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Using Reverse Geocoding to Find an Address I had a request from a colleague of mine to help him with a geocoding problem.
As you can see I use a WebClient object to make a request to Google geocoding API with a given latitude and longitude parameters.
I use LINQ to XML in order to check the response status and if it’s OK I retrieve the formatted address value.
The post showed how to use a geocode API in order to make an address lookup according to a given location. You can use LINQ to XML and get the postal code element (address_component with type of postal_code).
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in anyway. DESCRIPTION: With the develop-ment of Portuguese seafaring in the 15th century and the subsequent widening if the southern horizon, the problem of a€?harmonizinga€™ or reconciling the traditional world views laid down by Pliny, Ptolemy, Aristotle and Ambrose with that of the new discoveries became increasingly acute. Beyond the equinoctial line Ptolemy records an unknown land, but Pomponius [Mela] and many others as well raise a doubt whether a voyage is possible from this place to India; [nevertheless] they say that many have passed through these parts from India to Spain .
This rather refreshing disposition towards agnosticism is exemplified again in the configuration of South Africa. Also typical of maps of the period, the anonymously compiled Genoese map is covered with legends in Latin, castellated towns representing major population centers, princes on their thrones, and loxodromes from the portolan tradition. This map is now the property of the Italian Government, and is to be found in the Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale of Florence, being catalogued Sezione Palatina No. The Genoese map became the center of controversy in the 1940s when the Italian scholar Sebastiano Crino, suggested that this was a copy of the map that Paolo Toscanelli sent to the Portuguese court in 1474 and later but less certainly to Columbus, was a copy of it, touting the possibility of a sea route to India via the Atlantic. A Genoese flag in the upper northwest corner of the map establishes this mapa€™s origin, along with the coat of arms of the Spinolas, a prominent Genoese mercantile family.
The map is elliptical in shape, having a major axis measuring 81 cm and a minor axis measuring 42 cm.
Ptolemy is cited by name in several inscriptions, and there is evidence of his influence in the representation of Africa (Ethiopia, the source of the Nile), an enclosed Caspian Sea (Mar de Sara), the southern coast of Asia, and the Golden Chersonese, not named but identified by a legend noting that it is particularly rich in gold and precious stones. Paradise does not appear on the map, and an inscription in southeastern Africa tells us why: a€?In this region some depict the earthly paradise. Of course, the cosmographers had no objection to monsters - even Ptolemy mentions a few, although he did not put them on his maps. Although its cartographer explicitly disapproved of fantastic narratives in a legend in the Atlantic (frivolis narracionibus rejectis), Chet Van Duzer points out that the richly decorated map contains a number of fantastic illustrations, and the legends, many of which come from the travel narrative of Niccole dea€™ Conti (c.1395-1469), do not shy away from fantastic subjects.
In the eastern Indian Ocean there is an imposing creature with a humanoid head and upper body, but with large horns and ears and wing-like red membranes joining its outstretched arms to its torso, and a fish-like tail.
Turning first to Europe for a consideration of the details of the map, it will be noted that the contour of this continent is drawn with a nearer approach to accuracy than is true of the other continents, our cartographera€™s greatest errors appearing in the regions which were beyond those recorded by Ptolemy and the portolan chartmakers. The only mountains indicated in Europe are the Alps, which are made to sweep in a somewhat irregular curve around the north of Italy and the head of the Adriatic.
