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DESCRIPTION: This 'atlas' was the work of a family of Catalonian Jews who worked in Majorca at the end of the 14th century and was commissioned by Charles V of France at a time when the reputation of the Catalan chart makers was at its peak. The title of the Atlas shows clearly the spirit in which it was executed and its content: Mappamundi, that is to say, image of the world and of the regions which are on the earth and of the various kinds of peoples which inhabit it. Today the original Catalan Atlas can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and has now assumed the form of seven loose wooden panels of which five inside ones bear one half of a sheet of the Atlas on each side, while the two outer ones consist of one side that bears a half sheet of the Atlas and one half of the binding on the other side.a€?The first of the two preliminary sheets deals with the days of the month from the first to the thirtieth. The Catalan Atlas is actually a world map built up around a portolan chart, thus combining aspects of the nautical chart by employing loxodromes and coastal detail with the medieval mappaemundi exemplified by its legends and illustrations. We know in unusual detail the circumstances in which the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (the date of the calendar which accompanies it) was produced and the career of the cartographer who compiled it. The patrons of Cresques, King Peter III of Aragon and his son, in addition to their scientific interests, were keenly interested in reports of Eastern lands, in relation to their forward economic policy, and were at special pains to secure manuscript copies of Marco Polo's Description of the World, the travels of Odoric of Pordenone Description of Eastern Regions and, what may surprise the modern reader, the Voiage of Sir John Mandeville. In the interior the position, extent, chief divisions, towns and rivers of China and the Mongol Empire are approximately represented. On the southern portion of the Cathay coast, the general uniformity of the coast is broken by three bays, and it is significant that these are associated with three great ports, Zayton [near Changchow], Cansay [Hangchow, better known in medieval records as Quinsay ] and Cincolam [Canton]. Quite a number of harbors are indicated on the eastern coast of India, a few of them still identifiable, while a sailing junk testifies to trading activity, especially with the island of Iana (?), which is here associated with the legendary isle of the Amazons (regio femarum [sic]) and symbolized by its queen. In mainland India, King Stephen has been represented: the text beside him indicates that this Christian ruler is a€?looking towards the town of Butifilis,a€? Marco Polo's kingdom of Mutifilis. The people of Gog and Magog following their monarch, bearing banners with the emblem of the devil, detail of the map of Asia. Sources other than those embodied in Polo have also been used for the portion of the Indian Ocean included in the map.
If the map is stripped of its legends and drawings of the older tradition, it is apparent that the main interest of the compiler is concentrated in a central strip across Asia. In the west is the Organci [Oxus] river shown, as on most contemporary maps, flowing into the Caspian, and alongside it the early stages of the traditionally used overland route, from Urganj [the medieval Khiva] through Bokhara and Samarcand to the sources of the river in the mountains of Amol, on the eastern limits of Persia. This description, with several omissions, was in outline the route followed by Maffeo and Nicolo Polo (Marco Polo's father and uncle) on their journey to the Great Khan's court.
Scarcely less valuable, and certainly of special interest for the student of geographical theory, are the Catalan speculations concerning the unexplored territories of the earth. Hardly any place on the west coast of Africa is identified only one name, perhaps a mythical spot, is found south of Cape Bojador in the former Spanish Sahara, but we are told that Africa, land of ivory, starts at this point and that by traveling due south one reaches Ethiopia. East of the Sultan of Mali appears the King of Organa, in turban and blue dress, holding an oriental sword and a shield.
In northeast Africa, a knowledge of the Nile valley as far south as Dongala, where there was a Catholic mission early in the 14th century, is apparent. On one matter, however, the mapmaker Cresques could hardly refrain from speculating, for the following reason: land exploration had, for a long time now, outrun oceanic discovery, and so, concerning Africa, much more was known of the Sudan by the end of the 14th century than was known of the oceanic fringe area in the same latitudes.
In Asia the Red Sea stands out, being shown as red, a characteristic that derives, we are told less from the color of the water than from that of the sea bed.
Moslem traders from cities along the Barbary Coast of North Africa began to cross the Sahara in the Middle Ages in an effort to bring back gold, rumored to be in great supply in the Sudan.
Within the means of cartographic representations on this Atlas there appears to be no specialities, those symbols and other graphics used by Cresques correspond to those commonly used in the Middle Ages. The compiler of the prototype used by Cresques for the Catalan Atlas had recourse to different, sometimes even contradictory sources. In summary, the merit of the Catalan Atlas lay in the skill with which Cresques employed the best available contemporary sources to modify the traditional world picture, never proceeding further than the evidence warranted. Today the original Catalan Atlas can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and has now assumed the form of seven loose wooden panels of which five inside ones bear one half of a sheet of the Atlas on each side, while the two outer ones consist of one side that bears a half sheet of the Atlas and one half of the binding on the other side.The first of the two preliminary sheets deals with the days of the month from the first to the thirtieth.
As a response to this interest, Cresques extended his chart to include all that was then known of Asia, notably from Marco Polo's narrative.
This town [Beijing] has an extent of 24 miles, is surrounded by a very thick outer wall and has a square ground plan.
The description emphasizes the richness and urbanity of the Chinese capital at the edge of the civilized world. To the north is Catayo, the Great Khan and his capital of Chanbaleth; to the south Manji, with its great cities of Zayton and Cansay. Some of these monographs may be thought of as an anthology of maps, which, like all anthologies, reflects the taste and predilection of the collector. Cartography, like architecture, has attributes of both a scientific and an artistic pursuit, a dichotomy that is certainly not satisfactorily reconciled in all presentations.
The significance of maps - and much of their meaning in the past - derives from the fact that people make them to tell other people about the places or space they have experienced. It is assumed that cartography, like art, pre-dates writing; like pictures, map symbols are apt to be more universally understood than verbal or written ones. 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).
Many libraries and collections were not in the habit of preserving maps that they considered a€?obsoletea€? and simply discarded them. A series of maps of one region, arranged in chronological order, can show vividly how it was discovered, explored by travelers and described in detail; this may be seen in facsimile atlases like those of America (K. As mediators between an inner mental world and an outer physical world, maps are fundamental tools helping the human mind make sense of its universe at various scales.
The history of cartography represents more than a technical and practical history of the artifacts. The only evidence we have for the mapmaking inclinations and talents of the inhabitants of Europe and adjacent parts of the Middle East and North Africa during the prehistoric period is the markings and designs on relatively indestructible materials. Although some questions will always remain unanswered, there can be no doubt that prehistoric rock and mobiliary art as a whole constitutes a major testimony of early mana€™s expression of himself and his world view.
Despite the richness of civilization in ancient Babylonia and the recovery of whole archives and libraries, a mere handful of Babylonian maps have so far been found.
Egypt, which exercised so strong an influence on the ancient civilizations of southeast Europe and the Near East, has left us no more numerous cartographic documents than her neighbor Babylonia. In so far as cartography was concerned, perhaps the greatest extant Egyptian achievement is represented by the Turin Papyrus, collected by Bernardino Drovetti before 1824 (see monograph #102) .
In so far as cartography was concerned, perhaps the greatest extent that Egyptian achievement is represented is by the Turin Papyrus, collected by Bernardino Drovetti before 1824 (#102).
It has often been remarked that the Greek contribution to cartography lay in the speculative and theoretical realms rather than in the practical realm, and nowhere is this truer than in the Archaic and Classical Period. To the Arab countries belongs chief credit for keeping alive an interest in astronomical studies during the so-called Christian middle ages, and we find them interested in globe construction, that is, in celestial globe construction; so far as we have knowledge, it seems doubtful that they undertook the construction of terrestrial globes.
Among the Christian peoples of Europe in this same period there was not wanting an interest in both geography and astronomy. Above the convex surface of the earth (ki-a) spread the sky (ana), itself divided into two regions - the highest heaven or firmament, which, with the fixed stars immovably attached to it, revolved, as round an axis or pivot, around an immensely high mountain, which joined it to the earth as a pillar, and was situated somewhere in the far North-East, some say North, and the lower heaven, where the planets - a sort of resplendent animals, seven in number, of beneficent nature - wandered forever on their appointed path.
Now, it is remarkable that the Greeks, adopting the earlier Chaldean ideas concerning the sphericity of the earth, believed also in the circumfluent ocean; but they appear to have removed its position from latitudes encircling the Arctic regions to a latitude in close proximity to the equator. Notwithstanding this encroachment of the external ocean - encroachment which may have obliterated indications of a certain northern portion of Australia, and which certainly filled those regions with the great earth - surrounding river Okeanos - the traditions relating to the existence of an island, of immense extent, beyond the known world, were kept up, for they pervade the writings of many of the authors of antiquity.
