Jerusalem under Siege: Marino Sanudo’s Map of the Water Supply, 1320

Evelyn Edson

in Imagining Jerusalem in the Medieval West

Published by British Academy

Published in print April 2012 | ISBN: 9780197265048
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191754159 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Jerusalem under Siege: Marino Sanudo’s Map of the Water Supply, 1320

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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The map of Jerusalem, which appeared in 1320 in Marino Sanudo's book, Liber secretorum fidelium crucis, has no obvious precursor, though it draws on textual sources from the works of Josephus to the thirteenth-century description of the Holy Land by Burchard of Mt. Sion. Surrounded by an irregular polygon of walls, the city is mapped in a style similar to the other maps in the book, drawn by the sea-chart maker Pietro Vesconte. These maps emphasize the contemporary, physical reality of an area, the Holy Land, often seen through a romantic veil. Sanudo's book was a plea for the revival of the crusading movement and a programme of practical suggestions for its success. Of special interest on the map is the depiction of the city's water resources, important to future Crusaders.

Keywords: water; Marino Sanudo; Josephus; crusade; crusaders; Pietro Vesconte; maps; Mt. Sion

Chapter.  6682 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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