In the northern part of Europe we find sketched a polar bear Forma ursorum alborum, and an ermine or sable, animals whose valuable pelts were obtained by the Hansa of Novgorod and sold by them in Bruges to the Italians. Many regional names appear and many cities are made prominent in each of the continents through the sketch of a building, which building sometimes is a castle, sometimes is a church or cathedral, sometimes is a monastery. England, Scotland, and Ireland are represented as on the portolan charts of the period, over each of which flies a pennant. In France appear the names Gascona, Lengadoc, Normania, Baiona, Bordeaux, Tolosa, Nar-bona, Montpellier, Arguesmortes, Avenio, Massillia, Lion, Dijon, Bourges, Renes, and a few undecipherable names. In Italy we find Italia, Masca, Calabria, Si-cilia, Sardinia, Corsica, Niza, and Venezia, which last our author has made especially prominent, while Genoa itself has been omitted altogether. In central and eastern Europe we find Bavaria, Boemia, Prutenia, Bruges, Dancic, Famosura [Frankenburg?], Poana, Praja, Ratisbon, Inbrunch, Vienna, Pruna, Potavia, Ungaria with Juanin (Raab), Burgaria, Polonia, Carcovia, Rossia, and near this last the classic names Sormatia prima and S.
We also find the region Zichia designated on the north and northwest slope of the Caucasus, and, on the Black Sea, Savastopoli, Kaffa, Pidea, Flordelis, Turlo and Moncastro. On the Hellenic-Slavic peninsula we find the names Sclavonia and Albania, which had but recently withstood an attack of the Turks; here also are Macedonia, Grecia and Morea.
But it is perhaps in respect to the islands of the southeast that the map is of greatest interest. It is not easy to determine the significance of a gulf that extends far into the east coast of Asia north of Borneo and Java. The name Sine, or Sina, which was never used in the middle ages, and which in all probability the Genoese map-maker took from Ptolemy, suggests that the gulf is likewise from Ptolemy, and in order to find space for the new discovery it has been placed farther north.
The northeast coast of Asia is in part determined by the form of the map, and in part is arbitrarily drawn, as are also the numerous islands, not one of which we are able to identify.
The Genoese map abandons the northeastern quarter of Asia to the apocalyptic peoples: surrounded by impassible mountains and in the north and east by the ocean is a large territory in which are placed trees and fortresses. In addition to the usual medieval depiction of the mythical Gog and Magog the Genoese map also contains a large number of drawings of zoological interest. The main African interest lies in the fact that, as a departure from Ptolemya€™s conception, the Indian Ocean, as is also shown on the Vesconte, Bianco, the Catalan-Estense, Leardo and Fra Mauroa€™s maps (#228, #241, #246, #242, and #249), is not landlocked, and, significantly, the southern extremity of Africa does not run away eastwards, as on the Catalan-Estense map. The southern coast of the continent, from Arabia and the Persian Gulf to Further India, exhibits the Ptolemaic influence in particular, though our Genoese gives evidence of possessing a good knowledge of some of the most recent reports of travelers. The peninsula Guzerat is better drawn than by Ptolemy, and the Bay of Cambay appears as a deep inlet of the ocean into which a broad rivera€”perhaps the Mahia€”empties. In the interior of Ceylon a lake appears which may owe its origin to a statement made by Pliny or maybe an attempt to represent some one or more of the numerous artificial reservoirs or tanks for which the island is famous. In their outlines there is a certain similarity between the islands Ceylon and Sumatra as represented by our Genoese mapmaker and the same islands as they appear on the maps of Ptolemy. The name Sumatra, which our cosmographer, together with Conti, considers to be the native name, seems first to have become a more or less familiar one in Europe in the 14th century. The long southern coast which, according to Ptolemy, makes of the Indian Ocean an enclosed sea, and which in part appears in the Idrisi and the Sanudo maps (#219, Book II, #228), has been omitted here, and the great gulf of Ptolemy on the east of the peninsula becomes in the Genoese map an open sea, corresponding to the account of Conti and other travelers, which sea had been found difficult of navigation because of continually unfavorable wind. Concerning the two large islands lying off the east coast of Asia, a legend gives the following information: These islands are called Java, of which the greater in circumference is three, and the other two thousand miles. Marvelous beings are represented in parts of the Indian Ocean, such as an animal with the body of a fish and the head of a woman, that is, a siren; also a fish with a humanlike head and large fins with sharp spikes thereon. Of particular importance are the other legends in the Indian Ocean apparently derived from Conti. We find on other world maps similar information concerning the construction of ships which sailed the Indian Ocean, as well as information concerning trade routes, such as the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (#235). Ibn Batuta also describes them minutely, making mention of ships that could carry a thousand mena€”six hundred seamen and four hundred soldiers. A river taking its rise on the east side of this mountain quadrangle, and emptying through two mouths into the Indian Ocean, cannot be identified, as the chart here contains numerous errors.
