This article explores the nature and significance of geographical diagrams in medieval commentaries on classical Roman poems. It situates these diagrams within larger conversations about cartographic traditions and the pedagogical contexts for which these diagrams were originally designed. Modern scholars have only begun to address these geographical diagrams in histories of cartography, but not in textual studies. In surveying a range of ninth- to fifteenth-century manuscripts especially of Lucan's poetry, the article uncovers the sources of geographical diagrams that recur in cartography, encyclopedias, and other pedagogical tools, illustrating how medieval academics developed paratexts to shape an extensive program of geographical explication. Geographical diagrams and other textual annotations accompanying classical poems established a distinct pedagogical strand of cartography that served medieval students’ training in Latin composition and understanding of the ancient world.

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