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. While Ptolemy is most frequently associated with geography and cartography, he also wrote important works in a number of other fields including astronomy, astrology, music and optics. Although no original manuscript of this text has survived the ravages of time, several manuscript copies, dating from the closing centuries of the Byzantine Empire (ca. For these and other reasons, Ptolemy knew mathematics to be an important part of cartography. The first Book of the Geographia is devoted primarily to theoretical principles, including a discussion of globe construction, the description of two map projections, and an extended, through amicable, criticism of his primary source, Marinus of Tyre, a€?the latest of the geographers of our timea€?. In another chapter in Book I, Ptolemy wrote that there are two ways of making a portrait of the world: one is to reproduce it on a sphere, and the other is to draw it on a plane surface.
If the second method of drawing the earth is used, that is, if the spherical earth is projected onto a plane surface, certain adjustments are obviously necessary. Ptolemya€™s exhaustive criticism of the imperfect methods of drawing maps adopted by Marinus would lead to the expectation that he himself would have used some of his own recommended projections in constructing his maps. Book II of the Geographia opens with a prologue a€?of the particular descriptionsa€?, which is to say, the maps he was about to present, and a general statement of his mapmaking policy. The fifth chapter of Book VII contains a description of the map of the world, together with an enumeration of the oceans and of the more important bays and islands.
In the eighth and last Book of the Geographia, Ptolemy returned to the business of discussing the principles of cartography, mathematical, geographical and astronomical methods of observation, and, in some cases (manuscript or printed copies) there follow short legends for each of the special maps - ten for Europe, four for Africa and twelve for Asia - mentioning the countries laid down on each plate, describing the limits, and enumerating the tribes of each country and its most important towns. Those scholars who have argued that Ptolemya€™s original text contained no maps have neglected careful study of this Book. The obvious way to avoid crowding, Ptolemy said, is to make separate maps of the most populous regions or sectional maps combining densely populated areas with countries containing few inhabitants, if such a combination is feasible. The illustration above gives a diagram of the parts of the known world embraced by each special map found in Ptolemya€™s Geographia.
While there is little doubt still lingering that Ptolemya€™s text was originally illustrated by maps, it is not altogether certain that the maps found today in existing copies of the Geographia are indeed similar to those of the original series of maps, since the latter have not survived for comparison. To further confound the issue, all of the other manuscript copies of the Geographia that are accompanied by maps differ one from another, presenting two basic versions.
The other version, B, contains sixty-four maps distributed throughout the text, vice collected together in one place.
Over and above these maps, those manuscripts with maps, both A- and B-versions, are additionally illustrated with a universal map of the entire known world at Ptolemya€™s time, either on one sheet or four sheets; only very rarely are both world maps found together.
As with modern maps, Ptolemaic maps are oriented so that North would be at the top and East at the right, because better known localities of the world were to be found in the northern latitudes, and on a flat map they would be easier to study if they were in the upper right-had corner. Displayed on the left-had margin of these world maps are seven Clima [Klima] and Parallel Zones. Overall Ptolemya€™s world-picture extended northward from the equator a distance of 31,500 stades [one mile = 9 to 10 stades; there has always been some controversy over the equivalent modern length of a stade] to 63A° N at Thule, and southward to a part of Ethiopia named Agysimba and Cape Prasum at 16A° S latitude, or the same distance south as Meroe was north.
It has been repeatedly pointed out that the distances set down by Ptolemy in his tables for the Mediterranean countries, the virtual center of the habitable world, are erroneous beyond reason, considering the fact that Roman Itineraries were accessible. The geographical errors made by Ptolemy in his text and maps constitute the principle topic of many scholarly dissertations. Paradoxically, Ptolemya€™s eastward extension of Asia, reducing the length of the unknown part of the world, coupled with his estimate of the circumference of the earth, was his greatest contribution to history if not cartography. Ptolemy provides a descriptive summary in his text in which he tells us that the habitable part of the earth is bounded on the south by the unknown land which encloses the Indian Sea and that it encompasses Ethiopia south of Libya, called Agisymba. The southern limit of the habitable world had been fixed by Eratosthenes (#112) and Strabo (#115) at the parallel through the eastern extremity of Africa, Cape Guardafiri, the cinnamon-producing country and the country of the SembritA¦ [Senaai]. Ptolemy records, following Marinus, the penetration of Roman expeditions to the land of the Ethiopians and to Agisymba, a region of the Sudan beyond the Sahara desert, perhaps the basin of Lake Chad, and he supplied other new information regarding the interior of North Africa. The eastern coast of Africa was better known than the western, having been visited by Greek and Roman traders as far as Rhapta [Rhaptum Promontory opposite Zanzibar?] which Ptolemy placed at about 7A° S. According to Greek tradition, an extension of 20A° in the width of the habitable world called for a proportionate increase in its length. Ptolemya€™s knowledge of the vast region from Sarmatia to China was, however, better than that of previous map makers. Many faults appear in Ptolemya€™s picture of southern Asia, although for more than a century commercial relations between western India and Alexandria had been flourishing.
Even the more familiar territory of the Mediterranean basin demonstrated that insufficient contemporary knowledge was available and Ptolemy erred in many important cartographical details. Map on grid system, in Ptolemy, La geographia, 1561-64, 26 x 14 cm, a€?Oxford University Byw. However, Ptolemy was apparently the first of the ancient geographers to have a fair conception of the relations between the Tanais, usually considered the northern boundary between Europe and Asia, and the Rha [Volga], which he said flowed into the Caspian Sea.
In spite of the egregious errors on all of Ptolemya€™s maps, his atlas was indeed an unsurpassed masterpiece for almost 1,500 years.
During the intellectual narrow-mindedness of the Middle Ages even Ptolemy and his methods of map construction were forgotten, at least in the west. The presently known version of Ptolemya€™s works began to surface when the Byzantine monk Maximos Planudes (1260 - 1310) succeeded in finding and purchasing a manuscript copy of the Geographia.
Another scholar of the Byzantine age is known to have been interested in Ptolemya€™s Geographia - the noted polyhistor Nikephoras Gregoras (1295 - c. In 1400 a Greek manuscript copy of the A-version (twenty-six maps) was obtained from Constantinople by the Florentine patron of letters, Palla Strozzi, who persuaded Emmanual Chrysoloras, a Byzantine scholar, to translate the text into Latin. Again, the original manuscript of Angelusa€™ translation and the first maps of Ptolemy in the Latin language have not survived, but a manuscript copy, dated 1427, prepared under the direction of Cardinal Fillastre, can be found in the library at Nancy, France (thus known as the Nancy Codex).
In manuscript form, four other cartographers are significant in editing and influencing the evolution of Ptolemya€™s atlas. After the discovery of copper-plate and wood-engraving, Ptolemya€™s atlas became one of the first great works for the reproduction of which these arts were employed. DESCRIPTION: During the Middle Ages the Greek tradition of disinterested research was stifled in Western Europe by a theological dictatorship which bade fair, for a time, to destroy all hope of a genuine intellectual revival.
Most Arab cartographers also used Ptolemya€™s instructions in the construction of their own maps. Over the years, these enlightened Arabs injected new life and a storehouse of knowledge into the relatively backward science of Western Europe, and, for centuries, Arab culture actually dominated the Iberian Peninsula and Sicily.
In the year 1138, the royal palace at Palermo, Sicily was the scene of a long-awaited meeting between an unusual Christian king and a distinguished Muslim scholar. The monarch was Roger II, King of Sicily; his distinguished guest the Arab geographer Abu Abdullah Mohammed Ibn al-Sharif al-Idrisi [Edrisi].
Al-Idrisia€™s writings tell us less about his own character and personality than about those of the man who became his host and patron.
Sicily in particular was an ideal meeting ground for the two civilizations a€“ Christian Europe and the Muslim Middle East.
Early in the 11th century a band of Norman adventurers, the Hautevilles, had ridden into southern Italy to wrest it from the Byzantine Greeks and the Muslims, and in 1101 Count Roger da€™Hauteville capped his career by conquering Sicily. Tall, dark-haired, bearded and corpulent, Roger, from a magnificent palace in Palermo, ruled his kingdom with a balanced mixture of diplomacy, ruthlessness, wisdom and skill that has led many historians to term his kingdom the best-governed European state of the Middle Ages. Rogera€™s interest in geography was the expression of a scientific curiosity just awakening in Europe, but inevitably he turned to a Muslim for help. A few practical maps did exista€”marinersa€™ charts showing coastlines, capes, bays, shallows, ports of call and watering and provisioning placesa€”but in a typical medieval divorce of science and technology, these remained in the hands of navigators.
To carry out the project, Roger established an academy of geographers, with himself as director and al-Idrisi as permanent secretary, to gather and analyze information. The academy began by studying and comparing the works of previous geographersa€”principal among them 12 scholars, 10 of them from the Muslim world.
Al-Idrisia€™s two geographers from the pre-Islamic era were Paulus Orosius, a Spaniard whose popular History, written in the fifth century, included a volume of descriptive geography; and Ptolemy, the greatest of the classical geographers, whose Geography, written in the second century, had been entirely lost to Europe, but preserved in the Muslim world in an Arabic translation. After examining at length the geographical works they had collected, the king and the geographer observed that they were full of discrepancies and omissions, and decided to embark on original research. During this research, al-Idrisi and Roger compared data, keeping the facts on which travelers agreed and eliminating conflicting information. Finally, however, the long 15-year geographical study was finished and the task of map making began. Al-Idrisi explained that the disk merely symbolized the shape of the world: The earth is round like a sphere, and the waters adhere to it and are maintained on it through natural equilibrium which suffers no variation.
By al-Idrisia€™s time, Muslim astronomers had made great strides in methods of reckoning latitude.
Al-Idrisi himself gave three figures for the eartha€™s circumference, without deciding among them: Eratosthenesa€™ approximately correct estimate, a slightly smaller figure arrived at by Indian astronomers, and a still smaller numbera€”though larger than Ptolemya€™sa€”which was apparently agreed on by Sicilian scholars. On the disk, according to al-Idrisia€™s own account, were incised a€?by skillful workersa€? lines marking the limits of the seven climates of the habitable world, arbitrary divisions established by Ptolemy running east and west and bounded by parallels of latitude, from the Arctic to the Equator.
The map, written in Arabic, shows the Eurasian continent in its entirety, but only shows the northern part of the African continent. The resulting book and associated maps which took 15 years to amass are, for this and the above reasons, unquestionably among the most interesting monuments of Arabian geography. Modern geographers have attempted to reconstruct the features of the silver planisphere by using a combination of the maps of Rogera€™s Book, which has survived in several texts, and its tables of longitudes and latitudes. Distortions, omissions, and misconceptions notwithstanding, the superiority of al-Idrisia€™s map over the world maps of medieval Europe is striking. The first division of the first climate commences to the west of the Western Sea, which Idrisi called the Sea of Darkness. Following the Nile, still eastward, we find the nomadic Berbers who pasture their flock on the borders of a river flowing from the east, debouching into the Nile stream. It is clear that the part of southern Africa which is extended far to the east is a legacy from Ptolemy, but Arabian seafarers had taught Idrisi that the sea was open in the east, and in his own commentaries he writes: a€?The Sea of Sin [China] is an arm of the ocean which is called the Dark Sea [the Atlantic]a€?.
