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
List of Illustrations
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
Bibliography and Sources
You can purchase the book here.