Above, a fascinating 1867 map by William Hughes featuring the world according to ancient Greek astronomers, poets, historians and geographers. So far, maps were mainly based on an aggregation of facts, without any scientific treatment of geography.
Ptolemy, the Greek mathematician, astronomer, geographer and astrologer, gathered new information and corrected old errors and gave ancient geography its final shape, until the explorations of Columbus and Vasco De Gama. The city of Cattigara, located here in the bottom right corner of the map, is cited by Ptolemy as the southernmost known point. The credit of being the first scientific cartographer has generally assigned to the Greek Anaximander of Miletus (610-547 B. We are not definitely informed as to just the course of improvement or advancement in early scientific map making among the Greeks, yet not a few names are known to us of those who made it a matter of special endeavor, as they specifically stated, to improve the work of their predecessors.
The Greeks developed another idea: the distinction between civilized people and barbarians. Until the late sixth century BCE, the Greeks conceptualized the world as a series of concentric circles. As previously mentioned, many early maps, especially those prior to the advent of mass production printing techniques, are known only through descriptions or references in the literature (having either perished or disappeared). All this is also evident in the history of cartography (a modern term created via a combination of Greek chartes, a€?charta€™, and graphein, a€?writea€™ or a€?drawa€™), that is, the study of maps as a special form of communicating geographic knowledge. It must be said at the outset that we have little contemporary evidence for Greco-Roman maps. It is nonetheless the case that many modern school atlases could not (and cannot) resist the temptation to reconstruct ancient maps by combining modern knowledge about the shape of the eartha€™s landmass with data from ancient texts. This map includes nine maps on a single sheet, each illustrating the geographical views entertained at different periods and as expressed by prominent authorities of the time. No snow is there, nor heavy storm, nor ever rain, but ever does Ocean send up blasts of the shrill-blowing West Wind that they may give cooling to men. Here we see that the world is divided into three continents, Europe, Asia and Libya [Africa], and that the western countries of the Mediterranean have gained some form and proportion.
It is worth noting the superiority of the Ptolemaic system which would come to dominate European cartographic presentation until the discovery of America. There has been considerable debate about the true location of Cattigara, certainly Magellan and the other great navigators failed to identify it, with some attaching the name to Hanoi or South China and others placing it on the shores of South America. Originally, barbaros simply meant a€?babblera€™ and was used to indicate everybody who did not speak Greek.
Greece was surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea (with large islands like Sicily, Italy, and Cyprus); the Mediterranean was surrounded by the three continents, and behind the continents was the Ocean, which surrounded the world disk. Maps are generally two-dimensional representations, often to scale, of portions of the earth's surface.


In the modern world, the nature of communications allows original texts and graphics to be preserved, transmitted and accessed for extended periods of time. Of course, the world of the ancient Greeks centered in the Mediterranean and the Americas were yet to be discovered. Beyond Oceanus in the north, are the Cimmerii, an ancient people of the far north of Europe, described by Homer as the people living in perpetual darkness.
The three important seas, the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Black Sea divide the three continents and the Caspian Sea is noted. He determined latitudes and longitudes based on astronomical observations and developed trigonometry. His map of the World in about AD 160, as well as his two maps of Asia and Europe may be somewhat difficult to understand at first glance, but upon closer examination, correspond to many actual locations and yield some of their secrets.
Be as it may, the Ptolemaic model retained a great deal of influence well into the 16th century until Portuguese and Dutch navigators more fully explored the region. While there is not a detailed description extant of the maps he is reputed to have made, we know that he accepted the so-called Homeric idea, that the earth has the form of a circular disc, and is surrounded by the Ocean Stream, an idea generally approved by the Ionic School of Philosophers.
After the Greek victory in the Persian wars (492-479), the word became pejorative: a barbarian was not only unable to speak Greek, but was inferior as well. Here, one could encounter strange monsters: Homera€™s Odyssey mentions a great variety of them. In the present work, reconstruction of maps no longer extant are used in place of originals or assumed originals. The pre-modern world, on the other hand, had only a series of copies to work with, made over the centuries on organic material.
Europe Asia and Africa (Libya) however were known, leading prominent geographers of the ancient world to adopt the three-part world model a€“ a system that would remain in use until the era of Martin WaldseemA?ller in the early 16th century (Book IV, #310). It is not improbable that we have an allusion to the work of Anaximander in the History of Herodotus (484-400? At that moment, the two ideas had already been combined: the center of the world was inhabited by civilized Greeks, the periphery by barbarians. The edges of the continents were inhabited by savage, monstrous barbarians, the opposites of the civilized Greeks in the middle of the earth. The reconstructions of such maps appear in the correct chronology of the originals, irrespective of the date of the reconstruction.
The process was almost manageable for texts, multiple copies of which could be created by copyist teams working fro dictation.
C.), was the first to attempt a representation of the curved surface of the earth on a plane in accord with geometrical rules. All reconstructions are, to a greater or lesser degree, the product of the compiler and the technology of his times.


But it was not feasible for graphics, the copying of which inevitably led to increasing distortion. There is no evidence for the use of such forms of representation in ancient maps, and this book deliberately presents no such reconstructions.
This mapa€™s most intriguing element is the southward extension of land running along the eastern edge of the map and extending beyond the border. Sherman, for issued as plate 26 in Sheldon and Companya€™s An Atlas of Classical Geography in 1867. Therefore, reconstructions are used here only to illustrate the general geographic concepts of the period in which the lost original map was made. Copies of copies of copies must generally have been very different from the vanished original, hence the scarcity of scholarly, illustrations transmitted from the ancient world.
There is even a temptation to go beyond reconstructions and invent a€” that is, falsify a€” maps from the ancient world. This landmass reflects speculation, inspired by Ptolemy, that the Indian Ocean was landlocked.
Nevertheless, reconstructions of maps which are known to have existed, and which have been made a long time after the missing originals, can be of great interest and utility to scholars. Every generation or so, a new a€?discoverya€™ of such a map is announced, only to be exposed as either a hoax designed to embarrass an individual scholar or scholars in general, or an attempt to make money from an unsuspecting public.
Eratosthenes also calculated the circumference of the Earth using simple geometric relationships. It was believed that this landmass extended far southwards before turning westward and connecting with eastern Africa. In a few words I shall declare the size of each division and of what nature it is as regards outline.a€? It is, however, interesting to observe that the father of historical geography and of history nowhere records his idea of a properly constructed map, and further that the circular form, which he condemned, is one that found wide acceptance even to the close of the middle ages. The possibilities include those for which specific information is available to the compiler and those that are described or merely referred to in the literature.
Though the exploits of Vasco de Gama and Magellan had proven that the Indian Ocean was not fully land locked, it was believed that a large tract of land, possibly even America, attached to Asia west of Malaya.
Of a different order, but also of interest, are those maps made in comparatively recent times that are designed to illustrate the geographical ideas of a particular person or group in the past but are suggested by no known maps. Thus the Great Promontory or Dragona€™s Tail that appeared on many maps of this region well into the 16th century. Strabo based his map on the knowledge of the Roman expeditions in many parts of the known world.



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