To the south al-Idrisi pictured a great river, the Nile of the Negroes, a composite of the Senegal and the Niger Rivers that flowed from Central Africa west to the Atlantic.
Sicily, naturally, came in for special praise; it was a pearl of the age, and al-Idrisi told the story of the Norman conquest of the island by Roger da€™Hauteville, the greatest of Frankish princes, followed by the succession of the great king who bears the same name and who follows in his footsteps. Idrisi was not, however, able to put the countries around the Baltic into proper shape, even though his notes show him to have been familiar with a great many places there, as in the rest of Europe.
The impressive assemblage of facts from travelersa€™ accounts and geographical writings was interrupted now and then by fables, some taken directly from Ptolemy, some from popular folklore.
Al-Idrisia€™s Rome had an oriental magnificence; ships with their freight sailed up the Tiber to be drawn thus loaded right up to the very shops of the merchants.
The Arabs knew these islands through Ptolemy, and called them Jazaa€™ir al-Khalidat [The Eternal Isles], presumably a version of the Greek name. After telling us that the Canaries had been visited by Alexander the Great and that the tomb of a pre-Islamic South Arabian king, made of marble and colored glass, can be seen on one of them, al-Idrisi gives the names of two of the islands.
Even more interesting is al-Idrisia€™s account of an actual voyage of exploration into the western Atlantic, undertaken by 80 brave men from Lisbon whom he calls the mugharrirun, best rendered as a€?intrepid explorers.a€? The expedition must have taken place before 1147 - the date Lisbon fell to the Christians - but it is impossible to be more precise.
It was from the city of Lisbon that the mugharrirun set out to sail the Sea of Darkness in order to discover what was in it and where it ended, as we have mentioned before. The inhabitants of the island of al-Sua€™ali are shaped like women and their canine teeth protrude. The island of Qalhan is inhabited by animal-headed people who swim in the sea to catch their food. Al-Ghawr makes sense; it means a depression surrounded by higher land, and occurs elsewhere in the Arab world as a place name. Al-Idrisi gives the names of 13 islands in the western Atlantic; a 14th, visited by the mugharrirun, is nameless.
On his map, Idrisi shows a long string of islands in the Western Ocean reaching north from the equator to Brittany. However, Arab geographers and astronomers were much too accurate in their latitude calculations to mistakenly spread the Canary Islands so widely over the ocean.
The three intermediate islands in the chain may be the first cartographic representation of the Azores. Idrisia€™s description of other islands in the Atlantic appear to have more to do with fanciful legends than with reality.
Some of these islands resemble the islands of Irish legend, and the Arabs may have incorporated parts of the Celtic tradition into their own legends.
At the latitude of Tangier, in the Grand Sea, there are situated islands named a€?The Fortunate Islands.a€? These are spread in the sea, not far away from the west coast [of Africa], the Barbary Coast. Al-Idrisi presented the planisphere, a silver celestial sphere and the book to his patron in 1154, just a few weeks before Roger died at 58, probably of a heart attack; he went on to compose another geographical work for William I, Rogera€™s successor.
According to Arab sources, Idrisi composed yet another more detailed text and map in 1161 for Rogera€™s son William II.
In 1160, however, Sicilian barons rose in rebellion against William and during the disorders looted the palace; in a great fire in the courtyard, they burned government records, books and documentsa€”including a new Latin edition of Rogera€™s Book which al-Idrisi had presented to William.
Since the barons had attacked the Muslims of Sicily with particular ferocitya€”killing, among many others, a famous poet named Yahya ibn al-Tifashia€”al-Idrisi fled to North Africa where, six years later, he died. As he had brought the Arabic text with him, however, his great work lived on, winning widespread fame, serving as a model for Muslim geographers and historians for centuries and providing the great Muslim historian, Ibn Khaldun, with practically all his geographical knowledge. It is a curious thought that had Columbus been aware of the true distancea€”from al-Idrisia€™s estimatesa€”he might have hesitated to undertake his epoch-making voyage and might never have discovered that new world which came to light one morning on the far side of the Sea of Darkness.
Idrisia€™s works are of exceptional quality when considered in comparison with other geographical writings of their period, partly by reason of their richness of detail, but mainly because of the afore mentioned a€?scientific methoda€™ that was employed, a procedure which was indeed unlike that adopted by most Latin scholars of that era.
There is, however, a markedly retrograde character to certain portions of his work, such as East Africa and South Asia; despite his narrative of the Lisbon Wanderers (see above and Beazely, vol.
In view of its modernity and high intrinsic worth, it is difficult to understand why Idrisia€™s work, composed as it was at the chronological and geographical point of contact between the Islamic and Christian civilizations, remained so long un-utilized by Christian scholars in Sicily, Italy, or other Christian countries, until we remember that the primary - we might even say the sole - interest of the Latin West in Arabic literature centered on the preparation of calendars, star tables and horoscopes, and, to some extent, the recovery of ancient lore. Al-Idrisia€™s map places Gog and Magog in northern China, behind a great wall with a tower and a door; at the wall is an inscription, translated as a€?belongs to the Kufaya mountain range which encloses Gog and Magoga€?. The first translation known of Idrisia€™s work was published in Rome only in 1619, and then in a very much shortened form (the translator did not even know the authora€™s name). On the other hand, there is no question but that the Sicilo-Norman enthusiasm for geography exerted an indirect influence on the evolution of geographical knowledge, an influence that was to make itself felt more especially after the close of the Crusades period.
Detail of the a€?The large Idrisi Mapa€? showing Europe and North Africa,a€? re-oriented with North at the top. Reproduction and re-orientation of a map of the world adapted from the Muqaddimah [Introduction] to Ibn Khalduna€™s monumental work, The History of the World, 1381; derived from the 1154 al-Idrisi map. However, the date of 1500 was confirmed by a series of rigorous laboratory testing: radiography, reflection of rays and ultraviolet rays.
The author of this map, regarded as one of the oldest cartographic documents relating to the voyages of Christopher Columbus (1451-1506) and John Cabot (ca 1455-1499), is Juan de la Cosa (c. This map is an excellent example of the portolan [nautical] charts that came into use among Italian sailors in the 13th and 14th centuries.
The chief interest in the map is its delineation of the coastline of the New World so recently discovered and so little known at that time.
The Caribbean islands already show, in contrast to Columbusa€™ ideas, clear hallmarks of the way they appear in much later maps. The earliest and, for more than half-a-century, the most complete description of Cuba is the one which is inserted in this famous planisphere.
Nomenclatures play such an important part in the identification of cartographical documents; they enable us to ascend so surely to the origin not only of names, but also of the configurations on which we find them inscribed, that no better means can be employed by critics to solve the numerous problems which are involved in every ancient map, chart, and globe, without a single exception. Cuba appears here for the first time under the name derived from the native word CubanacA?n; Columbus had called the land Iuna.
While Cosa could draw upon the voyages of Columbus and Spanish explorers for the Antilles and much of South America, no Spanish ships had by 1500 visited Central and North America. Unfortunately, this cartographical data is not sufficiently precise to enable one to locate the landfalls with adequate exactness. Much attention has been attracted to La Cosaa€™s representation of the northeastern coastline of America. The northwestern portion of La Cosaa€™s map sets forth twenty inscriptions, seven of which are the names of capes, whilst one refers to a river (rA° longo), another to an island (isla de la trinidad), and a third to a lake (lago fore?). All that is clear in this vague description, and which must be retained just now, is that John Cabota€™s ultimate objective, when he set out from England in 1498, was an equatorial or southern region situated south of the point reached by him in 1497.
In latitude the Old World portion of the map extends from the Scandinavian peninsula southwards to the African continent. The Cosa planisphere does not extend eastward beyond the northern border of the Arabian Sea, omitting, therefore, Hindostan, the Malay Peninsula and China. As mentioned earlier, the map in fact has every appearance of having been put together from at least two sections: the western portion comprising the American discoveries and perhaps the West African coast having been joined to a portion of a world map resembling those of fifty years earlier which display the influence of Ptolemy. Previous cartographic studies of the 1500 map by La Cosa have found substantial and difficult-to-explain errors in latitude, especially for the Antilles and the Caribbean coast. Alvarez, Aldo, a€?Geomagnetism and the Cartography of Juan de la Cosa: A New Perspective on the Greater Antilles in the Age of Discoverya€?. Davies, A., a€?The Date of Juan de la Cosa's World Map and Its Implications for American Discoverya€?, The Geographical Journal 142 (1) (1976).
Another theory claims that this is a copy by a draftsman who was unable to decipher La Cosaa€™s original lettering.A  This theory is born out by the many names, even on the South American coasts that had been explored by Cosa himself, that are unintelligible and meaningless. What is shown of South America also suggests that is probably a continental landmass.A  Off the coast of Brazil, the island with the legend, Ysla descubierta por portugal [Island discovered for Portugal], indicates La Cosaa€™s belief concerning the location of the land discovered by Cabral in 1500.
The Caribbean islands already show, in contrast to Columbusa€™ ideas, clear hallmarks of the way they appear in much later maps.A  The Bahamas group is shown with some accuracy but necessarily on a small scale.
La Cosa avoided the problem of the possible existence of straits in Central America that might provide a sea link to the Far East.A  Apart from its decorative function, the vignette that he inserted in Central America serves to hide the part of the new lands unknown when looking for a passage to Cathay.
The exact opposite point on earth from Hyderabad, India will take you to somewhere in the middle of Pacific Ocean.
The website is AntiPodr, Just input your current street address (or city name or zip code) and hit enter. The logic is simple: If the coordinates (longitude and latitude) of a point on the Earth’s surface are (x, y), then the coordinates of the exact opposite location will be (x ± 180°,-y).
IMPORTANT: This blog welcomes Guest Bloggers, Writers to also contribute by writing Guest Posts and also Make Money!.
Subscribe to NiharsWorld feed via RSS or EMAIL to receive instant updates.NiharsWorld is a revenue sharing blog, Write for us and make money. You can subscribe to RSS in Feed Reader or you can receive blog updates via E-mail, New posts straight to your inbox. 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€™.