In a fragment of the works of Theopompus, preserved by Aelian, is the account of a conversation between Silenus and Midas, King of Phrygia, in which the former says that Europe, Asia, and Africa were lands surrounded by the sea; but that beyond this known world was another island, of immense extent, of which he gives a description. Theopompus declareth that Midas, the Phrygian, and Selenus were knit in familiaritie and acquaintance. The side of the boat curves inwards, so that when reversed the figure of it would be like an orange with a slice taken off the top, and then set on its flat side. Comparing these early notions, as to the shape and extent of the habitable world, with the later ideas which limited the habitable portion of the globe to the equatorial regions, we may surmise how it came to pass that islands--to say nothing of continents which could not be represented for want of space - belonging to the southern hemisphere were set down as belonging to the northern hemisphere. We have no positive proof of this having been done at a very early period, as the earlier globes and maps have all disappeared; but we may safely conjecture as much, judging from copies that have been handed down. Early maps of the world, as distinguished from globes, take us back to a somewhat more remote period; they all bear most of the disproportions of the Ptolemaic geography, for none belonging to the pre-Ptolemaic period are known to exist. We have seen that, according to the earliest geographical notions, the habitable world was represented as having the shape of an inverted round boat, with a broad river or ocean flowing all round its rim, beyond which opened out the Abyss or bottomless pit, which was beneath the habitable crust. The description is sufficiently clear, and there is no mistaking its general sense, the only point that needs elucidation being that which refers to the position of the earth or globe as viewed by the spectator.
Our modern notions and our way of looking at a terrestrial globe or map with the north at the top, would lead us to conclude that the abyss or bottomless pit of the inverted Chaldean boat, the Hades and Tartaros of the Greek conception, should be situated to the south, somewhere in the Antarctic regions.
The internal evidence of the Poems points to a northern as well as a southern location for the entrance to the infernal regions. Another probable source of information: The Phoinikes of Homer are the same Phoenicians who as pilots of King Solomona€™s fleets brought gold and silver, ivory, apes and peacocks from Asia beyond the Ganges and the East Indian islands. European mariners and geographers of the Homeric period considered the bearing of land and sea only in connection with the rising and setting of the sun and with the four winds Boreas, Euros, Notos, and Sephuros.
These mariners and geographers adopted the plan - an arbitrary one - of considering the earth as having the north above and the south below, and, after globes or maps had been constructed with the north at the top, and this method had been handed down to us, we took for granted that it had obtained universally and in all times.
Such has not been the case, for the earliest navigators, the Phoenicians, the Arabs, the Chinese, and perhaps all Asiatic nations, considered the south to be above and the north below. It is strange that some historians, in pointing out so cleverly that the Chaldean conception was more in accordance with the true doctrine concerning the form of the globe than had been suspected, fails, at the same time, to notice that Homer in his brain-map reversed the Chaldean terrestrial globe and placed the north at the top.
During the middle ages, we shall see a reversion take place, and the terrestrial paradise and heavenly paradise placed according to the earlier Chaldean notions; and on maps of this epoch, encircling the known world from the North Pole to the equator, flows the antic Ocean, which in days of yore encircled the infernal regions.
At a later period, during which planispheric maps, showing one hemisphere of the world, may have been constructed, the circumfluent ocean must have encircled the world as represented by the geographical exponents of the time being; albeit in a totally different way than expressed in the Shumiro-Accadian records.
It follows from all this that, as mariners did actually traverse those regions and penetrate south of the equator, the islands they visited most, such as Java, its eastern prolongation of islands, Sumbawa, etc., were believed to be in the northern hemisphere, and were consequently placed there by geographers, as the earliest maps of the various editions of Ptolemya€™s Geography bear witness.
These mistakes were the result doubtless of an erroneous interpretation of information received; and the most likely period during which cognizance of these islands was obtained was when Alexandria was the center of the Eastern and Western commerce of the world. But to return to the earlier Pre-Ptolemaic period and to form an idea of the chances of information which the traffic carried on in the Indian Ocean may have offered to the Greeks and Romans, here is what Antonio Galvano, Governor of Ternate says in 1555, quoting Strabo and Pliny (Strabo, lib. Now as the above articles of commerce, mentioned by Strabo and Pliny, after leaving their original ports in Asia and Austral-Asia, were conveyed from one island to another, any information, when sought for, concerning the location of the islands from which the spices came, must necessarily have been of a very unreliable character, for the different islands at which any stay was made were invariably confounded with those from which the spices originally came. From these facts, and many others, such as the positions given to the Mountain of the East or North-East of the Shumiro-Accads, the Mountain of the South, or Southwest, of Homer, and the Infernal Regions, we may conclude that the North Pole of the Ancients was situated somewhere in the neighborhood of the Sea of Okhotsk.
It is in the Classical Period of Greek cartography that we can start to trace a continuous tradition of theoretical concepts about the size and shape of the earth.
Likewise, it should be emphasized that the vast majority of our knowledge about Greek cartography in this early period is known primarily only from second- or third-hand accounts.
There is no complete break between the development of cartography in Classical and in Hellenistic Greece. In spite of these speculations, however, Greek cartography might have remained largely the province of philosophy had it not been for a vigorous and parallel growth of empirical knowledge. That such a change should occur is due both to political and military factors and to cultural developments within Greek society as a whole. The librarians not only brought together existing texts, they corrected them for publication, listed them in descriptive catalogs, and tried to keep them up to date.
The other great factor underlying the increasing realism of maps of the inhabited world in the Hellenistic Period was the expansion of the Greek world through conquest and discovery, with a consequent acquisition of new geographical knowledge. Among the contemporaries of Alexander was Pytheas, a navigator and astronomer from Massalia [Marseilles], who as a private citizen embarked upon an exploration of the oceanic coasts of Western Europe. As exemplified by the journeys of Alexander and Pytheas, the combination of theoretical knowledge with direct observation and the fruits of extensive travel gradually provided new data for the compilation of world maps. The importance of the Hellenistic Period in the history of ancient world cartography, however, has been clearly established. In the history of geographical (or terrestrial) mapping, the great practical step forward during this period was to locate the inhabited world exactly on the terrestrial globe.
Thus it was at various scales of mapping, from the purely local to the representation of the cosmos, that the Greeks of the Hellenistic Period enhanced and then disseminated a knowledge of maps. The Roman Republic offers a good case for continuing to treat the Greek contribution to mapping as a separate strand in the history of classical cartography.
The remarkable influence of Ptolemy on the development of European, Arabic, and ultimately world cartography can hardly be denied. Notwithstanding his immense importance in the study of the history of cartography, Ptolemy remains in many respects a complicated figure to assess. Still the culmination of Greek cartographic thought is seen in the work of Claudius Ptolemy, who worked within the framework of the early Roman Empire. When we turn to Roman cartography, it has been shown that by the end of the Augustan era many of its essential characteristics were already in existence. In the course of the early empire large-scale maps were harnessed to a number of clearly defined aspects of everyday life.
Maps in the period of the decline of the empire and its sequel in the Byzantine civilization were of course greatly influenced by Christianity. Continuity between the classical period and succeeding ages was interrupted, and there was disruption of the old way of life with its technological achievements, which also involved mapmaking. The Byzantine Empire, though providing essential links in the chain, remains something of an enigma for the history of the long-term transmission of cartographic knowledge from the ancient to the modern world. It may be necessary to emphasize that the ancient Greek maps shown in this volume are a€?reconstructionsa€? by modern scholars based upon the textual descriptions of the general outline of the geographical systems formed by each of the successive Greek writers so far as it is possible to extract these from their writings alone. China is Asiaa€™s oldest civilization, and the center from which cultural disciplines spread to the rest of the continent. An ancient wooden map discovered by Chinese archaeologists in northwest China's Gansu Province has been confirmed as the country's oldest one at an age of more than 2,200. The map of Guixian was unearthed from tombs of the Qin Kingdom at Fangmatan in Tianshui City of Gansu Province in 1986 and was listed as a national treasure in 1994.
Unlike modern maps, place names on these maps were written within big or small square frames, while the names of rivers, roads, major mountains, water systems and forested areas were marked directly with Chinese characters.
Whoever sets out to write on the history of geography in China faces a quandary, however, for while it is indispensable to give the reader some appreciation of the immense mass of literature which Chinese scholars have produced on the subject, it is necessary to avoid the tedium of listing names of authors and books, some of which indeed have long been lost. As for the ideas about the shape of the earth current in ancient Chinese thought, the prevailing belief was that the heavens were round and the earth square. The following attempts to compare rather carefully the parallel march of scientific geography in the West and in China.
King Charles requested this map from Peter of Aragon, patron of the best Majorcan mapmaker of the time: Abraham Cresques.
Originally the Catalan Atlas consisted of six large wooden panels that were covered with parchment on one side. To the right, from top to bottom, is a diagram of the tides; another lists the movable feasts, and a third drawing represents a blood-letting figure. The result is that the Atlas represents a transitionary step towards the world maps developed later during the Renaissance, especially by its extensive application of contemporary geographical knowledge and ambitious scope. Although the sailors were used to plainer charts whose importance lay principally in their utility and accuracy, even ordinary marine charts begin to follow the Catalan tradition with regards to their use of standardized color patterns.
When in 1381 the envoy of the French king asked King Peter of Aragon for a copy of the latest world map (proof in itself that the reputation of the Catalan school had been widely recognized) he was given this example, which has been preserved in Paris ever since.
