirteenth-century world map, includes mention of fifty-four strange races. Many of the races can be found in three earlier sources: Pliny's Naturalis historia, Solinus's Collectanea rerum memorabilium, and Isidore's Etymologiae. By comparison to these three sources, the works used by the author of the map will be made clear.

This study provides an edition of all the inscriptions relating to these races, and compares them to excerpts relating to the races from the three above sources, as well as St. Augustine's De civitate Dei and Pomponius Mela's De chorographia. Translations of all excerpts are included in each entry. A brief commentary follows each entry, pointing out similarities, important omissions, and other significant facts, as well as indicating the context of the race on the map.

Finally, the study proves that, while Solinus's Collectanea was the author's most important source for information on the strange races, both Isidore's Etymologiae and contemporary literature influenced the variety and depiction of the strange races on the Hereford Mappa Mundi.