He composed a Table of Reigns, a chronological list of Assyrian, Persian, Greek, and Roman sovereigns dating from Nabonasar to Antoninus Pius, a biographical history of kingship. He was interested in the earth, all of it, not just the habitable part, and tried to fit it into a scheme of the universe where it belonged. Marinus had given this matter considerable thought, rejecting all previously devised methods of obtaining congruity on a flat map; yet, according to Ptolemy he had finally selected the least satisfactory method of solving the problem. There is also an introduction to data collection, evaluation, preparations for drawing, how and in what order to mark boundaries, and how to use the appended tables. When traveling overland it is usually necessary to diverge from a straight line course in order to avoid inevitable land-barriers; and at sea, where winds are changeable, the speed of a vessel varies considerably, making it difficult to estimate over-water distances with any degree of accuracy. The Indian Ocean, which is assumed to be bordered on the south by an unknown continent, uniting southern Africa with eastern Asia, is stated to be the largest sea surrounded by land. It is these legends which, in some editions, have been placed on the reverse of the maps, and they appear to have been originally intended for that purpose. In Chapter Two Ptolemy said, a€?It remains for us to show how we set down all places, so that when we divide one map into several maps we may be able to accurately locate all of the well-known places through the employment of easily understood and exact measurements.a€? On the other hand, some scholars even go so far as to say that maps were already drawn before certain portions of the text was addressed, so that they could be used as models for the completion of other portions of the text.
For instance, in a single map embracing the entire earth, he said, there is a tendency to sacrifice proportion, that is, scale, in order to get everything on the map. If several regional maps are made to supplement the general world map, they need not a€?measure the same distance between the circlesa€?, that is, be drawn to the same scale, provided the correct relation between distance and direction is preserved. It demonstrates how Ptolemya€™s world had been systematically divided into twenty-six regions, each of which is mapped on a separate sheet. The reason for this doubt lies in the question of authorship of the maps which accompany extant copies. According to map historian Leo Bagrow, one version, A, contains twenty-six large maps included in the eighth Book of the text, each folded in half and, on the back, having a statement of the region portrayed, its bounds and a list of principle towns. In some manuscripts of the B-version, and in those without maps, the texts from the backs of the maps are combined together in a special edition, divided into chapters numbered 3-28. Of the Greek manuscripts of the Geographia, as a whole or in part, known today, eleven of the A-version and five of the B-version have maps. The meridians are spaced from each other a€?the third part of an equinoctial hour, that is, through five of the divisions marked on the equatora€?.
In Ptolemya€™s time, the latitude, or distance from the equator, was generally astronomically calculated from the length of the longest and the shortest day.
The numbers on the right of the Clima give the number of hours in the longest day at different latitudes, increasing from 12 hours at the equator to 24 hours at the Arctic Circle. The a€?breadtha€? of the habitable world according to Ptolemy then equates to 39,500 stades [3,950 miles].
The earth was only 18,000 miles around at the equator; Poseidonius had stated it, Strabo substantiated it, and Ptolemy perpetuated it on his maps.
Of these, the Indicum Mare [Indian Ocean] is the largest, Our Sea [the Mediterranean] is the next and the Hyrcanian [Caspian] is the smallest.
This parallel also passed through Taprobane usually considered the southernmost part of Asia. As to the source of the Nile, both Greeks and Romans had tried to locate it, but without success.
Ptolemy extended the west coast of Africa with a free hand, and even though he reduced the bulge made by Marinus more than half, it was still way out of control. He shows, for the first time, a fairly clear idea of the great north-south dividing range of mountains of Central Asia, which he called Imaus, but he placed it nearly 40A° too far east and made it divide Scythia into two parts: Scythia Intra Imaum and Scythia Extra Imaum Montem [Within Imaus and Beyond Imaus].
His Mediterranean is about 20A° too long, and even after correcting his lineal value of a degree it was still about 500 geographical miles too long.


Ptolemy was also the first geographer, excepting Alexander the Great, to return to the correct view advanced by Herodotus and Aristotle, that the Caspian was an inland sea without communication with the ocean (the Christian medieval cartographers were a long time in returning to this representation of the Caspian). Its wealth of detail still constitutes one of the most important sources of information for the historian and student of ancient geography. Many of the legends and conventional signs that he used are still employed by cartographers with only slight modifications. Ptolemya€™s works were, however, thriving and contributing valuable insight to knowledgeable Arabs and those having access and understanding of the Arab or Greek language (it was only in the Islamic states and in these languages that the works of the Alexandrian scientist were preserved (see monographs #212, #213, #214-17, lbn Said, al-lstakhri, Ibn Hauqal, al-Kashgari, etc.
Very few scholars, let alone other literate persons in Western Europe were familiar with the Greek language at this time, therefore this translation was a great stimulus to a€?popularizinga€? Ptolemy. Curiously enough it was first printed at Vincenza in 1475 (the date printed of 1462 is in error) without maps! With this basis the Muslims combined the accumulated knowledge gained through exploration and travel. As his visitor entered the hall, the king rose, took his hand and led him across the carpeted marble to a place of honor beside the throne.
Born in Ceuta, Morocco, across the strait from Spain, al-Idrisi was then in his late 30a€™s.
Roger II, son of a Norman-French soldier of fortune who had conquered Sicily at the beginning of the 12th century, was an anomaly among Christian monarchs of his time. Captured by the Arabs in 831, the island had remained in Muslim control until the end of the 11th century.
Four years later, he passed the territory on to his son, Roger, who in 1130 was crowned king as Roger II.
His energy was a legenda€”one commentator remarked that Roger accomplished more asleep than other sovereigns did awakea€”and his court boasted a collection of philosophers, mathematicians, doctors, geographers and poets who had no superior in Europea€”and in whose company he spent much of his time. Christian Europea€™s approach to map-making was still symbolic and fanciful, based on tradition and myth rather than scientific investigation, and used to illustrate books of pilgrimage, Biblical exegesis and other works. He wanted to know the precise conditions of every area under his rule, and of the world outsidea€”its boundaries, climate, roads, the rivers that watered its lands, and the seas that bathed its coasts.
Sicilya€™s busy and cosmopolitan ports provided an ideal place for such an inquiry, and for years hardly a ship docked at Palermo, Messina, Catania or Syracuse without its crew and passengers being interrogated about the places they had visited.
This process of collecting and assessing material took 15 years, during which, according to al-Idrisi, hardly a day passed when the king did not confer personally with the geographers, studying accounts that disagreed, examining astronomical coordinates, tables and itineraries, poring over books and weighing divergent opinions.
First, under al-Idrisia€™s direction, a working copy was produced on a drawing board, with places sited on the map with compasses, following the tables that had already been prepared. Although Ptolemy had discussed several kinds of projection (Book I, #119), the problem of flattening out the surface of a sphere so that it could be represented on a flat map would not be solved until the 16th and 17th centuriesa€”the Age of Explorationa€”and none too satisfactorily even then. Zach states in 1806 that a€?the oldest terrestrial globe that is known was made for King Roger II of Sicily in the 12th century, and is especially remarkable for the value of the metal which was used in its construction, this being 400 pounds of silver. Below the Equator, an unexplored southern temperate zone was thought to be separated from the familiar northern one by an impassable area of deadly heat. Two are in the BibliothA?que Nationale de France, including the oldest, dated to about 1300 (MS Arabe 2221). From this reconstruction it is evident that, like Ptolemy, al-Idrisi pictured the habitable world as occupying 180 of the 360 degrees of the worlda€™s longitude, from the Atlantic in the West to China in the East, and 64 degrees of its latitude, from the Arctic Ocean to the Equator. Contrasted with the quaint and picturesque, but almost totally uninformative maps of the Christian scholars, the features of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East are easily recognizable in al-Idrisia€™s representationa€”Britain, Ireland, Spain, Italy, the Red Sea and the Nile. He had no doubt met travelers and merchants from Scandinavia at the court of King Roger and received important information from them, but we know that the Arabs too had connections with the Baltic peoples and also those in Russia at that time.
In Russia, winter daylight periods were so short that there was hardly time for Muslim travelers to perform all five obligatory daily prayers. Paris (Abariz) earned a condescending reference as a town of mediocre size, surrounded by vineyards and forests, situated on an island in the Seine, which surrounds it on all sides; however, it is extremely agreeable, strong, and susceptible of defense. The Strait of Gibraltar, according to Rogera€™s Book, did not exist when Alexander the Greata€”as medieval legend had ita€”invaded Spain. Discovered by Hanno in the fifth century BC, they were explored and colonized in 25 BC by Juba II, erudite king of Mauretania and husband of Cleopatra Selene, daughter of Antony and Cleopatra.
Some sources speak of these islands as if they were legendary, telling us for example that on each of the six islands - there are in fact seven - there was a bronze statue, like the one in CA?diz, warning voyagers to turn back. The mugharrirun were so famous for their exploit that a street in Lisbon was named after them. A street in Lisbon, near the hot springs, is still known as a€?The Street of the Intrepid Explorersa€?; it is named after them. It is hard to escape the impression that we owe the preservation of this account largely to the folk etymology in the last line. The Azores are named after a kind of goshawk - in Portuguese, aA§or - prevalent there at the time of discovery. The inhabitants threw stones at the travelers and hurt several of Alexandera€™s companions.
A small fresh-water river runs down from the foot of the mountain, where the inhabitants live.
Al-Mustashkin is probably a corruption of al-mushtakin, meaning a€?the complainersa€? - appropriate enough for a population in thrall to a dragon. The Two Brothers could be the two small islands off Lanzarote in the Canaries, Alegranza and Graciosa, or indeed, any two prominent rocks off their coasts.
This unnamed island, together with Masfahan, Laghus, The Two Brothers and possibly Sawa, are almost certainly islands in the Canary group.
After describing the Canary Islands, Idrisi refers to an island in the Western Sea named Raqa, which is the Isle of the Birds, Djaziratoa€™t-Toyour. Distinct from the Canary Islands were the Isle of Female Devils, the Isle of Illusion, the Island of Two Sorcerers, and the Isle of Lamentation [Gazirat al-Mustashkin], which was inhabited and fertile, with tilled fields, but controlled by a terrible dragon. An exchange of ideas and reciprocal influences between the two cultures certainly took place. This work is said to have been even more extensive than his earlier one, but only a few extracts have survived.
At the same time, the silver planisphere and celestial sphere disappeared, apparently cut up and melted down.
Although the Arabic text of Rogera€™s Book was published in Rome by the Medici press in 1592, it was not again available to Europeans in Latin until the 17th century. Certainly the influence of Idrisia€™s Geography could not have been great in the world of letters or else traces of it would more easily be detected in Western literature. An explicit reference to Dul-Karnaia€™in (an Arabic name for Alexander, among others) by the gate, leaves no doubt as to Idrisia€™s source.
Displays a Ptolemaic construction with an arrangement of horizontal divisions into seven parallel climate zones, originally oriented with South at the top.
Upon the death of Baron Walckenaer in 1853, the Queen of Spain purchased the map and, though greatly deteriorated, is now the chief treasure of the Museo Naval in Madrid. Moreover, as far as its publication date, not only does the map carry on it the date of 1500, but it has features that would have been utterly different had it been compiled in 1508.
The map of La Cosa actually consists of two charts, one of the a€?Old Worlda€? and one of the a€?New Worlda€?, separated and plotted in two different scales, as is the case for a number of maps from this era.