For the first time in medieval cartography this continent assumed a recognizable form, with one or two notable exceptions. From west to east, the main divisions of the Mongol territory include the Empire of Sarra [the Kipchak Khanate], the Empire of Medeia [the Chagtai Khanate of the middle], and the suzerain empire of the Great Khan, Catayo [China].
Each side has a length of six miles, the wall is 20 paces high and lo paces thick, has 12 gateways and a large tower, in which hangs a great bell, which rings at the hour of first sleep or earlier. The vertical waterway is the Grand Canal built by Kublai from Manji to Cambulac; below are the 7548 islands, rich in all manner of spicery, placed by Marco in the Sea of Chin.
Of these, Canton is not mentioned by Marco Polo; it was, however, much frequented by Arab navigators and traders, upon whose reports the compiler was probably drawing. Yule points out that Kao-li was the name given for Korea, and he therefore considers that the island Cresques depicts here represents confused notions about both the Korean peninsula and Japan; otherwise there is no obvious graphic reference or hint of Zipangu [Japan].
The first is difficult to explain; to make up for it the cartographer has inserted a great island of Jana [Java], which however was probably intended for Sumatra. The notion that there were Christian rulers east of the Islamic world stems largely from the legend of Prester John; also important, however, were the real Christian minorities in India and the fact that the tomb of Saint Thomas was thought to be in Mailapore, a suburb of Madras, the Mirapore of the map.
And it sometimes happens though rarely, that the widow of the dead man throws herself into the flames,a€? a practice that recalls widow-burning (sutti) of India.
There we are told that Satan came to his aid and helped him to imprison the Tartars Gog and Magog.
The Persian Gulf, extending almost due west, has an outline similar to that on the Dulcert map, but is otherwise superior to any earlier map. Herein lies a succession of physical features: mountains, rivers, lakes and towns with corrupt but recognizable forms of their medieval names as given in the narratives of the great travelers of the 13th century. It is also possible to discern traces of their second journey, accompanied by Marco, in which they employed the 'south road' of the silk route, and, except for a detour through Ormis at the bottom of the Persian Gulf, ran from Trebizond through Eri [Herat], Badakshan, and along the southern edge of the Tarim basin from Khotan to the city of Lop. Unlike many classical and fellow medieval scholars, the draftsman of Majorca showed praiseworthy restraint in this respect. For here, as is often the case in other maps of the period, the cartographer compensated for the dearth of known geographical points by including historical facts. The delineation of the Nile river system is vitiated, however, by the conception that it flowed from a great lake in the Guinea region, Lacus Nili. As previously mentioned, the early draftsmen insisted upon cutting the continent short just beyond the limit of coastal knowledge, that is, in the vicinity of Cape Bojador. It is cut in two by a land passage, a conventional allusion to Moses' miraculous crossing (Exodus, 14:2122).
Between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea appears the King of Tauris [Tabriz] and north of him Jani-Beg, ruler of the kingdom of the Golden Horde, who died in 1357.
Stories reached 14th century Europe of the splendor of Mansa Musa, ruler of the Mali and lord of Guinea, one of the reputed richest of the 'Negro Kingdoms' of the Sudan, whose pilgrimage to Mecca created a sensation in 1324. However, there are great differences to be observed between what is labeled by some the a€?portolano sectiona€? (sheets 3 and 4, Europe and North Africa) and the rest of the map sheets. The legendary Insula de Brazil, for example, which is found on various medieval maps of the North Atlantic and later gave its name to Brazil, is shown here twice, once west of Ireland and a second time farther south. Elsewhere, however, the weight of received opinion is still felt, as, for example, in the various islands with fabulous names; they cannot represent the Madeiran group, as these islands were discovered only in 1418-1419.
In the same spirit he removed from the map many of the traditional fables which had been accepted for centuries, and preferred to omit the northern and southern regions entirely, or to leave southern Africa blank rather than fill it with the anthropagi and other monsters which adorn the bulk of medieval maps.
This contrasts strongly with the people of the islands farther east who are described as savages living naked, eating raw fish, and drinking sea water.
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It may also be likened to a book of reproductions of works of art, in the sense that the illustrations, even with the accompanying commentary, cannot really do justice to the originals. A knowledge of maps and their contents is not automatic - it has to be learned; and it is important for educated people to know about maps even though they may not be called upon to make them.
Some maps are successful in their display of material but are scientifically barren, while in others an important message may be obscured because of the poverty of presentation. Maps constitute a specialized graphic language, an instrument of communication that has influenced behavioral characteristics and the social life of humanity throughout history. Maps produced by contemporary primitive peoples have been likened to so-called prehistoric maps. In earlier times these maps were considered to be ephemeral material, like newspapers and pamphlets, and large wall-maps received particularly careless treatment because they were difficult to store.
When, in 1918, a mosaic floor was discovered in the ancient TransJordanian church of Madaba showing a map of Palestine, Syria and part of Egypt, a whole series of reproductions and treatises was published on the geography of Palestine at that time. Kretschner, 1892), Japan (P.Teleki, 1909), Madagascar (Gravier, 1896), Albania (Nopcsa, 1916), Spitzbergen (Wieder, 1919), the northwest of America (Wagner, 1937), and others.
Indeed, much of its universal appeal is that the simpler types of map can be read and interpreted with only a little training.
Crone remarked that a€?a map can be considered from several aspects, as a scientific report, a historical document, a research tool, and an object of art. It may also be viewed as an aspect of the history of human thought, so that while the study of the techniques that influence the medium of that thought is important, it also considers the social significance of cartographic innovation and the way maps have impinged on the many other facets of human history they touch.
It is reasonable to expect some evidence in this art of the societya€™s spatial consciousness.
There is, for example, clear evidence in the prehistoric art of Europe that maps - permanent graphic images epitomizing the spatial distribution of objects and events - were being made as early as the Upper Paleolithic.
In Mesopotamia the invention by the Sumerians of cuneiform writing in the fourth millennium B.C.
In the former field, among other things, they attained a remarkably close approximation for a?s2, namely 1.414213. The courses of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers offered major routes to and from the north, and the northwest, and the Persian Gulf allowed contact by sea along the coasts of Arabia and east to India. Within this span of some three thousand years, the main achievements in Greek cartography took place from about the sixth century B.C. Stevenson, it is not easy to fix, with anything like a satisfactory measure of certainty, the beginning of globe construction; very naturally it was not until a spherical theory concerning the heavens and the earth had been accepted, and for this we are led back quite to Aristotle and beyond, back indeed to the Pythagoreans if not yet farther. We are now learning that those centuries were not entirely barren of a certain interest in sciences other than theological.
It has now been ascertained and demonstrated beyond doubt that the earliest ideas concerning the laws of the universe and the shape of the earth were, in many respects, more correct and clearer than those of a subsequent period.
Ragozin, says the Shumiro-Accads had formed a very elaborate and clever idea of what they supposed the world to be like; they imagined it to have the shape of an inverted round boat or bowl, the thickness of which would represent the mixture of land and water (ki-a) which we call the crust of the earth, while the hollow beneath this inhabitable crust was fancied as a bottomless pit or abyss (ge), in which dwelt many powers. The account of this conversation, which is too lengthy here to give in full, was written three centuries and a half before the Christian era. Of the familiaritie of Midas, the Phrigian, and Selenus, and of certaine circumstances which he incredibly reported.
This Selenus was the sonne of a nymphe inferiour to the gods in condition and degree, but superiour to men concerning mortalytie and death. The Chaldean conception, thus rudely described, shows a yet nearer approximation to the true doctrine concerning the form of the globe, when we bear in mind that this actually is in shape a flattened sphere, with the vertical diameter the shorter one.


A curious example of the difficulties that early cartographers of the circumfluent ocean period had to contend with, and of the sans faA§on method of dealing with them, occurs in the celebrated Fra Mauro mappamundi (Book III, #249), which is one of the last in which the external ocean is still retained. The influence of the Ptolemaic astronomical and geographical system was very great, and lasted for over thirteen hundred years.
There are reasons to believe however, apart from the evidence we gather in the Poems, that these abyssal regions were supposed or believed to be situated around the North Pole. Homer, The Outward Geography Eastwards: a€?The outer geography eastwards, or wonderland, has for its exterior boundary the great river Okeanos, a noble conception, in everlasting flux and reflux, roundabout the territory given to living man. The Phoenician reports referred to came most likely therefore, not so much from the north, as from these regions which, tradition tells us (Fra Mauroa€™s mappamundi #249), were situated propinqua ale tenebre. These winds covered the arcs intervening between our four cardinal points of the compass, which points were not located exactly as with us; but the north leaning to the east, the east to the south, the south to the west and the west to the north (see Beatusa€™ Turin map, Book II, #207). The reason for this is plausible, for whereas the northern seaman regulated his navigation by the North Star, the Asiatic sailor turned to southern constellations for his guidance.