It is of special interest that in a region so significant by reason of its physical features, where the Pamir Highlands, the Hindu Kush, the Himalaya and the Quen Lun unite, our cosmographer represents a second Iron gate where Alexander imprisoned the Tartars, or a wall with a strong gateway. In the interior of Southeast Asia there is a large lake with the legend: The waters of this lake are very pleasant and sweet for drinking. Marco Polo relates a similar story, but adds, as does Conti, the simple facts that he himself observed, that is, that diamonds are obtained in India through mining and through the washing and the sifting of the sands. No rivers are represented by the Genoese cosmographer in Northeast Asia, but we find twice inscribed the legend Inaccessible mountains. On their appearance, the Mongols were thought to be the descendants of the Ten Tribes who had departed from the Mosaic law; and even in the Mohammedan world their coming was regarded as a sign of the approaching end of the world.
As a characteristic representation of the animal world, we find sketched in Southeast Asia a snake with a human head. The geographical nomenclature in the interior of Asia is very numerous, including the names of cities, countries and topographical features.
The cities represented on the frontier of Asia Minor are probably Angora, Burssa and Philadelphia. In Arabia Arabia Deserta is distinguished from Arabia Felix, and the extreme southeast part of the peninsula, that is, Oman, is called Fenicea et Sabba, suggesting that the Phoenicians once occupied the basin of the Persian Gulf. On the east side of the Caspian Sea, in Turkestan, there are only two cities represented, Testango and Organzin. Conti, as before stated, divided India into three parts, but the Genoese cartographer, following the ancients, refers to two only, representing therein numerous cities and legends, most of which apparently he has taken from Conti. Of the several regions only Maabar is especially designated in a legend reading: This province is called Mahabaria.
Among the cities, Cambay is especially distinguished, which at that time was the most important commercial city of India, and which the Genoese cartographer calls combayta, making use of the Spanish term instead of the Italian Camcaia or the Latin Combahita. West of the Ganges delta, on a mountain, lies the large city Bizungalia, which Conti called Bizenegalia, and which seems to have remained a city of importance well into the 16th century.
The land north of the Ava River (Irawadi) as far as a great parallel mountain range, including apparently the entire Irawadi region, the Genoese cosmographer calls Macina, inscribing the legend: This province of Macina produces elephants.
Turning to the continent of Africa, we find its Mediterranean coast, as on the portolan charts, well represented; likewise the Atlantic coast as far as Cape Bojador, which had recently been reached by the Portuguese. On the west coast, in about the position where one should look for the Gulf of Guinea, a gulf having one large and two small islands extends into the mainland, as is represented by Sanudo, Leardo and Fra Mauro.
In about the latitude of this gulf on the west coast we also find one indicated on the east coast which appears to be the Bay of Zanzibar. In the representation of mountains of Africa we find the Atlas range, which stretches along the north coast eastward to the Great Syrtus, a second range west of Egypt, stretching in a southerly direction.
The hydrography of Africa is likewise Ptolemaic, especially that which pertains to the Nile.
A monastery, or a city, with numerous towers over which a cross is drawn, is located in the lake and bears the name Maria of Nazareth.
That the Christian Abyssinians made use of the elephant in war during the middle ages, Marco Polo relates, who, in his travels, had gathered considerable information concerning that region of Africa. On the Catalan world map of 1375 (#235) a war elephant is also represented in Nubia, and the same picture appears again in India with the addition of a driver. Not only does there appear to be some confusion relative to the representation of the Nile River, but the hydrography of other parts of Africa is very confusing. The reference to the character of the land in Africa and its different products is very full, attention being drawn particularly to the animals. The extreme southeastern part of Africa has the following legend: In this region certain ones have depicted the paradise of delights.