North America, which in most early maps (up to 1506) normally consisted of separate islands, only later fusing into a cohesive whole, is shown on the Cosa map as a solid landmass extending far into the North Atlantic. La Cosa was considered in Spain as the greatest cartographer of his day, and the pilot best conversant with the West India seas. And even when the names are scarcely legible, or evidently corrupted by the inattention of cartographers, and their ignorance, oftentimes, of the language employed in the prototype, they still serve to indicate the source from which were borrowed important geographical averments. The Cosa map represents them as a continuous landmass extending to the Arctic, which was cosmographically correct, but the actual coastlines are clearly hypothetical in outline and without nomenclature, proving they were not based on charts of actual voyages that had explored such coasts. It is known that he tacked against the westerlies for 54 days and made landfall on 24th June (Bristol records). Nor is the kind of projection adopted, without explicit degrees of latitude, of such a character as to aid someone much in determining positions.
Although many of those designations convey no meaning to the scholar (apparently on account of imperfect transcriptions), and are not to be found on any other map, they must be considered as proving that the coast had been actually visited before 1500. To this interpretation must be added the fact that the line of British flags in La Cosaa€™s map, corroborates such an intention, as it indicates plainly a southward coasting. Taking the distance from the equator to the extreme north in La Cosaa€™s map as a criterion for measuring distances, and comparing relatively the points named therein with points corresponding for the same latitude on modern planispheres, the last English flagstaff in the southern direction seems to indicate a vicinity south of the Carolinas. It is believed that La Cosa drew this portion of the coast from Cabota€™s map, now lost, which Pedro de Ayala, the Spanish Ambassador at London, sent to King Ferdinand.
The African coast as far as the Cape of Good Hope is represented with fair accuracy, apparently drawn from Portuguese sources. The non-peninsular coast of India is from the Ptolemaic cartographic tradition; the outline of the Asian coast, however, is no improvement on that of the Catalan Map of 1375 (#235). If we use the distance between the tropic and the equator to obtain a scale of degrees, and apply this to the map, we find that in the western section, though there are discrepancies, the general picture is not wildly inaccurate.
The general shape of the western coastline is good, though, in relation to the west-east extent of the Gulf of Guinea coast, the coastline southwards to the Cape is too short. In Luis Maciasa€™ study, a mathematical methodology was applied to identify the underlying cartographic projection of the Atlantic region of the map, and to evaluate its latitudinal and longitudinal accuracy. Breve historia del mundo y su imagen (Editorial Universitaria de Buenos Aires, 1968), Figure 25. The first of a series on geographical misconceptions,a€? The Map Collector 2 (March 1978), 3 (a large portrait of Columbus dressed as Saint Christopher). A critical, documentary and historic investigation, with an essay on the early cartography of the New World (Paris, 1892), pp. Robles, a€?Juan de la Cosaa€™s Projection: A Fresh Analysis of the Earliest Preserved Map of the Americasa€?, Coordinates, MAGERT, Series A, No.
North America, which in most early maps (up to 1506) normally consisted of separate islands, only later fusing into a cohesive whole, is shown on the Cosa map as a solid landmass extending far into the North Atlantic.A  In the west are the discoveries of Cabot in the north and of Columbus and the Spaniards in the West Indies and along the northeastern coasts of South America. The news of this discovery was probably brought to Spain while La Cosa was still working on his map. It includes the island Guanahani, Columbusa€™ first landfall, alternatively known as San Salvador and now identified with Watling Island. La Cosa uses a similar ploy by truncating the route from Asia to avoid the question of whether Columbus and Cabot arrived in the far eastern Asia or in a new land.
To find out, you just need to visit a website which uses Google Maps to plot a map and show the exactly opposite location on Earth’s Surface. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. 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. Little is known personally of this pivotal man aside from the general period during which he was active ca. His Analemma was mathematical description of a sphere projected on a plane, subsequently known as an a€?orthographic projection,a€? which greatly simplified the study of gnomonics. He was also interested in the relationships between the earth and the sun, the earth and the moon, in scientific cause and effect of climate; and above all, he was concerned with a scientifically accurate portrayal of the spherical earth in a convenient readable form. These Byzantine copies of the Geographia are comprised of eight a€?Booksa€? which Ptolemy introduces by supplying two very influential definitions - that of chorography and geography. Marinus had laid out a grid of strait lines equidistant from one another for both his parallels of latitude and meridians of longitude. Because while Ptolemy employs his conical projection in his first general world map, for the remaining twenty-six special regional maps he uses the rectangular projection of Marinus with due observance of the ratio between the longitude and latitude at the base of the map. Books II-VI and the first four chapters of Book VII are devoted to a complete catalogue of some 8,000 inhabited localities laid down in the twenty-six special maps of the geography. Nevertheless Ptolemy concluded that the most reliable way of determining distances was by astronomical observation, and by no other method could one expect to fix positions accurately. In addition, a description of a projection of the inhabited hemisphere on a plane, by which it could retain its circular outline, or globular aspect is also given. The better known regions have many place-names, while the lesser known have few, and, unless the map is carefully drawn, it will have some crowded, illegible areas, and some where distances are unduly extended. Ptolemy repeated that it would be not too far from the truth if instead of circles we draw straight lines for meridians and parallels. Generally these sheets are of about the same size, but the scales vary according to the space required for the legends.
Did Ptolemy actually design and construct the maps himself, were they made by a draftsman working under his supervision, or were they added, perhaps as late as 1450, by an energetic editor who thought the text needed some graphic emendation? The geographical coordinates of these towns are given, not in degrees, but in time; the longitude is expressed in hours and minutes corresponding to the distance from the meridian of Alexandria (one hour = 15 degrees, one minute = 15 minutes of a degree), and the latitude is expressed in terms of the length of the longest day, in hours and minutes (the greater the distance from the equator, the longer the day in summer).
Some of the manuscripts without maps contain references to accompanying maps, since lost, and in others, spaces have been left for maps to be inserted.
In other words, the total span of twelve hours, representing the length of the habitable world, was to be partitioned by a series of thirty-six meridians spaced five degrees apart at the equator and converging at the North Pole. The earth was accordingly divided into a number of zones, parallel to the equator and within which these days had a certain length, for instance of 12 -13, or 15 -16 hours. Ptolemy a€?correcteda€? this length to 180A° (9,000 miles), still 50A° (2,500 miles) too long, an error arising from using the Fortunate Islands as his prime meridian which he placed about seven degrees (350 miles) too far to the east. It is very unlikely, in view of the secrecy attached to all maps and surveys of the Roman Empire. This a€?shorter distancea€? that a mariner would have to travel west from the shores of Spain in order to reach the rich trading centers of Asia may have contributed to Columbusa€™ belief, or that of his royal sponsors, that they could compete with their rival neighbors, Portugal, in the newly opened sea-trade with India by sailing west. The Emperor Nero had sent an expedition into Upper Egypt, and it had penetrated as far as the White Nile, about 9A° N latitude. On the same approximate parallel he located the region called Agisymba, inhabited by Ethiopians and abounding in rhinoceri, supposedly discovered by Julius Maternus, a Roman general. A more obvious area to stretch the length of the world was in eastern Asia where there was every likelihood of additional territory yet unexplored.
Asia and Africa are extended considerably to the east and south, far more so than on any previous maps, but not without cause.
His Mare Nostrum, from Marseilles to the opposite point on the coast of Africa, is 11A° of latitude instead of the actual 6.5A°. This is especially true in the study of the earliest tribes that encompassed the Roman Empire in the first century of the Christian era, who were at that time barbarians, but who later bore the burden of civilization in Europe. He originated the practice of orienting maps so that North is at the top and East to the right, a custom so universal today that many people are lost when they try to read a map oriented any other way.
Planudes constructed a map based upon the instructions found in Ptolemya€™s eight books and subsequently, through Athanasios, Patriarch of Alexandria, had a copy of the Geographia, with maps made for Emperor Andronicus III. He is also credited with the four-page world map found in some manuscripts, chiefly the B-version. When Chrysoloras was unable to complete the translation, it was finished by one of his students, Jacobus Angelus of Scarparia, between 1406 and 1410. In all, seven editions were printed in the 15th century, of which six were provided with large maps in folio, and thirty-three in the following century (a selected list taken from Tooley accompanies this monograph). Almost at once the two men began to discuss the project for which the scholar had been asked to come from North Africa: the creation of the first accuratea€”and scientifica€”map of the entire known world.
After studying in Cordoba, in Muslim Spain, he had spent some years in travel, covering the length of the Mediterranean, from Lisbon to Damascus. His co-religionists, commenting on his oriental life-style, complete with harem and eunuchs, disparagingly referred to him as the a€?half-heathen kinga€? and a€?the baptized Sultan of Sicily.a€? Educated by Greek and Arab tutors, he was an intellectual with a taste for scientific inquiry, and relished the company of Muslim scholars, of whom al-Idrisi was one of the most celebrated.
Like Muslim Spain, it was a beacon of prosperity to a Europe caught in the economic slow-down we call the Dark Ages. In mathematics, as in the political sphere, al-Idrisi wrote of his patron, the extent of his learning cannot be described. Picturesque and colorful, European maps showed a circular earth composed of three continents equal in sizea€”Asia, Africa and Europea€”separated by narrow bands of water. While medieval Europe had become fragmented and parochial, both politically and commercially, the Muslim world was unified by a flourishing long-distance commerce as well as by religion and culture. The commissiona€™s agents haunted the ports, and if they discovered a traveler who had visited any particularly exotic region, he was conducted to the palace at Palermo to be questioned by al-Idrisi or even by Roger.
Then a great disk almost 80 inches in diameter and weighing over 300 pounds was fabricated out of silver, chosen for its malleability and permanence. The great geographer Gerardus Mercator commented, If you wish to sail from one port to another, here is a chart .
A knowledge of this globe would not have come down to our day had not Idrisi, a famous geographer of that time, given an especial description of the same, under the title Nothatol mostak [Pleasure of the Soul].a€? According to other scholars it is more probable that the reference here is to a circular disc or planisphere made by Idrisi, or an armillary sphere, but not to a terrestrial globe. Following the rough sketch prepared by al-Idrisi, the silversmiths transferred the outlines of countries, oceans, rivers, gulfs, peninsulas and islands to the planisphere.
The planisphere showed the sources of the Nilea€”not explored by Europeans until the 19th century, but evidently known to 12th century Muslim travelersa€”and the cities of central Sudan.
Al-Idrisi described the lost city of Ghana (near Timbuktu, on the Niger) as the most considerable, the most densely peopled, and the largest trading center of the Negro countries. Few cities are comparable in the solidity and height of buildings, the beauty of the surrounding country, and the fertility of the lands watered by the Tagus.