This is all the more strange when we take into consideration that, in the light of his context, the fact is apparent and of great importance as coinciding with other European views concerning the location of the north on terrestrial globes and maps. The Chaldeans placed their heaven in the east or northeast; Homer placed his heaven in the south or southwest. In this ocean we find also EA the Exalted Fish, but, deprived of his ancient grandeur and divinity, he is no doubt considered nothing more than a merman at the period when acquaintance is renewed with him on the SchA¶ner-Frankfort gores of Asiatic origin bearing the date 1515 (Book IV, #328). The divergence was probably owing in a great measure to the inability of representing graphically the perspective appearance of the globe on a plane; but may be also traceable to an erroneous interpretation of the original idea, caused by the reversion of the cardinal points of the compass. According to this division other continents south of the equator were supposed to exist and habited, some said, but not to be approached by those inhabiting the northern hemisphere on account of the presumed impossibility of traversing the equatorial regions, the heat of which was believed to be too intense. We shall see, when dealing with Ptolemy's map of the world, some of the results of this confusion. Thomas, after the dispersion of the Apostles, preached the Gospel to the Parthians and Persians; then went to India, where he gave up his life for Jesus Christ. That he corroborates Homera€™s views as to the sphericity of the earth by describing Cratesa€™ terrestrial globe (Geographica; Book ii.
That he accentuates Homera€™s views concerning the black races that lived some in the west (the African race) others in the east (the Australian race). That he shows the four cardinal points of the compass to have been situated somewhat differently than with us, for he says (Book 1, c.
That he appears to be perpetuating an ancient tradition when he supposes the existence of a vast continent or antichthonos in the southern hemisphere to counterbalance the weight of the northern continents.
The relativeness of these positions appears to have been maintained on some mediaeval maps.
To appreciate how this period laid the foundations for the developments of the ensuing Hellenistic Period, it is necessary to draw on a wide range of Greek writings containing references to maps. We have no original texts of Anaximander, Pythagoras, or Eratosthenes - all pillars of the development of Greek cartographic thought.
In contrast to many periods in the ancient and medieval world and despite the fragmentary artifacts, we are able to reconstruct throughout the Greek period, and indeed into the Roman, a continuum in cartographic thought and practice. Indeed, one of the salient trends in the history of the Hellenistic Period of cartography was the growing tendency to relate theories and mathematical models to newly acquired facts about the world - especially those gathered in the course of Greek exploration or embodied in direct observations such as those recorded by Eratosthenes in his scientific measurement of the circumference of the earth. With respect to the latter, we can see how Greek cartography started to be influenced by a new infrastructure for learning that had a profound effect on the growth of formalized knowledge in general. Thus Alexandria became a clearing-house for cartographic and geographical knowledge; it was a center where this could be codified and evaluated and where, we may assume, new maps as well as texts could be produced in parallel with the growth of empirical knowledge. In his treatise On the Ocean, Pytheas relates his journey and provides geographical and astronomical information about the countries that he observed.
While we can assume a priori that such a linkage was crucial to the development of Hellenistic cartography, again there is no hard evidence, as in so many other aspects of its history, that allows us to reconstruct the technical processes and physical qualities of the maps themselves. Its outstanding characteristic was the fruitful marriage of theoretical and empirical knowledge.
Eratosthenes was apparently the first to accomplish this, and his map was the earliest scientific attempt to give the different parts of the world represented on a plane surface approximately their true proportions. By so improving the mimesis or imitation of the world, founded on sound theoretical premises, they made other intellectual advances possible and helped to extend the Greek vision far beyond the Aegean. While there was a considerable blending and interdependence of Greek and Roman concepts and skills, the fundamental distinction between the often theoretical nature of the Greek contribution and the increasingly practical uses for maps devised by the Romans forms a familiar but satisfactory division for their respective cartographic influences. The profound difference between the Roman and the Greek mind is illustrated with peculiar clarity in their maps. Through both the Mathematical Syntaxis (a treatise on mathematics and astronomy in thirteen books, also called the Almagest and the Geography (in eight books), it can be said that Ptolemy tended to dominate both astronomy and geography, and hence their cartographic manifestations, for over fourteen centuries.
A modern analysis of Ptolemaic scholarship offers nothing to revise the long-held consensus that he is a key figure in the long term development of scientific mapping. In its most obvious aspect, the exaggerated size of Jerusalem on the Madaba mosaic map (# 121) was no doubt an attempt to make the Holy City not only dominant but also more accurately depicted in this difficult medium. In both Western Europe and Byzantium relatively little that was new in cartography developed during the Dark Ages and early Middle Ages, although monks were assiduously copying out and preserving the written work of many past centuries available to them.
Researcher He said that the map, drawn in black on four pine wood plates of almost the same size, had clear and complete graphics depicting the administrative division, a general picture of local geography and the economic situation in Guixian County in the Warring States era. Only a few examples can be given, but it should be understood, even when it is not expressly said, that they must often stand simply as representative of a whole class of works. It may be said at the outset that both in East and West there seem to have been two separate traditions, one which we may call a€?scientific, or quantitative, cartographya€™, and one which we may call a€?religious, or symbolic, cosmographya€™.
This form later was transformed into a block-book, in which each sheet formed a double page, the parchment itself serving as a hinge between each of the two wooden panels. The latter is accompanied by a long text describing the world; it deals with its creation, the four elements of which it is composed, its shape, dimensions, and divisions.
Though the Catalan Atlas is the earliest complete example of its kind which has survived, it was undoubtedly preceded by other similar attempts at extending the range of the portolan chart.
Thus, pilots knew at a glance, for instance, that any port lettered in red offered revictualing and a safe harbor; dots and crosses, on the other hand, indicated underwater hazards.
Continental interiors are filled with detail, compass lines drawn, and decorative items are added to enhance the nearly up-to-date picture. Its capital at Cambalucr or Chanbaleth [Beijing], the city of the Great Khan which so intrigued the chroniclers of the 14th century, receives due prominence, with a long legend describing its magnitude and grandeurs. When it has finished ringing, no one may pass through the town, and at each gate a thousand men are on guard, not out of fear but in honor of the sovereign. The attempt at representing the configuration of the coast suggests at least that his informants were interested from a maritime point of view. Altogether, as mentioned above, we are told there are 7,548 islands in the Indian Ocean; they are rich in gold, silver, spices, and precious stones, so much so that a€?great ships of many different nationsa€? trade in their waters. Farther north is the realm of Kebek Khan, a historical figure who reigned from 1309 to 1326: a€?Here reigns King Chabeh, ruler of the Kingdom of the Middle Horde. Here the text contains information from Marco Polo's account of how in the province of Malabar the death of criminals, who are compelled to commit suicide, is celebrated by their relatives with his observation on the custom of widows immolating themselves on the pyres of their dead husbands, mentioned a few lines later.
In the Gulf, the island of Ormis [Hormuz] is shown, opposite the former settlement of the same name on the mainland. These are jumbled together in a manner sometimes difficult to understand, but with the help of Marco Polo's narrative, it is possible to disentangle the itineraries which the map was evidently intended to set out.
East of this lies the lake, Yssikol [Issik Kul], and Emalech the seat of the Khan, the Armalec of other travelers, in the Kuldja region. The compiler, however, perhaps because he confused this desert area with the Gobi, has transferred this stretch to the north of the Issik Kul. In addition to Asia, the narratives of contemporary travelers were also extensively used by Cresques in Africa. We are told, for example, that merchants bound for Guinea pass the Atlas mountain range, shown here in its typical form of a bird's leg with three claws at its eastern end, at Val de Durcha. This rare speculation on the part of Cresques contained at least some partial truth because the Lacus Nili, the Pactolus of Strabo, and the Palolus of later maps, which in the Catalan Atlas and subsequent works is located in the neighborhood of Timbuktu, may reasonably be identified with the flood region of the Niger. By so doing, however, they found themselves reducing the vast extent of the Sahara almost to a vanishing point. The port of Quseir is clearly marked, and the accompanying text specifies that it is here that spices are taken on land and sent to Cairo and Alexandria. The importance of Baghdad as a center of the spice trade is emphasized; from there, precious wares from India are sent throughout the Syrian land and especially to Damascus. This African prince appears in the Catalan Atlas in a stately fashion with crown, orb, and scepter, with the inscription: The richest and noblest King in the world. In this section the coastlines are greatly differentiated and the abundance of names is in great contrast with the quantity of information, literally and graphically, supplied in sheets 5 and 6 (Asia). Nor can they be the Azores, which are first mentioned in 1427, or the Cape Verde Islands discovered only in 1455-1456. They are obviously to be identified with the Ichthyophagi, one of the fabulous races traditionally placed in Asia or in Africa. They have often served as memory banks for spatial data and as mnemonics in societies without the printed word and can speak across the barriers of ordinary language, constituting a common language used by men of different races and tongues to express the relationship of their society to a geographic environment. Certain carvings on bone and petroglyphs have been identified as prehistoric route maps, although according to a strict definition, they might not qualify as a€?mapsa€?.
In the present work, reconstruction of maps no longer extant are used in place of originals or assumed originals. Since the maps were missing, he drew them himself from indications in the ancient text, and when the work was finished, he commemorated this too in verse. The map answered many hitherto insoluble or disputed questions, for example the question as to where the Virgin Mary met the mother of John Baptist.
