Yet I am not wholly convinced that the hermaphrodite of the Hereford Map is really linked to this polemic depiction of non-Christians; the turban is a marker of exoticism but in my view is a loose link, but not much more.
Yet whether or not the turban makes the hermaphrodite ‘Muslim’, the question is what ‘unnatural’ means in this context.
This parlance, and the telling silence, suggest that Bevan associated hermaphroditism with deviant sexuality, although one should also remember that sometimes references to hermaphrodites were suppressed in Victorian editions and translations of historical sources where there was not even a hint to ‘unnatural’ – or natural, for that matter – sexuality (see https://intersex.hypotheses.org/60).
This in my interpretation suggests that not only were hermaphrodites associated with sodomy in the 19th century, but that binary notions of bodily sex at this time were seen as so important that any obvious violation of a strictly binary system in itself was problematized, and hence suppressed.
Less speculative is how this text was understood in the nineteenth century.
Of course, ‘unnatural’ still was used in many ways, but in Victorian England (and I think elsewhere too), in the context of hermaphrodites it was indeed read as a reference to deviant sexuality.
Pages 90-144An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Herefordshire, Volume 1, South west. The White Cross, outside the town, may also be noted. Some of the carved work in the presbytery was apparently executed in Ketton or some kindred stone. transept is in Purbeck marble and the modern shafts are in slate. The Saxon See, subsequently called Hereford, was probably due to the reorganisation of the English Church by Archbishop Theodore late in the 7th century, but the precise date of its establishment is uncertain. of (46), is of three storeys with cellars; the walls are timber-framed with a brick front of 1745, and the roofs are covered with slates. Inside the building is some original panelling and some of the rooms are lined with 18th-century panelling. The original staircase has moulded strings with jewel-ornament and square newels with pendants; the balusters and rails are an 18th-century renewal; the soffits are plastered and have oval panels with cross-shaped enrichments; over the landing is a lozenge-shaped panel with cherub-heads.
There is indeed a long tradition of describing (and depicting) non-Christians as sexually deviant and effeminate, and it is also true that Othering often meant conflating various traditions (Mittman 2012, 96: ‘exotic Others were fluidly conflated’).More specifically, in the Middle Ages ‘unnatural’ was not normally used to describe sodomy, at least not in legal sources (see Puff 2004 for a valuable discussion).This makes it somewhat speculative how medieval readers understood the legend on the Hereford Map.of the line of the Lady Chapel crypt and includes the pair of vaulting-shafts in that position. of (43), is of two storeys, timber-framed and with slate roofs. It was built early in the 17th century and retains some original ceiling-beams and moulded panelling.
The next alteration was the addition of the existing . Towards the middle of the 13th century the clearstorey of the presbytery was re-built and the upper part of the two eastern towers destroyed; at the same time the existing vault of the presbytery was built. of (40), is of three storeys with attics and cellars; the walls are of timber-framing and brick, and the roofs are covered with slates. of (41), is of three storeys with attics; the walls are timber-framed with a re-built brick front, and the roofs are covered with slates. of (42), is of two storeys, timber-framed and with a tiled roof. It was built probably early in the 17th century, but the front dates from the 18th century. The later alterations and additions to the Cathedral are mostly dated by the practice of burying the bishop or other person responsible for the work in or near the work for which he was responsible. walls of the towers were carried on arches over the aisles, and of these the cutting back of the broad respond on the first pier of the N. It was built early in the 17th century and has an early 18th-century wing at the back. It was built late in the 17th century but has been altered late in the 18th century. It was built probably late in the 15th century and has exposed timber-framing in front and two gables; the bargeboards of the W. Inside the building, is an original moulded ceiling-beam.