The Norwegians had to harvest their grain when it was still green and dry it at their hearths since the sun shines very rarely upon them. Because the inhabitants of Africa and Europe waged continual warfare, Alexander decided to separate them by a canal, which he cut between Tangier and al-Andalus (southern Spain). A passionate art collector, Juba was also interested in science and technology, inventing a new method of making purple dye from the orchil plant - and the export of orchil from the Atlantic islands was of economic importance until early this century. But al-Idrisi tells of an attempted expedition to the Canaries in the late 12th century, during the reign of the Almoravid amir Yusuf ibn Tashafin. This is probably Tenerife, and the round mountain would be the 3,600-meter-high (12,000-foot) volcano called Pico de Teide. Eighty men, all ordinary people, got together and built a large ship and stocked it with enough food and water for several months.
The sheep are a problem, for the Azores were uninhabited when settled in the 15th century, and even if we slightly stretch the meaning of the word ghanam, which can also mean a€?goats,a€? we are still left with the problem of the origin of the creatures.
There are many rivers and pools, and thickets where donkeys and long-horned cattle take refuge.
There used to be a dragon in the area, and the people were forced to feed it with bulls, donkeys or even humans, according to the legend; when Alexander arrived, the people complained to him of the dragona€™s depredations. Al-Sa€™ali is a word that refers to a kind of female demon or vampire; judging by al-Idrisia€™s description of the female inhabitants of the island, it is apt.
This story of Alexander and the dragon echoes the Eleventh Labor of Hercules, the Golden Apples of the Hesperides, guarded by the dragon Ladon. It could be argued that the first six islands, spread over three entire climate zones between the equator and the Strait of Gibraltar, represent the six known Canary Islands, forced into this north-south alignment by the physical constraints of the circular map with its narrow band of the Surrounding Ocean. The first two islands are the Canary Islands, properly shown in the first climate zone and carried forward from Ptolemya€™s map as the Fortunate Islands or Islands of the Blest. This story may be a borrowing from Greek mythology, where a dragon guarded the golden apples of the Hesperides. In the 1400a€™s, therefore, Christopher Columbus had to rely on other sources of information.
Unlike a multitude of Arabic writings of far less intrinsic value, the Rogerian Description found no Gerard of Cremona (translator of Ptolemy into Latin) to put it into Latin, and the authoritative geographical knowledge of the Western world was destined to develop unenriched by the treasures which Roger and Idrisi together had amassed. Gog and Magog appeared on Arabian maps as Yajoj wa Majoj from the 10th century; they appear on Al-Idrisia€™s map of 1154 under the same names. The climate numbers are given along the vertical axis, and the ten longitudinal divisions are given across the top. The text was accompanied by 71 part maps, a world map and 70 sectional itinerary maps, representing the seven climates each divided longitudinally into 10 sections.
Notwithstanding several large holes, the map may be said to be in a good state of preservation. Thus in 1501-02 Cosa explored the Gulf of Uraba and the coast of Darien, yet these are not shown on his map nor are there any names on the hypothetical coasts drawn thereon. La Cosa has been called a€?the most expert mariner and unrivaled pilot of his age.a€? He participates as a cartographer in the second voyage of Columbus, from 1493 to 1494, and not as a pilot and owner of the Santa Maria the first trip in 1492, a view often repeated in the historiography of the discovery of the New World. The scale is given by a line of dots, unnumbered and unexplained; the distance between the points however is apparently intended to represent fifty miles. This line is also plainly indicated with a suitable inscription on the Cantino map made in 1502 (#306).
It is presented as an island and not as part of the Asian continent, a view contrary to the concept of Columbus who always considered Cuba a peninsular extension of Asia. This event took place three months before the same side is seen by the explorer Portuguese Pedro Alvares Cabral (ca 1467-1520) during his journey to India via the Cape of Good Hope. The one exception is the east-west coast in the northwestern portion of La Cosaa€™s map with the five English flags shown at about 52A° north. Sebastian Cabot, in his map of 1544 (#372), indicated this landfall as Cape Breton island: This land was discovered by John Cabot the Venetian and Sebastian Cabot, his son, in the year 1497 on the 24th June in the morning, to which they gave the name a€?Land First Seena€?.
On the other hand, the northernmost names represent certainly the points marked by John Cabot during his first voyage, whether we place them on the north coast of Labrador or on the east shores of Newfoundland. This was a characteristic of early Portuguese charts of this region: owing to adverse sailing conditions, it was usual to underestimate distances run. The results obtained show that La Cosaa€™s latitudes are in fact reasonably accurate between the English Channel and the Congo River for the Old World, and also between Cuba and the Amazon River for the New World. The Annual Public Lecture on Books and Bibliography given at the University of Kansas in October 1962 (Lawrence, Kansas: University of Kansas Libraries, 1964), Figure 4. La Cosa has been called a€?the most expert mariner and unrivaled pilot of his age.a€?A  He participates as a cartographer in the second voyage of Columbus, from 1493 to 1494, and not as a pilot and owner of the Santa Maria the first trip in 1492, a view often repeated in the historiography of the discovery of the New World. On the coast of the mainland farther north is the legend: Este cavo se descubrio en aA±o de mily IIII XCIX por Castilla syendo descubridor vicenttians. No special emphasis is given to this memorable locality.A  Haiti and Cuba are located north of the Tropic of Cancer. In the Cantino map (#306), drawn in 1502, the coastline, alleged as aforesaid to be a duplicate of the island of Cuba, contains also numerous nomenclature. The map exemplifies the problem of the exact concept of the New World and the perception of geographical discovery in the days of La Cosa. In the far northeastern corner of Asia, enclosed by a great semicircular river and split by a broad moat, a€?R[egio] Gota€? and a€?R[egio] Magota€?: above R.
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. His work entitled PlanisphA¦rium [the Planisphere], described a sphere projected on the equator, the eye being at the pole, a projection later known as a€?stereographica€?. More than any one of the ancients, Claudius Ptolemy succeeded in establishing the elements and form of scientific cartography.
He defines chorography as being selective and regional in approach, a€?even dealing with the smallest conceivable localities, such as harbors, farms, villages, river courses, and the likea€?.
Its position under the heavens is extremely important, for in order to describe any given part of the world one must know under what parallel of the celestial sphere it is located. He seems to have studied and made astronomical observations in Tyre, the oldest and largest city of Phoenicia, which, even at that late date, maintained important commercial relations with remote parts of the world. This was contrary to both truth and appearance, and the resulting map was badly distorted with respect to distance and direction, for if the eye is fixed on the center of the quadrant of the sphere which we take to be our inhabited world, it is readily seen that the meridians curve toward the North Pole and that the parallels, though they are equally spaced on the sphere, give the impression of being closer together near the poles. Traditional information regarding distances should be subordinated, especially the primitive sort, for tradition varies from time to time, and if it must enter into the making of maps at all, it is expedient to compare the records of the ancient past with newer records, a€?deciding what is credible and what is incrediblea€?. It is remarkable that such questions never seemed to have occurred to Ptolemy, as: What is there to be found beyond Serica and Sinarum Situs? Ptolemy himself never actually employed this manner of projection, which has since, through more or less modified, been preferred by geographers for maps representing one of the hemispheres. Some map makers have a tendency to exaggerate the size of Europe because it is most populous, and to contract the length of Asia because little is known about the eastern part of it.
As for his own policy, he said, a€?in the separate maps we shall show the meridians themselves not inclined and curved but at an equal distance one from another, and since the termini of the circles of latitude and of longitude of the habitable earth, when calculated over great distances do not make any remarkable excesses, so neither is there any great difference in any of our mapsa€?. As this diagram shows, each regional map would encompass, besides its own proper territory, some parts of the neighboring countries. Ptolemy does not state specifically in his text whether he personally made any maps, and proponents of the theory that Ptolemy made no maps for this Geographia base their case on the notation in two of the existing manuscript copies, that a cartographer named AgathodA¦mon of Alexandria was the author of the accompanying map(s). It is no less difficult, also, to determine when the maps of the two versions (A and B) were made. The meridians in the southern hemisphere are extended from the equator at the same angle as those above it, but instead of converging at the South Pole they terminated at the parallel 8A° 25a€™ below the equator. The concept of the division of the earth into zones began as early as the sixth century B.C. While Ptolemya€™s map is based upon the theory that the earth is round, it bares repeating that it is to his credit that he depicts only that half of its surface which was then known, with very little attempt to speculate on or a€?fill-ina€? the unknown parts with his imagination.
More specifically, Ptolemya€™s knowledge concerning the fringes of the habitable world and civilization was broader than earlier writers, such as Strabo (#115), but in some respects it was a little confused.
With Thule as the northern limit of Ptolemya€™s habitable world, he thus extended the breadth of this world from less than 60A° (Eratosthenes and Strabo) to nearly 80A°.
The silk trade with China had produced rumors of vast regions east of the Pamir and Tian Shan, hitherto the Greek limits of Asia. These distortions represented an actual extension of geographical knowledge and are doubtless based on exaggerated reports of distances traveled.
80) containing sailing directions from the Red Sea to the Indus and Malabar, indicated that the coast from Barygaza [Baroch] had a general southerly trend down to and far beyond Cape Korami [Comorin], and suggested a peninsula in southern India.
While Ptolemy's map is based upon the theory that the earth is round, it bares repeating that it is to his credit that he depicts only that half of its surface which was then known, with very little attempt to speculate on or a€?fill-ina€? the unknown parts with his imagination.
To be sure, there are other geographical fragments, individual maps and charts, isolated examples of the best in Greek, Roman, and Arabic cartography, but Ptolemya€™s Geographia is the only extant geographical atlas which has come down to us from the ancients. His map projections, the conical and modified spherical, as well as the orthographic and stereographic systems developed in the Almagest, are still in use. This particular copy has not been recovered, however another copy attributed to Planudes is preserved, in part, in the monastery of Vatopedi on Mount Athos. It was also during this time, the 14th century, that the twenty-six maps of the A-version were divided up into sixty-four. This oldest Latin translation of Ptolemya€™s Geographia (confusingly and arbitrarily titled Cosmographia by Angelus) was at first disseminated in numerous, often splendidly decorated manuscript copies. A re-issue of the preceding, but with a new title-page, an account of the New World by Marcus Beneventanus, and a new map of the world by Ruysch, Nova Tabula.
The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the 27 maps of the ancient world and 20 maps based on contemporary knowledge, under the superintendence of Martin WaldseemA?ller.
Maps, with the exception of Asia V, printed from the same blocks as 1522 edition, and like them almost unaltered copies on a reduced scale of the maps of the 1513 edition. As a young man with poetic pretensions he had written student verse celebrating wine and good company, but in the course of his journeys he had discovered his real passion: geography. The occupying Arabs had built dams, irrigation systems, reservoirs and water towers, introduced new cropsa€”oranges and lemons, cotton, date palms, ricea€”and exploited the islanda€™s mines and fishing grounds.
Nor is there any limit to his knowledge of the sciences, so deeply and wisely has he studied them in every particular.