A series of maps of a coastal region (for example, that of Holland or Friesland) or of river estuaries (the Po, Mississippi, Volga, or lower Yellow River) gives information on the rate of changes in outline and their causes.
Maps represent an excellent mirror of culture and civilizationa€?, but they are also more than a mere reflection: maps in their own right enter the historical process by means of reciprocally structured relationships.
But when it comes to drawing up the balance sheet of evidence for prehistoric maps, we must admit that the evidence is tenuous and certainly inconclusive.
The same evidence shows, too, that the quintessentially cartographic concept of representation in plan was already in use in that period. Our divisions into 60 and 360 for minutes, seconds and degrees are a direct inheritance from the Babylonians, who thought in these terms. The Pharaohs organized military campaigns, trade missions, and even purely geographical expeditions to explore various countries. From earliest times much of the area covered by the annual Nile floods had, upon their retreat, to be re-surveyed in order to establish the exact boundaries of properties.
We find allusions to celestial globes in the days of Eudoxus and Archimedes, to terrestrial globes in the days of Crates and Hipparchus. In Justiniana€™s day, or near it, one Leontius Mechanicus busied himself in Constantinople with globe construction, and we have left to us his brief descriptive reference to his work. But above all these, higher in rank and greater in power, is the Spirit (Zi) of heaven (ana), ZI-ANA, or, as often, simply ANA--Heaven. On this map of the world the islands of the Malay Archipelago follow the shores of Asia from Malacca to Japan.
Even the Arabs, who, after the fall of the Roman Empire, developed the geographical knowledge of the world during the first period of the middle ages, adopted many of its errors. Volcanoes were supposed to be the entrances to the infernal regions, and towards the southeast the whole region beyond the river Okeanos of Homer, from Java to Sumbawa and the Sea of Banda, was sufficiently studded with mighty peaks to warrant the idea they may have originated. Many cartographers of the renascence, whose charts indeed we cannot read unless we reverse them, must have followed Asiatic cartographical methods, and this perhaps through copying local charts obtained in the countries visited by them. Taprobana was the Greek corruption of the Tamravarna of Arabian, or even perhaps Phoenician, nomenclature; our modern Sumatra. Geographical science was on the eve of reaching its apogee with the Greeks, were it was doomed to retrograde with the decline of the Roman Empire. John III, King of Portugal, ordered his remains to be sought for in a little ruined chapel that was over his tomb, outside Meliapur or Maliapor. In some cases the authors of these texts are not normally thought of in the context of geographic or cartographic science, but nevertheless they reflect a widespread and often critical interest in such questions.
In particular, there are relatively few surviving artifacts in the form of graphic representations that may be considered maps. Despite a continuing lack of surviving maps and original texts throughout the period - which continues to limit our understanding of the changing form and content of cartography - it can be shown that, by the perioda€™s end, a markedly different cartographic image of the inhabited world had emerged. Of particular importance for the history of the map was the growth of Alexandria as a major center of learning, far surpassing in this respect the Macedonian court at Pella. Later geographers used the accounts of Alexandera€™s journeys extensively to make maps of Asia and to fill in the outline of the inhabited world. Not even the improved maps that resulted from these processes have survived, and the literary references to their existence (enabling a partial reconstruction of their content) can even in their entirety refer only to a tiny fraction of the number of maps once made and once in circulation. It has been demonstrated beyond doubt that the geometric study of the sphere, as expressed in theorems and physical models, had important practical applications and that its principles underlay the development both of mathematical geography and of scientific cartography as applied to celestial and terrestrial phenomena. On his map, moreover, one could have distinguished the geometric shapes of the countries, and one could have used the map as a tool to estimate the distances between places. To Rome, Hellenistic Greece left a seminal cartographic heritage - one that, in the first instance at least, was barely challenged in the intellectual centers of Roman society. Certainly the political expansion of Rome, whose domination was rapidly extending over the Mediterranean, did not lead to an eclipse of Greek influence. Such knowledge, relating to both terrestrial and celestial mapping, had been transmitted through a succession of well-defined master-pupil relationships, and the preservation of texts and three-dimensional models had been aided by the growth of libraries. The Romans were indifferent to mathematical geography, with its system of latitudes and longitudes, its astronomical measurements, and its problem of projections. Yet Ptolemy, as much through the accidental survival and transmission of his texts when so many others perished as through his comprehensive approach to mapping, does nevertheless stride like a colossus over the cartographic knowledge of the later Greco-Roman world and the Renaissance. Pilgrims from distant lands obviously needed itineraries like that starting at Bordeaux, giving fairly simple instructions. When we come to consider the mapping of small areas in medieval western Europe, it will be shown that the Saint Gall monastery map is very reminiscent of the best Roman large-scale plans. Some maps, along with other illustrations, were transmitted by this process, but too few have survived to indicate the overall level of cartographic awareness in Byzantine society. Eighty-two places are marked with their respective names, locations of rivers, mountains and forested areas on the map.
Experts said that graphics, symbols, scales, locations, longitude and latitude are key elements of a map. Thus in the Ta Tai Li Chi, Tseng Shen, replying to the questions of Shanchu Li, admits that it was very hard to see how, on the orthodox view, the four comers of the earth could be properly covered. This arrangement led to the folds of the precious sheets becoming worn through with use, so that these sheets were divided into 12 half-sheets, mounted on boards to fold like a screen.
Then come geographical accounts of countries, continents, oceans, and tides, as well as astronomical and meteorological information. Abraham Cresques, a Jew of Palma on the island of Majorca, for many years was 'master of mappaemundi and compasses', i.e. From the Mar del Sarra [Caspian Sea] in the west, with a fairly accurate outline in the style of the portolan charts, the Mongol domains stretch away eastwards to the coasts of Catayo [China].
Some of the islands off Quinsay may stand for the Chusan archipelago, and further to the south is the large island of Caynam, [Hainan]. The kingdoms of India as enumerated by Polo are absent from the map, and there are significant differences in the towns appearing in the two documents. The reference is to the gate that Alexander is supposed to have built in the Caspian Mountains to exclude Gog and Magog, who are here equated with various Central Asian tribes. The Southern Arabian coast has names differing from those given by Polo, and in one of them, Adramant, we may recognize the modern Hadhramaut.
The delineation is then confused by the repetition of the Badakshan uplands, the mountains of Baldassia, a mistake that probably arose from confusion over the river system of southern Asia. In fact the section illustrated by #235B is thought to represent Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, with their Mongol envoys, crossing the Tien Shan mountains on their way through what is now China's Sinkiang Province, to Beijing (south is at the top). Here the special feature of interest on the Catalan Atlas is the inscription and picture of the vessel recording the departure of the Catalan, Jacome Ferrer, on a voyage to the 'river of gold' southwest of the new Finisterre of Bojador in 1346.
More geographical information is given on the Maghreb, which, after all, is part of the Mediterranean. Thanks to their notorious capacity to travel long distances without water, they completely transformed African trade, opening sub-Saharan areas to Islam. In Arabia, between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, is located the kingdom of Sheba; the queen, who came to visit King Solomon, is shown crowned and holding a golden disk as symbol of her wealth.
Navigational information is also recorded: a€?From the mouth of the river of Baghdad, the Indian and Persian Oceans open out. The mountains in the European and African section are arranged in chains or chain-like symbols, in Asia they appear as regular humped garlands of rocks. The Catalan Atlas, in fact, marks the progress in the gradual discovery of the Atlantic and the west coast of Africa with an illustration of Jaime Ferrera€™s ship, which, we are told, set sail on lo August 1346 bound for the fabulous Rio de Oro [River of Gold] in Africa. In this spirit of critical realism, Cresques and his fellow Catalan cartographers of the 14th century, threw off the bonds of tradition and anticipated the achievements of the Renaissance. The city stands near the apex of a triangle formed by two rivers and the ocean; each of the two rivers divides into three before reaching the sea, a representation embodying a somewhat confused notion of the inter-linked natural and artificial waterways of China.
This implies that throughout history maps have been more than just the sum of technical processes or the craftsmanship in their production and more than just a static image of their content frozen in time. The reconstructions of such maps appear in the correct chronology of the originals, irrespective of the date of the reconstruction. After the fall of Byzantium in 1453, its conqueror, the Turkish Sultan Mohammed II, found in the library that he inherited from the Byzantine rulers a manuscript of Ptolemya€™s Geographia, which lacked the world-map, and he commissioned Georgios Aminutzes, a philosopher in his entourage, to draw up a world map based on Ptolemya€™s text.
Comparison of travelersa€™ maps from various periods show the development and change of routes or road-building and allows us to draw conclusions of every kind about the development or decay of farms, villages and towns. They were artistic treasure-houses, being often decorated with fine miniatures portraying life and customs in distant lands, various types of ships, coats-of-arms, portraits of rulers, and so on. The development of the map, whether it occurred in one place or at a number of independent hearths, was clearly a conceptual advance - an important increment to the technology of the intellect - that in some respects may be compared to the emergence of literacy or numeracy. The historian of cartography, looking for maps in the art of prehistoric Europe and its adjacent regions, is in exactly the same position as any other scholar seeking to interpret the content, functions, and meanings of that art. Moreover, there is sufficient evidence for the use of cartographic signs from at least the post-Paleolithic period.
