Walter Map

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Walter Map
Bornc. 1130[1]
Diedbetween May 1208 and September 1210
OccupationClergyman
Writer

Walter Map (Latin: Gualterius Mappus; 1130 – c. 1210) was a medieval writer. He wrote De nugis curialium, which takes the form of a series of anecdotes of people and places, offering insights on the history of his time.

Map was a courtier of King Henry II of England, who sent him on missions to Louis VII of France and to Pope Alexander III. He became the archdeacon of Oxford in 1196.

Life[edit]

Map claimed Welsh origin[2] and to be a man of the Welsh Marches (marchio sum Walensibus);[3] He was probably born in southwestern Herefordshire.[4][1] Medievalist Joshua Byron Smith suggests Map may have commenced his studies at St. Peter's Abbey in Gloucester before continuing at the University of Paris, apparently around 1154 when Gerard la Pucelle was teaching there. Upon his return from France, Map was employed as a clerk by Bishop of Hereford Gilbert Foliot, the former abbot of St. Peter's. When Foliot was translated to the Diocese of London in 1163, Map followed.[1]

He became one of the clerks of the royal household, and by 1173 was an itinerant justice.[5] As a courtier of King Henry II of England, he was sent on missions to Louis VII of France and to Pope Alexander III, and attended the Third Lateran Council in 1179, encountering a delegation of Waldensians.[4] On this journey he stayed with Henry I of Champagne, who was then about to undertake his last journey to the East.

Map held a prebend in the diocese of Lincoln by 1183 and was chancellor of the diocese by 1186.[6] He later became precentor of Lincoln, a canon of St Paul's, London, and of Hereford,[7] and archdeacon of Oxford in 1196.[8]

Map was a candidate to succeed William de Vere as Bishop of Hereford in 1199, but was unsuccessful. He was once more a candidate for a bishopric in 1203, this time as Bishop of St David's, but was once more not chosen. He was still alive on 28 May 1208, but had died by September 1210. His death is commemorated on 1 April at Hereford Cathedral.[8]

Writings[edit]

A man of the world, with a large circle of courtly acquaintances, including Gerald of Wales, "Map had a contemporary reputation as a wit and story teller."[9] His only surviving work, De Nugis Curialium (Trifles of Courtiers) is a collection of anecdotes and trivia, containing court gossip and a little real history, and written in a satirical vein. "In its form hardly more than the undigested reminiscences and notes of a man of the world with a lively sense of humour,..it is, indeed, in some sense a keen satire on the condition of church and state in the writer's own day...of considerable interest; especially noticeable are his accounts of the Templars and Hospitallers, and his sketch of the English court and kings from the reign of William II to his own time."[5]

Along with William of Newburgh, he recorded the earliest stories of English vampires. The French language Prose Lancelot cycle claims him, "Gautier Map," as an author, though this is contradicted by internal evidence; some scholars have suggested he wrote an original, but lost Lancelot romance that was the source for the later cycle. Others say that, since Walter Map's alleged patron was the King of England, it would have been more likely for him to have written an Arthurian tale detailing King Arthur or another “English” hero like Gawain, rather than a French one. Map was alleged to have written a quantity of Goliardic poetry, including the satirical Apocalypse of Golias.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Smith, Joshua Byron. Walter Map and the Matter of Britain, University of Pennsylvania Press. 2017 ISBN 9780812249323
  2. ^ C. N. L. Brooke, "Map, Walter (d. 1209/10)" in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 Paysite
  3. ^ Literally "I am a borderer to the Welsh": Walter Map, De Nugis Curialium distinctio 2 chapter 23
  4. ^ a b Macpherson, Ewan. "Walter Map." The Catholic Encyclopedia Vol. 9. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1910. 16 July 2021 Public Domain This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  5. ^ a b Kingsford, Charles Lethbridge (1893). "Map, Walter". In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography. 36. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  6. ^ British History Online Chancellors of Lincoln accessed on October 28, 2007
  7. ^ British History Online Precentors of Lincoln accessed on October 28, 2007
  8. ^ a b British History Online Archdeacons of Oxford accessed on October 28, 2007
  9. ^ Edwards, Robert R. "Walter Map: Authorship and the Space of Writing". New Literary History, vol. 38, no. 2, 2007, pp. 273–292. JSTOR

References[edit]

  • British History Online Archdeacons of Oxford accessed on October 28, 2007
  • British History Online Chancellors of Lincoln accessed on October 28, 2007
  • British History Online Precentors of Lincoln accessed on October 28, 2007
  • Gransden, Antonia Historical writing in England, c. 550 to c. 1307 (London: Routledge, 1974) pp. 242–244.
  • Map, Walter, and M.R. James and C.N.L. Brooke and R.A.B. Mynors. De Nugis Curialium — Courtiers. 6th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1983.
  • J.B. Smith, Walter Map and the Matter of Britain, Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017
  • G. Candela, L'offerta letteraria del De nugis curialium di Walter Map. L'anatomia dell'opera e la sua proposta estetica nel contesto culturale latino, romanzo e celtico del XII secolo, Palermo, 2019

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainHerbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "Walter Map". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Map, Walter". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

External links[edit]