The Garden of Eden and Paradise were at the top and Jerusalem at the center, while fabulous monsters occupied the unexplored regionsa€”Sirens, dragons, men with dogsa€™ heads, men with feet shaped like umbrellas with which they protected themselves from the sun while lying down (see #205, #207, #224, #226).
The mission he entrusted to al-Idrisi was intellectually Herculean: to collect and evaluate all available geographical knowledgea€”from books and from on-the-spot observersa€”and to organize it into an accurate and meaningful representation of the world. Muslim merchants, pilgrims and officials used so-called a€?road booksa€?, itineraries that described routes, traveling conditions and cities along the way.
What was the climate of the country, its rivers and lakes, mountains, coastal configurations and soil? All creatures are stable on the surface of the earth, the air attracting what is light, the earth what is heavy, as the magnet attracts iron.
The mathematician al-Khwarizmi reduced Ptolemya€™s estimate of the length of the Mediterranean Sea from 62 to 52 degrees; the Spanish Muslim astronomer al-Zarqali further adjusted the figure to the correct 42 degrees. Roger II of Sicily had his world map drawn on a six-foot diameter circle of silver weighing about 450 pounds.
The Baltic area and Poland were represented much more precisely than on Ptolemya€™s maps, showing the fruit of the geographersa€™ investigations.
In the fourth section of the first climate, al-Idrisi located the sources of the Nile in their approximately correct position, though he pictured the Nile of the Negroes as joining the Egyptian Nile at that point.
The gardens of Toledo are laced with canals on which are erected water wheels used in irrigating the orchards, which produce in prodigious quantity fruits of inexpressible beauty and quality.
Juba populated the Canaries with Berber-speaking colonists, perhaps the ancestors of the Guanches.
The admiral in charge of the expedition died just as it was about to set out, so the venture came to nothing.
Then they set sail with the first gentle easterly and sailed for about eleven daya€™s, until they came to a sea with heavy waves, evil-smelling, ridden with reefs and with very little light. The a€?sea with heavy waves, evil-smelling, ridden with reefs and with very little lighta€? can probably be ignored, for the passage is influenced by the a€?land of darknessa€? thought to exist in the farthest West, and the reefs may echo a passage in Platoa€™s Timeus which speaks of the shallows in the Atlantic marking the site where Atlantis sank. No large mammals are indigenous to the Azores, and sheep or goats could only have been brought to the island by previous mariners. In the Arabic-speaking world, popular legend transferred a number of the heroic deeds of Hercules to Alexander - including the building of a land bridge across the Pillars of Hercules. The wood is deep black, and merchants come to the island to harvest it and then sell it to the kings of the farthest West.
The same linear arrangement of islands appears on 14th century maps such as the 1351Laurentian portolano (Book III, #233), and, a full century later, on the Bartolomeo Pareto map (1455), since it was still impossible to determine longitude.
The sixth island, shown opposite the entrance to the Mediterranean, would be al-Ghanam [Island of Sheep], Madeira.
I think that Babcock comes close, but, rather than the cormorant, the bird referred to is the goshawk [Afar], a species of hawk that closely resembles an eagle and abounds in the Azores, and from which the entire archipelago gets its name.
On the Island of Two Heathen Brothers, two pirates lived until they were turned into rocks, and the inhabitants of the Island of Kalhan had the bodies of men and the heads of animals. Using a globe prepared by a German cartographer named Martin Behaim (Book III, #258), based on Ptolemya€™s miscalculations, Columbus also added in Marco Poloa€™s equally misleading estimates of distances and concluded, incorrectly, that by sailing west from Spain he could reach Japan or India after no more than a 4,000 mile voyage.
The consecutive numbers sometimes used to refer to the sectional maps are shown in the upper right corner of each section.
Again Columbus in 1502-03 explored from Yucatan to Darien and his coasts and names are not shown on the Cosa map. From 1499 to 1500, La Cosa took part in voyages of discovery by Alonso de Ojeda (1471-1515), of Amerigo Vespucci (1451 - 1512) and Vicente Yanez PinzA?n (ca 1461-ca 1524). This position on the part of La Cosa must be regarded as indicating a change in design of the New World because at the behest of Columbus, he had, with other sailors, sworn in and signed the famous statement claiming that Cuba was part of Asia.
The inscription Mar Duce refers to the mouth of the Orinoco River which La Cosa encountered during his voyage with Columbus. Five English flags in pale blue and brown, are planted in the North Coast with the inscription Mar descubierta ynglesie in [Sea discovered by the English]. On the other hand, the 1,200 miles of explored coastline is in all probability southern Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, so that the Cavo de Yngleterra must have lain further south, and Cape Race at once suggests itself, but as nothing more than a possibility.
But as the line of English flagstaffs covers a space by far too extensive for the Cabot voyage of 1497, which lasted only three months, the legends placed further south necessarily apply to the expedition of 1498. Well out in the Indian Sea, almost in the center, are two large islands, Zanabar and Madagascoa, as on Behaima€™s globe. Other important findings were that scale is mathematically consistent across the whole Atlantic basin, and that the line labeled Cancro on the map does not represent the Tropic of Cancer, as usually assumed, but the ecliptic. The Italian portolan originated in the Greek periplus, a harbor-book or set of sailing directions describing harbors, shoals, distances, currents and winds, but containing no map.


A  Since Sebastian had no motive for lying about the location of the landfall there is no reason to doubt this statement. Well out in the Indian Sea, almost in the center, are two large islands, Zanabar and Madagascoa, as on Behaima€™s globe.A  La Cosa shows the coastline of Africa and the Cape of Good Hope with considerable accuracy.
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.
90 to 168 (during the reigns of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius) and that he lived in, or near, Alexandria Egypt. This he did through his second great treatise, Geographike Syntaxis, called by him, a€?the geographical guide to the making of mapsa€?, and, in later centuries, shortened to simply Geographia, or (incorrectly) Cosmographia. Geography, he said, differs from chorography in that it deals with a€?a representation in picture of the whole known world together with the phenomena that are contained thereina€?. Otherwise how can one determine the length of its days and nights, the stars which are fixed overhead, the stars which appear nightly over the horizon and the stars which never rise above the horizon at all. This a€?tutora€™ of Ptolemy had read nearly all of the historians before him and had corrected many of their errors (presumable errors relating to the location of places as contained in travelersa€™ itineraries). Ptolemy was well aware that it would be desirable to retain a semblance of spherical proportions on his flat map, but at the same time he decided to be practical about it.
With one exception (an Italian translation by Berlinghieri), every editor of Ptolemya€™s Geographia has published, not the original maps, but a modification of them by Nicolaus Germanus (Donis), who, with praiseworthy exactness and without any further alterations, reproduced the originals, on a projection with rectilinear, equidistant parallels and meridians converging towards the poles.
It is an exception when geographical or descriptive remarks are added to this bare enumeration of names.
Therefore if a geographer were obliged to fall back on the reports of travelers, he should exercise some discrimination in his choice of authorities. What could be found to the north of Thule, or to the south of Agysimba and Cape Prasum: Where would you arrive if you sailed westward from the Fortunate Islands? And some cartographers surround the earth on all sides with an ocean that, according to Ptolemy are a€?making a fallacious description, and an unfinished and foolish picturea€?. But, as is also usual in modern atlases, these neighboring areas of the map are only roughly sketched, while the principle area is shown in full detail. From these same manuscripts it is stated that a€?he drew them according to the instructions in the eight books of Claudius Ptolemya€?. Certain indications point to the Byzantine period, with the exception of AgathodA¦mona€™s single-sheet world map. And it is highly probable that Ptolemy the astronomer, who is usually discredited by later geographers because of his methods and the kinds of information he compiled, had no more standing among some of his influential contemporaries than he would today in the most approved geographical circles of the civilized world.
The only good reason for discussing a few of the glaring faults of the Geographia is that it was the canonical work on the subject for more than 1400 years. In the northern regions, for example, he had been ill-advised with regard to Ireland, and positioned it further north than any part of Wales; likewise, Scotland was twisted around so that its length ran nearly east and west.
Ptolemy stated that the Nile arose from two streams, the outlets of two lakes a little south of the equator, which was closer to the truth than any previous conception until the discovery of the Victoria and Albert Nyanza in modern times. All such information was of doubtful origin, and in laying down the coastline of Eastern Asia, Ptolemy ran the line roughly north and south. Ptolemy, apparently following Marinus, ignored this document, or else never saw it because the shape of his India is unduly broadened and foreshortened. Leaving the habitable world from the Strait at the Pillars of Hercules to the Gulf of Issus, it passed through Caralis in Sardinia and Lilybaeum in Sicily (30A° 12a€™ and 37A° 50a€™ N). Ptolemy stated that the Nile arose from two streams, the outlets of two lakes a little south of the equator, which was closer to the truth than any previous conception, or any later one until the discovery of the Victoria and Albert Nyanza in modern times. There is nothing in the literature to indicate that any other such systematic collection of maps was ever compiled, with the exception of the maps of Marinus, about which almost nothing is known, save what Ptolemy has mentioned. The listing of place-names, either in geographical or alphabetical order, with the latitude and longitude of each place to guide the search, is not so different from the modern system of letters and numerals employed to help the reader, a little convenience that is standard on modern maps and Ptolemaic in origin. Four new mapsa€”France, Italy, Spain and Palestinea€”being based on contemporary knowledge. The map of the world is the first to show contemporary discoveries, and the first map to bear the name of its engraver, Johannes Schnitzer de Armssheim. The other 6 mapsa€”northern Europe, Spain, France, Poland, Italy and the Holy Landa€”are based on contemporary knowledge. Includes the Tabula Terra Nova, the first map specifically devoted to the delineation of the New World. He is responsible for singular innovations and for marvelous inventions, such as no prince has ever before realized. His purpose was partly practical, but mostly scientific: to produce a work that would sum up all the contemporary knowledge of the physical world. Other Muslim scholars, like the Iraqi astronomer al-Battani and the Persian al-Biruni (#214.3), composed tables giving the latitudes of leading cities. The works of Al-Idrisi include Nozhat al-mushtaq fi ikhtiraq al-afaq - a compendium of the geographic and sociological knowledge of his time as well as descriptions of his own travels illustrated with over seventy maps; Kharitat al-`alam al-ma`mour min al-ard [Map of the inhabited regions of the earth] wherein he divided the world into seven regions, the first extending from the equator to 23 degrees latitude, and the seventh being from 54 to 63 degrees followed by a region uninhabitable due to cold and snow. The British Isles also were treated with a surprising insight, probably due to contacts between Norman England and Norman Sicily. It is a considerable island, whose shape is that of the head of an ostrich, and where there are flourishing towns, high mountains, great rivers and plains.
Gradually, knowledge of the location of the Canaries was lost, even though Lanzarote, the island nearest the North African coast, lies less than 100 kilometers [60 miles] west of the mainland.
Al-ldrisi says the admirala€™s curiosity was aroused by smoke rising from the sea in the west, probably the result of volcanic activity.