They are impressed on small clay tablets like those generally used by the Babylonians for cuneiform inscriptions of documents, a medium which must have limited the cartographera€™s scope.
The survey was carried out, mostly in squares, by professional surveyors with knotted ropes. We find that the Greek geographer Strabo gives us quite a definite word concerning their value and their construction, and that Ptolemy is so definite in his references to them as to lead to a belief that globes were by no means uncommon instruments in his day, and that they were regarded of much value in the study of geography and astronomy, particularly of the latter science. With stress laid, during the many centuries succeeding, upon matters pertaining to the religious life, there naturally was less concern than there had been in the humanistic days of classical antiquity as to whether the earth is spherical in form, or flat like a circular disc, nor was it thought to matter much as to the form of the heavens. Hyde Clarke has more than once pointed out in The Legend of the Atlantis of Plato, Royal Historical Society 1886, etc., that Australia must have been known in the most remote antiquity of the early history of civilization, at a time when the intercourse with America was still maintained. Between the lower heaven and the surface of the earth is the atmospheric region, the realm of IM or MERMER, the Wind, where he drives the clouds, rouses the storms, and whence he pours down the rain, which is stored in the great reservoir of Ana, in the heavenly ocean. Then in a northeasterly direction Homera€™s great river Okeanos would flow along the shores of the Sandwich group, where the volcanic peak of Mt. Aristotlea€™s writings, for example, provide a summary of the theoretical knowledge that underlay the construction of world maps by the end of the Greek Classical Period. Our cartographic knowledge must, therefore, be gleaned largely from literary descriptions, often couched in poetic language and difficult to interpret.
The ambition of Eratosthenes to draw a general map of the oikumene based on new discoveries was also partly inspired by Alexandera€™s exploration. In this case too, the generalizations drawn herein by various authorities (ancient and modern scholars, historians, geographers, and cartographers) are founded upon the chance survival of references made to maps by individual authors. Yet this evidence should not be interpreted to suggest that the Greek contribution to cartography in the early Roman world was merely a passive recital of the substance of earlier advances.
If land survey did play such an important part, then these plans, being based on centuriation requirements and therefore square or rectangular, may have influenced the shape of smaller-scale maps. This is perhaps more remarkable in that his work was primarily instructional and theoretical, and it remains debatable if he bequeathed a set of images that could be automatically copied by an uninterrupted succession of manuscript illuminators. While almost certainly fewer maps were made than in the Greco-Roman Period, nevertheless the key concepts of mapping that had been developed in the classical world were preserved in the Byzantine Empire.
What is more surprising is that the map marks the location of Wei Shui, now known as the Weihe River, and many canyons in the area. The map of Guixian County has all these elements except longitude and latitude, according to historians. Four half-sheets are occupied by cosmographical and navigational data, they describe the whole concept of the world, show astronomical and astrological representations, and provide information about the calendar, the sun, moon, planets, the signs of the zodiac and the tides.
The second sheet presents a spectacular diagram of a large astronomical and astrological wheel. This country makes a sweep from east to south with an approach to its actual form, and along it's coast appear several of the great medieval ports and trading centers frequented by Arab merchants. There Cresques placed some of the fabulous and monstrous races legendary in classical antiquity and the Middle Ages: a€?On this island are people who are very different from the rest of mankind.
Conspicuous on the map is the Christian Kingdom and city of Columbo, placed on the east coast. And know that these people marry at the age of about twelve years and generally live to be 40 years old.
The island of Scotra, an important stage on the trade route from Aden to India, is misplaced to the east, and appears to occupy the approximate position of the Kuria Muria Islands. The legend above them reads, in translation: This caravan left the Empire of Sarra to go to Catayo, across a Great Desert (Sarai, on the Edil [Volga], was the capital of the Kipchak Tartars, from which the Polos had set out about 1262. This refers to the northwest coast of Africa which extends beyond Cape Bojador to a point just north of the Rio d'Oro. Later draftsmen, in order to escape the embarrassment caused by indicating the great trans-Saharan caravan routes within these narrow limits, began to speculate on the course of the west African coast, south of Bojador.


Here they fish for pearls, which are supplied to the town of Baghdad.a€? We learn that a€?before they dive to the bottom of the sea, pearl fishers recite magic spells with which they frighten away the fisha€? a piece of information that comes straight from Marco Polo, who mentions that the pearl fishers on the Malabar coast are protected by the magic and spells of the Brahmins. The heathens believe that Paradise is situated there, because the islands have such a temperate climate and such a great fertility of the soil. For this reason the heathens of India believe that their souls are transported to these islands after death, where they live for ever on the scent of these fruits.
Fast dispatch on our personalised gifts for a wooden anniversary 5th Anniversary Gifts for Him 5th Anniversary Gifts for Her We are proud to confirm that our Wooden Gifts, Wooden Pens and Wooden Rings are dispatched Worldwide. Indeed, any history of maps is compounded by a complex series of interactions, involving their intent, their use and their purpose, as well as the process of their making.
All reconstructions are, to a greater or lesser degree, the product of the compiler and the technology of his times. He knew it would be out of date, but that is precisely what he wanted - an ancient map; to perpetuate it, he also had a carpet woven from the drawing. Inferences have to be made about states of mind separated from the present not only by millennia but also - where ethnography is called into service to help illuminate the prehistoric evidence - by the geographical distance and different cultural contexts of other continents. Two of the basic map styles of the historical period, the picture map (perspective view) and the plan (ichnographic view), also have their prehistoric counterparts. However, the measurement of circular and triangular plots was envisaged: advice on this, and plans, are given in the Rhind Mathematical Papyrus of ca. From Ptolemaic Egypt there is a rough rectangular plan of surveyed land accompanying the text of the Lille Papyrus I, now in Paris; also two from the estate of Apollonius, minister of Ptolemy II.
There is, however, but one example known, which has come down to us from that ancient day, this a celestial globe, briefly described as the Farnese globe. Yet there was no century, not even in those ages we happily are learning to call no longer a€?darka€?, that geography and astronomy were not studied and taught, and globes celestial as well as armillary spheres, if not terrestrial globes, were constructed. Here however he makes his hero confess that he is wholly out of his bearings, and cannot well say where the sun is to set or to rise (Od.
Although these views were continued and developed to a certain extent by their successors, Strabo and Ptolemy, through the Roman period, and more or less entertained during the Middle Ages, they became obscured as time rolled on.
The bones of the holy apostle were found, with some relics that were placed in a rich vase. Again, if we consider the Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans as devoid of the American Continent, and the Atlantic Ocean as stretching to the shores of Asia, as Strabo did, the parallel of Iberia (Spain) would have taken Columbusa€™ ships to the north of Japan--i.e.
At the time when Alexander the Great set off to conquer and explore Asia and when Pytheas of Massalia was exploring northern Europe, therefore, the sum of geographic and cartographic knowledge in the Greek world was already considerable and was demonstrated in a variety of graphic and three-dimensional representations of the heavens and the earth. In addition, many other ancient texts alluding to maps are further distorted by being written centuries after the period they record; they too must be viewed with caution because they are similarly interpretative as well as descriptive. Eudoxus had already formulated the geocentric hypothesis in mathematical models; and he had also translated his concepts into celestial globes that may be regarded as anticipating the sphairopoiia [mechanical spheres].
And it was at Alexandria that this Ptolemy, son of Ptolemy I Soter, a companion of Alexander, had founded the library, soon to become famous through the Mediterranean world. It seems, though, that having left Massalia, Pytheas put into Gades [Cadiz], then followed the coasts of Iberia [Spain] and France to Brittany, crossing to Cornwall and sailing north along the west coast of England and Scotland to the Orkney Islands. On the contrary, a principal characteristic of the new age was the extent to which it was openly critical of earlier attempts at mapping. Disregarding the elaborate projections of the Greeks, they reverted to the old disk map of the Ionian geographers as being better adapted to their purposes. This shape was also one which suited the Roman habit of placing a large map on a wall of a temple or colonnade. 90-168), Greek and Roman influences in cartography had been fused to a considerable extent into one tradition. The Almagest, although translated into Latin by Gerard of Cremona in the 12th century, appears to have had little direct influence on the development of cartography. Ptolemya€™s principal legacy was thus to cartographic method, and both the Almagest and the Geography may be regarded as among the most influential works in cartographic history. However, the maps of Marinus and Ptolemy, one of the latter containing thousands of place-names, were at least partly known to Arabic geographers of the ninth to the 10th century. The most accomplished Byzantine map to survive, the mosaic at Madaba (#121), is clearly closer to the classical tradition than to maps of any subsequent period.
He Shuangquan, a research fellow with the Gansu Provincial Archaeological Research Institute, has made an in-depth study of the map and confirmed its drawing time to be 239 B.C. An even earlier chart (probably covering the whole 'world' originally), that by Angelino Dulcert, of Majorca, dated 1339, also has points of resemblance to the Catalan Atlas.
