Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Brian Jeffrey Maxson

Committee Members

William Douglas Burgess, Thomas Crofts, Daniel Newcomer


In the middle decade of the thirteenth century, the Benedictine monk and historian Matthew Paris drew four regional maps of Britain. The monk's works stand as the earliest extant maps of the island and mark a distinct shift from the cartographic traditions of medieval Europe. Historians have long considered the version attached to the monk's Abbreviatio Chronicorum – the Claudius map – as the last and most thorough of Paris's images of Britain. However, scholars have focused on the document's limitations as an accurate geographic representation and have failed to consider critically Paris's representation of Britain with an eye towards its political implications. This thesis is an examination of the elements of the Claudius map, in context with the monk's historical writings, to argue that Paris's map of Britain should be studied as an aggressive cultural artifact through which the monk posited imperial English claims to suzerainty over the whole of the island.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access


Copyright by the authors.