Neither name is Arabic, nor do they appear to be transcriptions of Greek, Latin or Romance - but the fact that these two islands had names at all means mariners must have visited them, and the names are either native designations or hark back to some lost, perhaps oral, source.
They were sure they were about to perish, so they changed course to the south and sailed for twelve days, until they came to Sheep Island, There were so many sheep it was impossible to count them, and they ranged freely, with no one to watch them.
The Azores lie almost 1,300 kilometers (about 800 miles) west of the coast of Portugal - one-third of the way to America. Some Greek mythographers thought the Islands of the Hesperides lay off the coast of North Africa, and we have already seen how al-Idrisi associates Alexander with two of the Atlantic islands. The island is said to have been inhabited in the past, but it fell to ruin and serpents infested the land. Al-Sua€™ali and al-Mustashkin both sound completely legendary, but there is nothing legendary about Hasran and Qalhan, which sound as if they might belong together. During the period of rediscovery of the Azores under Prince Henry the Navigator, these birds were supposedly responsible for guiding the sailors to these distant islands. According to one historian, friendly relations were established between the Sultan of Spain and the invaders.
The weakest feature of the Cosa map is its grotesque representation of Brazil south of the equator. With others he signed the famous affidavit, demanded by Columbus, that he believed Cuba to be a part of the mainland of Asia. The scale on which the New World is drawn is larger than the Old World, the proportion is 1.4 to 1 with the consequent extension of the place America occupies in relation to Europe, Africa and traced part of Asia. The Costa de Perlas designates the north coast of South America discovered by Columbus in 1498 during his third voyage.
The underlying projection found for La Cosaa€™s map has a simple geometric interpretation and is relatively easy to compute, but had not been described in detail until this study. In The Mappemonde of Juan de la Cosa he held that the map is a copy and not an original work of La Cosa, and that it probably dates from about 1508 instead of 1500.
The Italian portolan was made on the model of the periplus but contained a map or chart showing the coastline and a few places along the coast, but, as it was intended only for seamen, it gave little information of the interior of even the most populous countries.
Mar Dulce commemorates the current of fresh water at the mouth of the Orinoco River seen by La Cosa far out to sea when he was with Columbus on his second voyage. Christopher, with a pine tree as a staff, carrying the infant Jesus over the deep water, as Christopher Columbus carried the knowledge of Christ over the sea to the natives of the newly discovered lands.A A  Below the drawing of St.
The inscription on the southern coast of Asia, tierra descubierta por el Rey don Manuel Rey de portugal, refers to Vasco da Gamaa€™s voyage to Calicut on the western coast of India from which he had returned to Portugal the previous year from his first voyage.
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.
During the second century, Alexandria was not only the richest city in the world, with regard to learned institutions and treasures of scholarship, but also the wealthiest commercial place on the earth. This work is actually the first general atlas of the world to have survived, rather than a a€?Geographya€? with a long textual introduction to the subject of cartography.
As he proceeds to elaborate his definition of geography, it becomes apparent that Ptolemy conceived that the primary function of geography was a€?mapmakinga€?, and that, to him, geography was synonymous with cartography. He had, moreover, edited and revised his own geographic maps, of which at least two editions had been published before Ptolemy saw them. Finally, Ptolemy thought, about all one could do was to locate unfamiliar places as accurately as possible with reference to well-known places, in as much as it is advisable on a map of the entire world to assign a definite position to every known place, regardless of how little is known about it.
The longitudes would be determined from the meridian of Alexandria, either at sunrise or sunset, calculating the difference in equinoctial hours between Alexandria and point two, whatever it might be. As mentioned earlier, the original text called for twenty-six regional or special maps, which in all extant manuscript copies bear a strong family resemblance and are laid down on the projection apparently used by Marinus in the form of isosceles trapezoids.
However, this statement has never been dated and, confusingly, AgathodA¦mona€™s single-sheet world map employs a projection unlike any proposed by Ptolemya€™s text. But, again, when they were constructed - totally and faithfully copied from the originals, or constructed from Ptolemya€™s instructions but without benefit of original models - is significant in trying to determine the degree of similarity to their a€?prototypea€™ and the possibility of additions or corrections based upon more contemporary knowledge. Different from what is now accepted as the meaning, this word in ancient maps had a purely geographical, not a meteorological significance, although they also perceived that the climate of a region was somewhat related to its distance from the equator. Similarly he showed the length of the Mediterranean as 62A°, whereas, in reality it is only 42A°. Geographers of the 15th and 16th centuries relied on it so heavily, while ignoring the new discoveries of maritime explorers, that it actually exerted a powerful retarding influence on the progress of cartography. Instead of continuing it to the Land of the LinA¦ [seacoast of China] he curved it around to the east and south, forming a great bay, Sinus Magnus [roughly the Gulf of Siam].
Carthage is positioned 1A° 20a€™ south of the parallel of Rhodes; actually it is one degree north of it.
Corrected and amended by a succession of editors, this version also formed the basis upon which all of the editions of the 15th century are built. The text is a metrical paraphrase by Francesco Berlinghieri, and is the first edition in Italian. The greatly increased number of a€?modern mapsa€? makes this in effect the first modern atlas.
Others belonged to a later tradition of systematic geography, like the 10th century scholars Ibn Hawqal (#213) and al-Masa€™udi (#212), who produced books intended as something more than practical guides for the tax collector or the postman: as additions to the fund of human knowledge.
An element of subjectivity entered into the fact that southern Italy was represented as larger than the north, and that Sicily occupied a substantial part of the Western Mediterranean, in contrast to Sardinia and Corsica, which shrank in scale.
This country is most fertile; its inhabitants are brave, active and enterprising, but all is in the grip of perpetual winter.
The Greeks called the Canary Islands TA?n MakarA?n NA“soi [The Islands of the Blessed], and they were regarded as the furthest known land to the west. In another passage al-Idrisi gives more details of this island - incidentally showing that a longer account of the voyage of the mugharrirun must have existed. In the 19th century, Carthaginian coins were found on the most westerly of the islands, Corvo - 31A° west longitude - and although the find has been questioned, the origin of the coins has never been satisfactorily explained.
But if the word is Arabic, one would expect it to be preceded by the definite article a€?ala€?. Since the only inhabited islands in the western Atlantic just before the coming of the Europeans were the Canaries, Hasran may belong to that groupa€”unless, of course, it is to be sought in the Caribbean!
If the isle of Raqa is indeed one of the Azores, then the discovery of these islands occurred as early as the 10th century.
This was excusable in 1500, but by 1508 Amerigo Vespucci was pilot-major of Spain and his great voyage from 5A° South to 42A° South would have been available for La Cosa to correct his outlines of South America. In 1499, he was chief pilot of Ojeda's expedition along the northern coast of South America. Another consequence is that Brazil is almost the same latitude as Cape of Good Hope and that Cuba is placed above the Tropic of Cancer. This area was also seen by La Cosa, with Alonso de Ojeda (1466-ca 1515) and Amerigo Vespucci (1454-1512). La Cosa here refers to explorations in British North America, made in 1497 and 1498, John Cabot (ca 1455-1499). Williamson, however who credits this charting to the Cabots in 1497-8 believes that the Cavo was Cape Breton, while G.
Whatever the reason for this, it would appear that the Central and South American portion is on a larger scale than the rest of the map. It may have emerged involuntarily as a consequence of the mapmaking methods used by the mapa€™s author, but the historical context of the chart suggests that it was probably the result of a deliberate choice by the cartographer. Costa de perlas, or the Pearl Coast, on the northern coast of South America, was first discovered by Columbus on his third voyage in 1498 and had been visited again by La Cosa, with Ojeda and Vespucci, in 1499. Its representation as an island, instead of a part of the mainland of Asia, indicates that La Cosa had changed his opinion since he signed the famous affidavit. Christopher in the neck of the skin, is the inscription Juan de la Cosa la fizo en el puerto de s. Magot is a humanoid monster whose face is in its chest and who holds in each hand what appears, from the color and shape, to be a piece of meat. 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. It was a place where seafaring people and caravans from all parts of the known world would use to congregate, thereby providing the opportunity to collect knowledge of far away lands and seas. Here for the first time are documented the duties and responsibilities of the mapmaker, his limitations, and the nature of the materials he was to work with.
The final drafts were nearly free from defects and his text, which we know of only through Ptolemy, was so reliable in Ptolemya€™s estimation that a€?it would seem to be enough for us to describe the earth on which we dwell from his commentaries alone, without other investigations.a€? According to Ptolemy, the most significant feature of the maps of Marinus was the growth of the habitable world and the changed attitude toward the uninhabited parts.
When such a conical surface is extended on a plane, a network with circular parallels and rectilinear, converging meridians arise. Unlike Marinus who listed longitude on one page and latitude on another, Ptolemy began the tradition of listing the positional coordinates together and in a usable system that was practical to follow. Some of the other conspicuously modern conventions include the previously noted lack of ornamentation, his method of differentiating land and water, rivers and towns, by means of either hachures or different colors, and his use of a€?standardizeda€™ symbols all of which is accepted at first glance without a thought being given to the origin of the technique.
This particular world map is usually found at the end of Book VII, preceded by three chapters containing some practical advice, a general description of all known areas of the world and the three principle seas (the Mediterranean, the Caspian and the Indian Ocean), with their bays and islands, and instructions for drawing a sphere and maps on a plane surface. It is noteworthy here to point out that, regardless of when these existing manuscript reproductions were made, they somehow escaped the pictorial fancies such as sketches of animals, monsters, savages, ships, kings, etc. The eastward extension of Asia is also exaggerated, measuring about 110A° from the coast of Syria to the outermost limits of China, instead of the true distance of about 85A°. The Geographia was both a keystone and a millstone, a pioneering effort that outlived its usefulness. The northern coast of Germany beyond Denmark, Cimbrica Chersonese, is shown as the margin of the Northern Ocean, and running in a general east-west direction. Continuing it around to the south until it joined Terra Incognita at the southern limit of the habitable world, he made a lake of the Indicum Mare [Indian Ocean]. For the most part, the lands beyond the Ganges were not well known until a thousand years later when the brothers Polo first acquainted western Europe with the existence of a number of large islands in that part of the world.
Byzantium is placed in the same latitude as Massilia, which made it more than two degrees north of its true position. It is also the only edition with maps printed on the original projection with equidistant parallels or meridians.
In addition, scientific expeditions were dispatched to areas on which information was lacking. Contrary to a still popular misconception that up to the time of Columbus everyone believed the world was flat, many scholars and astronomers since at least the fifth century B.C. Not surprisingly, the best part of both map and text, accurate and detailed, dealt with Sicily itself.
It forms an island 300 miles long by 150 miles wide: this is surrounded by the Nile on all sides and at all seasons .
Al-Idrisi gave the names of many English towns, principally ports, with the distances between them. They caught some of the sheep and slaughtered them, but the flesh was so bitter they could not eat it.