There are several references to world maps executed by him, though this is the only one now known.
There is a further allusion to Alexander having erected two trumpet-blowing figures in bronze; these, according to various medieval legends, resounded with the wind and frightened the Tartars until the instruments were blocked up by various nesting birds and animals.
For India and the ocean to the west, therefore, we may conclude that charts were used which differed in detail from Polo's account, though similar in general features. Here unfortunately the map ends; unlike the Medici Atlas, or some others, it makes no attempt at a representation, conjecture or otherwise, of the southern portion of this continent. The text beside a Touareg riding on a camel and also a group of tents informs us that this land is inhabited by veiled people living in tents and riding camels. Various trading stations are indicated on the shore of the Indian Ocean from Hormus, a€?where India begins,a€? to Quilon in Kerala. With meticulous care the islands in the region of the portolan chart section are displayed, they are painted in color, some of them like Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica are shown in gold. Therefore, reconstructions are used here only to illustrate the general geographic concepts of the period in which the lost original map was made.
It was said that as the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias in the holy of holies, Zacharias must have been High Priest and have lived in Jerusalem; John the Baptist would then have been born in Jerusalem. I have not been able to find any such evidence or artifacts of map making that originated in the South America or Australia. This is described in an inscription in the Temple of Der-el-Bahri where the ship used for this journey is delineated, but there is no map. It is of marble, and is thought by some to date from the time of Eudoxus, that is, three hundred years before the Christian era. The Venerable Bede, Pope Sylvester I, the Emperor Frederick II, and King Alfonso of Castile, not to name many others of perhaps lesser significance, displayed an interest in globes and making. See the sketch below of an inverted Chaldean boat transformed into a terrestrial globe, which will give an idea of the possible appearance of early globes.
Indeed, wherever we look round the margin of the circumfluent ocean for an appropriate entrance to Hades and Tartaros, we find it, whether in Japan, Iceland, the Azores, or Cape Verde Islands.
Terrestrial maps and celestial globes were widely used as instruments of teaching and research.
Despite what may appear to be reasonable continuity of some aspects of cartographic thought and practice, in this particular era scholars must extrapolate over large gaps to arrive at their conclusions.
By the beginning of the Hellenistic Period there had been developed not only the various celestial globes, but also systems of concentric spheres, together with maps of the inhabited world that fostered a scientific curiosity about fundamental cartographic questions. The library not only accumulated the greatest collection of books available anywhere in the Hellenistic Period but, together with the museum, likewise founded by Ptolemy II, also constituted a meeting place for the scholars of three continents.
From there, some authors believe, he made an Arctic voyage to Thule [probably Iceland] after which he penetrated the Baltic.
Intellectual life moved to more energetic centers such as Pergamum, Rhodes, and above all Rome, but this promoted the diffusion and development of Greek knowledge about maps rather than its extinction. The main texts, whether surviving or whether lost and known only through later writers, were strongly revisionist in their line of argument, so that the historian of cartography has to isolate the substantial challenge to earlier theories and frequently their reformulation of new maps. There is a case, accordingly, for treating them as a history of one already unified stream of thought and practice. With translation of the text of the Geography into Latin in the early 15th century, however, the influence of Ptolemy was to structure European cartography directly for over a century. It would be wrong to over emphasize, as so much of the topographical literature has tended to do, a catalog of Ptolemya€™s a€?errorsa€?: what is vital for the cartographic historian is that his texts were the carriers of the idea of celestial and terrestrial mapping long after the factual content of the coordinates had been made obsolete through new discoveries and exploration. Similarly, in the towns, although only the Forma Urbis Romae is known to us in detail, large-scale maps were recognized as practical tools recording the lines of public utilities such as aqueducts, displaying the size and shape of imperial and religious buildings, and indicating the layout of streets and private property. But the transmission of Ptolemya€™s Geography to the West came about first through reconstruction by Byzantine scholars and only second through its translation into Latin (1406) and its diffusion in Florence and elsewhere. But as the dichotomy increased between the use of Greek in the East and Latin in the West, the particular role of Byzantine scholars in perpetuating Greek texts of cartographic interest becomes clearer.
Forested areas marked on the map also tallies with the distribution of various plants and the natural environment in the area today. The other elements (fire, air, water) are incorporated into the next three concentric circles; then come the seven planets, the band of the zodiac, and the various stations and phases of the moon. In view of the possible identity of Dulcert, and the Ligurian origin of the Medici Atlas, we may conclude that this type of world map, though developed by Catalans, originated early in the 14th century in northern Italy, where the narrative of Marco Polo, which, as will be seen, supplied many of the details embodied in the map, would be most readily available. After his death in 1387, his work was carried on by his son, Jafuda, who eventually instructed the Portuguese under the patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator. This form of the name (it is rendered Coilum by Polo), and other details, suggest that the compiler drew upon the writings of Friar Jordanus, who was a missionary in this area, and whose Book of Marvels was completed and in circulation by 1340.
It is marked by a line of towns up the valley of the Edil from Agitarchan [Astrakhan] through Sarra [Sarai], Borgar, and thence eastward through Pascherit [probably representing the territory of the Bashkirs east of the middle Volga], and Sebur, or Sibir, a medieval settlement whose site is unknown, but thought to be on the upper Irtish. The crowned black man holding a golden disk is identified as Musse Melly, a€?lord of the negroes of Guineaa€? - in fact, Mansa Musa, of fabulous wealth. Speculation of this sort did at least have the merit of enabling the mapmaker to draw the Sahara with greater accuracy. No one person or area of study is capable of embracing the whole field; and cartographers, like workers in other activities, have become more and more specialized with the advantages and disadvantages which this inevitably brings. 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. It has been shown how these could have appealed to the imagination not only of an educated minority, for whom they sometimes became the subject of careful scholarly commentary, but also of a wider Greek public that was already learning to think about the world in a physical and social sense through the medium of maps. The relative smallness of the inhabited world, for example, later to be proved by Eratosthenes, had already been dimly envisaged. The confirmation of the sources of tin (in the ancient Cassiterides or Tin Islands) and amber (in the Baltic) was of primary interest to him, together with new trade routes for these commodities. Indeed, we can see how the conditions of Roman expansion positively favored the growth and applications of cartography in both a theoretical and a practical sense. The context shows that he must be talking about a map, since he makes the philosopher among his group start with Eratosthenesa€™ division of the world into North and South.
Here, however, though such a unity existed, the discussion is focused primarily on the cartographic contributions of Ptolemy, writing in Greek within the institutions of Roman society.
In the history of the transmission of cartographic ideas it is indeed his work, straddling the European Middle Ages, that provides the strongest link in the chain between the knowledge of mapping in the ancient and early modem worlds. Finally, the interpretation of modem scholars has progressively come down on the side of the opinion that Ptolemy or a contemporary probably did make at least some of the maps so clearly specified in his texts. Some types of Roman maps had come to possess standard formats as well as regular scales and established conventions for depicting ground detail. In the case of the sea charts of the Mediterranean, it is still unresolved whether the earliest portolan [nautical] charts of the 13th century had a classical antecedent.
Byzantine institutions, particularly as they developed in Constantinople, facilitated the flow of cartographic knowledge both to and from Western Europe and to the Arab world and beyond. These proportions are of some significance, for they have undoubtedly restricted the cartographer in his portrayal of the extreme northern and southern regions. The next six rings are devoted to the lunar calendar and to an account of the effect of the moon when it is found in the different signs of the zodiac. The Catalan Atlas says: The circumference of the earth is 180,000 stadia, that is to say 20,052 miles (this is the same calculation as Ptolemy's, yet it was given a full thirty years prior to the first known Latin translation of his Geographia, #119 ).
But the day of the Jewish school of cartography at Majorca was already drawing to a close, owing to the wave of persecution which swept through the Aragon kingdom in the latter years of the century. Possibly additions were also made so that the map might serve as an illustration to his narrative. In this quarter, the information upon which the map is based was not drawn from Marco Polo. Also its treatment of the Atlantic islands: the Azores, Canary, and Madeira groups, is more complete than any representation of earlier times. The gap in the snake-like Atlas Mountain chain of North Africa is meant to illustrate a pass that these Arab merchants commonly used (#235A).
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. Some saw in the a€?hill countrya€™ Hebron, a place that had for a long time been a leading Levitical city, while others held that Juda was the Levitical city concerned.
The fact that King Sargon of Akkad was making military expeditions westwards from about 2,330 B.C. The whole northern region, of sea as he supposed it, from west to east, was known to him only by Phoenician reports. If a literal interpretation was followed, the cartographic image of the inhabited world, like that of the universe as a whole, was often misleading; it could create confusion or it could help establish and perpetuate false ideas. It had been the subject of comment by Plato, while Aristotle had quoted a figure for the circumference of the earth from a€?the mathematiciansa€? at 400,000 stades; he does not explain how he arrived at this figure, which may have been Eudoxusa€™ estimate. It would appear from what is known about Pytheasa€™ journeys and interests that he may have undertaken his voyage to the northern seas partly in order to verify what geometry (or experiments with three dimensional models) have taught him. Not only had the known world been extended considerably through the Roman conquests - so that new empirical knowledge had to be adjusted to existing theories and maps - but Roman society offered a new educational market for the cartographic knowledge codified by the Greeks. Ptolemy owed much to Roman sources of information and to the extension of geographical knowledge under this growing empire: yet he represents a culmination as well as a final synthesis of the scientific tradition in Greek cartography that has been highlighted in this introduction. Yet it is perhaps in the importance accorded the map as a permanent record of ownership or rights over property, whether held by the state or by individuals, that Roman large-scale mapping most clearly anticipated the modern world.
If they had, one would suppose it to be a map connected with the periploi [sea itineraries]. Our sources point to only a few late glimpses of these transfers, as when Planudes took the lead in Ptolemaic research, for example. This was perhaps to some extent deliberate, for two years before the composition of this map, we hear of the Infant John (son of Peter of Aragon) demanding a map 'well executed and drawn with its East and West' and figuring 'all that could be shown of the West and of the Strait [of Gibraltar] leading to the West'.
Three more rings show, respectively, the division of the circle into degrees, while the last gives an account of the Golden Number.
There are still other names which are not found in Jordanus either; but the commercial importance of Cambay (Canbetum, on the map) would account for the relatively detailed information about this region.
To the south is a long east-west range, called the Mountains of Sebur, representing the northwestern face of the Tien Shan and Altai. His pilgrimage to Mecca, including a visit to Cairo, was famous for the enormous amount of gold he spent on that occasion.
Viewed in its development through time, the map is a sensitive indicator of the changing thought of man, and few of these works seem to reflect such an excellent mirror of culture and civilization.
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. Many solutions to this problem were put forward, but it was solved once and for all by the Madaba map, which showed, between Jerusalem and Hebron, a place called Beth Zachari: the house of Zacharias.
The paucity of evidence of clearly defined representations of constellations in rock art, which should be easily recognized, seems strange in view of the association of celestial features with religious or cosmological beliefs, though it is understandable if stars were used only for practical matters such as navigation or as the agricultural calendar.
The celestial globe had reinforced the belief in a spherical and finite universe such as Aristotle had described; the drawing of a circular horizon, however, from a point of observation, might have perpetuated the idea that the inhabited world was circular, as might also the drawing of a sphere on a flat surface.
Aristotle also believed that only the ocean prevented a passage around the world westward from the Straits of Gibraltar to India. The result was that his observations served not merely to extend geographical knowledge about the places he had visited, but also to lay the foundation for the scientific use of parallels of latitude in the compilation of maps.
Many influential Romans both in the Republic and in the early Empire, from emperors downward, were enthusiastic Philhellenes and were patrons of Greek philosophers and scholars. In this respect, Rome had provided a model for the use of maps that was not to be fully exploited in many parts of the world until the 18th and 19th centuries. But in order to reach an understanding of the historical processes involved in the period, we must examine the broader channels for Christian, humanistic, and scientific ideas rather than a single map, or even the whole corpus of Byzantine cartography. The Infant, in other words, was interested, not in northern Europe and Asia or in southern Africa, but in the Orient and the Western Ocean. They eat white men and strangers, if they can catch them.a€? The reference is to giants familiar from the medieval Alexander legend, specifically defined here as Anthropophagi.
There is, surprisingly, no indication of the river Indus, a striking omission also from Polo's narrative. In the late 13th and early 14th centuries there were Franciscan mission stations at these localities, and the details no doubt came originally from the friars.
This is plausible enough, for he controlled a large part of Africa, from Gambia and Senegal to Gao on the Niger, and had access to some of its richest gold deposits. The maps of early man, which pre-date other forms of written communication, were attempts to depict earth distributions graphically in order to better visualize them; like those of primitive peoples, the earliest maps served specific functional or practical needs. Excavations on this site revealed the foundations of a little church, with a fragment of a mosaic that contained the name a€?Zachariasa€?.
What is certainly different is the place and prominence of maps in prehistoric times as compared with historical times, an aspect associated with much wider issues of the social organization, values, and philosophies of two very different types of cultures, the oral and the literate.
Later we encounter itineraries, referring either to military or to trading expeditions and provide an indication of the extent of Babylonian geographical knowledge at an early date. Another of a land, also in the north, where a man, who could dispense with sleep, might earn double wages, as there was hardly any night.
There was, however, evidently no consensus between cartographic theorists, and there seems in particular to have been a gap between the acceptance of the most advanced scientific theories and their translation into map form.
Viewed in this context, some of the essential cartographic impulses of the 15th century Renaissance in Italy are seen to have been already active in late Byzantine society.
The cartographer satisfied him by cutting out, as it were, an east-west rectangle from a circular world map which would cover the desired area. George Grosjean, in his commentary on the 1977 facsimile edition of the Atlas, stresses that the orientation of this map must be understood from its essential part. To these far distant waters are also relegated mermaids, some of them probably the traditional half-woman and half-fish, the others more siren-like half-birds. This oversight probably arose from confusion that often can be found between the Indus and the river Ganges.a€?The Indian powers are represented on the Catalan Atlas by the Sultan of Delhi and the Hindu King of Vijayanagar, who is wrongly identified as a Christian.
Reports of the fabulous wealth of this African ruler did much to encourage an interest in the exploration of Africa.
This oversight probably arose from confusion that often can be found between the Indus and the river Ganges.The Indian powers are represented on the Catalan Atlas by the Sultan of Delhi and the Hindu King of Vijayanagar, who is wrongly identified as a Christian. Maps were also frequently used purely for decoration; they furnished designs for Gobelins tapestries, were engraved on goblets of gold and silver, tables, and jewel-caskets, and used in frescoes, mosaics, etc.
They do not go so far as to record distances, but they do mention the number of nights spent at each place, and sometimes include notes or drawings of localities passed through.
He probably had the first account from some sailor who had visited the northern latitudes in summer; and the second from one who had done the like in winter. The influence of these views on Chinese cartography, however, remained slight, for it revolved around the basic plan of a quantitative rectangular grid, taking no account of the curvature of the eartha€™s surface.
The map was constructed in the portolano style, a type of medieval navigation chart which was intended to lie on the chart-table of a ship and always was oriented to the necessities of navigation, thus there is no 'orientation of priority' of such maps. The one illustrated has two fishtails, in accordance with one of the most common medieval conventions. Farther north appear the Three Wise Men on their way to Bethlehem and at the top (or bottom) of the map a caravan; all of the latter figures are drawn upside down, as the map was probably meant to be laid horizontally and viewed from both sides. It was not until the 18th century, however, that maps were gradually stripped of their artistic decoration and transformed into plain, specialist sources of information based upon measurement. As in Greek and Roman inscriptions, some documents record the boundaries of countries or cities.
At the same time Chinese geography was always thoroughly naturalistic, as witness the passage about rivers and mountains from the LA? Shih Chhun Chhiu. The shape of the Catalan Atlas, therefore, must not be taken as evidence on questions such as the extent, form or knowledge of the African continent; nor does the change from a circular to a rectangular frame indicate specifically any change in ideas relating to the shape of the earth. Since the Atlas was not intended as a portolano for daily use but instead was a luxury edition for a princely library, it is useless to ask for correct orientation of the map-sheets.
Camels laden with goods are followed by their drivers; behind them various people, one of them asleep, are riding horses. This fact notwithstanding, however, as the legends that are legible prevail in north-orientation, in the modern literature of the maps the north-orientation is now adopted.a€?A major impetus to the advancement of exploration in Western Europe during the later Middle Ages came through the evolution and use of this very kind of map, the nautical chart or portolano. This fact notwithstanding, however, as the legends that are legible prevail in north-orientation, in the modern literature of the maps the north-orientation is now adopted.A major impetus to the advancement of exploration in Western Europe during the later Middle Ages came through the evolution and use of this very kind of map, the nautical chart or portolano. Designed to assist mariners find their way at sea, it served a practical purpose akin to that of the future road map, but it answered this purpose by depicting not the route itself, but detailed coastlines and hazards to shipping. Mariners previously had to rely on written itineraries which can be traced back to the peripli or coastal pilots of the classical world. Following the introduction of the mariner's compass in Europe towards the end of the 13th century, nautical or portolan charts were made as an extension of the peripli, constructed on a framework of radiating compass lines, with north at the top.
Places were located and marked around the coasts, while places located further inland and usually the entire interior of the continents were left blank. The province and town of Lop mentioned by Marco Polo can be connected with the modern town of Ruoqiang (Charkhlik) south of Lop Nor.
It should be emphasized that while the Atlas was drawn in the portolano style, it is not, strictly speaking, a portolan chart. The typical nautical chart, which some scholars believe had its origin with the Catalan mapmakers, had hitherto been cartographically the very opposite of the medieval theocratic or ecclesiastical maps. Portolan charts traditionally displayed only known, discovered coasts, precisely detailed harbors, river mouths, rocks, shallows, currents, etc.



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