He says Sheep Island is large, shrouded in shadows, and filled with small sheep whose flesh is bitter and inedible.
Corvo is marked on the Canterino map of 1351, where the name occurs as Corvini - considerably before its official discovery. The liA±a meridional, which crosses the extreme east of Brazil, is the line fixed in 1494 by the Treaty of Tordesillas, dividing the territories between Spain and Portugal. The source used by La Cosa for this part is presumably inspired by the map of John Cabot on his explorations in America and now lost.
The historian Henry Harrisse sees in this insular character of Cuba strong confirmation of the much-disputed story of Vespuccia€™s voyage along the coast of the mainland in 1497.
The topos of Gog and Magog as anthropophagi has been merged with Solinusa€™ blemmyae in the latter example, with another legend concerning men with doga€™s heads in the former. 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. In spite of such scant personal knowledge, Claudius Ptolemya€™s writings have had a greater influence on cartography, and on geography in general, than that of any other single figure in history. 141), a composition dealing with astronomy and mathematics, more commonly known by its hybrid Greco-Arabic title, the Almagest, in which he lays down the foundation of trigonometry and sets forth his view of the universe.
This single treatise remained the standard work on geographical theory throughout the Middle Ages, was not superseded as such with the 16th century, and constitutes one of the fundamental tenants of modern geodesy. Cartography is not an artistic endeavor according to the Greek scholar, but should be concerned with the relation of distance and direction, and with the important features of the eartha€™s surface that can be indicated by plain lines and simple notations (enough to indicate general features and fix positions).
Marinus was a good man in Ptolemya€™s estimation but he lacked the critical eye and allowed himself to be led astray in his scientific investigations. Lest the proportions of certain parts of the mapped territory should be too much deformed, only the northern or the southern hemispheres should be laid down on the same map by this projection, which is consequently inconvenient for maps embracing the whole earth.
This particular projection shown of the general map of the habitable world, the one believed to be employed by Ptolemy in his original general map, is laid down in the lazy mana€™s projection he talked about, the modified conic instead of the spherical projection that he recommended for a faithful delineation of the eartha€™s surface. Many scholars ascribe these three chapters to AgathodA¦mon, as the descriptive text for his map.
As can be seen from these world maps, Ptolemy divided the northern hemisphere into twenty-one parallels, noted, again, in the margin of this maps. To judge, therefore, from the map, Ptolemy discarded both the older Greek belief that the earth was surrounded by water, and Herodotusa€™ description of the Phoeniciana€™s circumnavigation of Africa.
And there were no good maps of the East Indian Archipelago until after the Portuguese voyages to the Indies. This particular error threw the whole Euxine Pontus [Black Sea], whose general form and dimensions were fairly well known, too far north by the same amount, over 100 miles. Draftsmen and cartographers accompanied these expeditions so that a visual record of the country could be made. The greater part of the country is only habitable on the borders of the Nile for the rest of the country . Hastings was a considerable town, densely populated, with many buildings, markets, much industry and commerce; Dover, to the east, was an equally important town not far from the mouth of the river of London, the broad and swiftly flowing Thames. In 1402 the Normans partially conquered them, meeting stiff resistance from the indigenous Guanches. They took some sheepskins and sailed on to the south for another twelve days until they sighted an island. Nearby is another island, called Raqa, which is the home of a red bird the size of an eagle, which catches fish in its claws and never flies far from the island.
Certain adventures of Sinbad the Sailor, from Tales of the Arabian Nights, are almost identical to those of Saint Brendan. La Cosa returned to Spain with Alonso de Ojeda [Hojeda] in July 1500 and left again with Bastidas for Colombia in October of that year, which means that the map was drawn between these months.
Upon his return from this expedition in 1500, he made his famous marine chart for Ferdinand and Isabella. This feature of the map indicates that La Cosa himself traced only the New World section and an anonymous cartographer added the section on the Old World to allow users of the map to compare the two.
Indeed, it is almost certain that La Cosa copied this part of the coast of Cabota€™s map drawn in 1497 after his return to England and sent to King Ferdinand by the Spanish ambassador to England, Pedro de Ayala. He points out that there is no record of any other voyage prior to 1500, the date of the map, which had revealed the insularity of Cuba, and that La Cosa may have obtained his information directly from Vespucci, while they were together under Ojeda, in 1499, on the Pearl Coast.
If so, it seems strange that he placed no Asiatic names upon it as other cartographers did later on. 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.
Here he explains his belief that the earth is a stationary sphere, at the center of the universe, which revolves about it daily. According to Ptolemy, even Marinus had made mistakes, either because he had consulted a€?too many conflicting volumes, all disagreeing,a€? or because he had never completed the final revision of his map. However, Ptolemy rigorously applies the conical projection only to the northern part of his map of the world.
The parallel bounding the southern limit of the habitable world is equidistant from the equator in a southerly direction as the parallel through Meroe is distant in a northerly direction. Yet this Ptolemaic theory was later mysteriously a€?re-interpreteda€? by Martin WaldseemA?ller in 1507 (see monograph #310 in Book IV) and again by Gerard Mercator in 1569 as a belief by Ptolemy in an all encircling great ocean. Yet this Ptolemaic theory was later mysteriously a€?re-interpreteda€? by Martin WaldseemA?ller in 1507 (see monograph #310) and again by Gerard Mercator in 1569 as a belief by Ptolemy in an all encircling great ocean. You may get there sooner or you may not get there as soon as you expected, but you will certainly get there.
In the mid-15th century, the Spanish took control of the Canaries and continued the conquest. The settlers quickly burned down all the forests, so it is now hard to know for certain, but some sort of scented wood may have once grown there. But whether the Irish borrowed these myths from the Arabs, or vice versa, or if they both obtained them from an earlier common source is a matter of conjecture. Here again, if that region in the Cantino chart is really Cuba, we should find among its legends and designations the identical names that are inscribed on the Cuba of La Cosa, especially as both maps were crafted within a year of each other.
These English coasts derive from the voyages of John Cabot from Bristol in 1497 and in 1498. In addition to Juan de la Cosa, some of the most distinguished makers of Renaissance portolan charts were Alberto Cantino (#306), Nicolo de Caveri (#307), Diego Ribero (#346), Vesconte de Maiollo (#328.2) and Battista Agnese (#371).
The later world maps of Cantino, and of Caveri, 1502, agree with La Cosa in putting water and a mainland west of Cuba; indeed these two maps are even more explicit than that of La Cosa in that they place more than a score of names on the supposed mainland, which may be identified as Florida. 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. While his proofs of the sphericity of the earth are still accepted today as valid, Ptolemy rejected the theory of the rotation of the earth about its axis as being absurd.
To represent the known parts of the southern hemisphere on the same sheet, he describes an arc of a circle parallel to the equator, and at the same distance to the south of it, as Meroe [MA¦roe] is to the north, and then divides this arc in parts of the same number and size, as on the Parallel of Meroe. That paradox notwithstanding, though, Ptolemya€™s depiction of a southern Afro-Asian continent and a land-locked Indian Ocean provided little comfort during the intervening 1,300 years to those early explorers, and later the Portuguese, in their attempts to find an all water route to India. Al-Idrisia€™s silver disk, or planisphere, was a form of projection considerably in advance of others of its time.
Fighting was still going on when Columbus used the islands as the first stop on all four of his voyages to the Caribbean. They headed toward it in order to explore and when they were not far offshore, they suddenly found themselves surrounded by boats, which forced their ship to land beside a city on the shore.
A king of the Franks heard of this, al-Idrisi adds, and sent a ship to the island to bring him that fruit and some of the birds, but the ship was lost and never returned. Skelton wrote: a€?The only map which unambiguously illustrates John Cabota€™s voyage of 1497 . 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.
However, Marinusa€™ treatise on geography, with its maps, should still be ranked among the most important of the lost documents of the ancients, if for no other reason than that it was the foundation upon which Claudius Ptolemy built.
The network is then obtained by joining the intersections to corresponding points on the equator.
The twenty-one parallels are spaced at equal lineal intervals and each one is designated by (1) the number of equinoctial hours and fractional hours of daylight on the longest day of the year and (2) the number of degrees and minutes of arc north of the equator.
The Guanches were not finally subdued until the end of the 16th century, when they and their language virtually disappeared. They saw the men who lived there; they were light-complexioned, with very little facial hair. 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. For example, the first parallel of latitude north of the equator was distant from it a€?the fourth part of an houra€? and a€?distant from it geometrically about 4A°15a€™a€?. And in the ninth century, 70 Muslim scholars, working under the patronage of Caliph al-Maa€™mun, gathered in the Syrian Desert to determine the length of a degree of latitude.
There are arid wastes where one must walk two, four, five, or twelve days before finding water . From the few words of Guanche preserved in the Spanish chronicles, we know they spoke a form of Berber, and were therefore probably descended from Jubaa€™s colonists. One other parallel is added south of the equator, identified with the Rhaptum promontory and Cattigara and about 8A° 25a€™ distant from a€?The Linea€?.
Rather than rely on travelersa€™ guesses of distance, as previous astronomers had done, they used wooden rods to measure the road they traveled until they saw a change of one degree in the elevation of the polestar. Yet when Europeans encountered them, they had no memory of the mainland; having no boats, they were unaware that the other islands in the group were inhabited. All of the parallels north of the equator are located theoretically with the exception of three: Meroe, Syene and Rhodes.
Their calculation resulted in a figure for the eartha€™s circumference equivalent to 22,422 miles, an error of 3.6 percent, almost as accurate as Eratosthenesa€™ estimate and a considerable improvement over Ptolemya€™s.
The first one, Clima I per Meroe, (so called because it passes through Meroe, near modern Shendi, a city of Africa at 17A° N latitude) was established traditionally as 1,000 miles below Alexandria and 300 miles from the torrid zone; it was also known as the royal seat and principal metropolis of Ethiopia [Africa].
On the fourth day a man who spoke Arabic entered and asked them who they were and where they were going and what was the name of their country. They told him everything and he said not to worry, and that he was the kinga€™s interpreter. The next day they were taken into the kinga€™s presence and he asked the same questions they had been asked by the interpreter.
Williamson reveals that this voyage coasted from Greenland to New England and that Cabota€™s ship went down off Newfoundland, leaving the consort vessel to bring news of his end to England in the early summer of 1499.
They told him what they had told the interpreter the day before, of how they had embarked upon the ocean in order to find out about it and see the wonders it contained, and how they had come to this place. The English coasts on the Cosa map consequently represent the discoveries made in the 1497 voyage.
Cabot left Bristol on 2nd May 1497 in a little ship called the Matthew, with a crew of only eighteen men. Information as to his discoveries in English records is meager but certain statements provide a skeleton by which they may be reconstructed. When dawn broke and the sun rose, we found we were in great pain because we had been so tightly bound. One of them asked us: a€?Do you know how far you are from your country?a€™ a€?No,a€™ we answered.



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