A sea monster illustrating a passage from Bracciolini's Facetiaea€”the ultimate source of the demon-like sea monster on the Genoese world map of 1457a€”in Sebastian Branta€™s 1501 edition of Aesopa€™s Fables. Does the Genoese World Map represent an intermediate step between a heterogeneous medieval conception of space and a more modern homogeneous one? He shows a critical approach in dealing with his sources, backing up his decisions or listing information, which is a very innovative feature. As shown above, social customs and spatial perceptions are connected, and the mapmakera€™s intent to provide a near-natural depiction of the world might be related to the Christian faith.62 It is problematic to presume a homogenous conception of space is operative in the later Middle Ages or the Early Modern period, just because a mapmaker painted a mappa mundi using coastlines drawn from portolan charts, since geography is but one dimension of a mapa€™s content.
These continuities could perhaps explain why, as Evelyn Edson and Emilie Savage-Smith write, [the medieval cosmological modela€™s] a€?overthrow in the 17th century caused a profound spiritual and psychological disorientation from which we have yet to recover.a€?63 Studying conceptions of space in mappae mundi reveals how these conceptions change over time. DESCRIPTION: The profound difference between the Roman and the Greek mind is illustrated with peculiar clarity in their maps. Although copies of Agrippaa€™s map were taken to all of the great cities of the Roman Empire, not a single copy has survived. Shown here are three continents in more or less symmetrical arrangements with Asia in the east at the top of the map (hence the term orientation). Note that most scholars, however, believe that due to its placement on the column in a portico or stoa open to the public, the Porticus Vipsani, it was probably rectangular, not circular.
The only reported Roman world map before Agrippaa€™s was the one that Julius Caesar commissioned but never lived to see completed.
We may speculate whether this map was flat and circular, even though such a shape might have been considered a€?unscientifica€™ and poorly adapted to the shape of the known world. Augustus had a practical interest in sponsoring the new map of the inhabited world entrusted to Agrippa. In point of fact Augustus may have delegated the detailed checking to one of his freedmen, such as his librarian C.
We may treat as secondary sources Orosius, Historiae adversum paganos, and the Irish geographical writer Dicuil (AD 825).
It is also claimed that Strabo (#115) obtained his figures for Italy, Corsica, Sardinia and Sicily from Agrippa.
Although the term chorographia literally means a€?regional topographya€?, it seems to include fairly detailed cartography of the known world. For a more complete assessment of what Agrippa wrote or ordered to be put on his map, we may again turn to passages where Pliny quotes him specifically as reference.
It is a pity that Pliny, who seems to be chiefly interested in measurements, gives us so little other information about Agrippaa€™s map. It is the sea above all which shapes and defines the land, fashioning gulfs, oceans and straits, and likewise isthmuses, peninsulas and promontories. A serious point of disagreement among scholars has been whether the commentarii of Agrippa mentioned by Pliny were published at the time of construction of the portico. Another element in this problem that demands some explanation is the origin of the two later works the Demensuratio provinciarum and the Divisio orbis terrarum which are both derived from Agrippa, probably through a common source. Apart from the information supplied by Pliny, our chief evidence for the reconstruction of the map is provided by the two works already mentioned, the Demensuratio provinciarum and the Divisio orbis terrarum.
Dicuil, in his preface, promises to give the measurement of the provinces made by the envoys of the Emperor Theodosius, and at the end of chapter five he quotes twelve verses of these envoys in which they describe their procedure. According to Tierney, Detlefsen regarded these two works as derived from small-scale copies of Agrippaa€™s map.
Tierney believes however, that the west to east movement supposed by Klotz is, in fact, correct, but not for his reasons. Our idea of the detail of the map of Agrippa must be based on a study of the references in Strabo, Pliny, the Divisio and the Demensuratio.
There are twenty-four sections in the Divisio and thirty in the Demensuratio, the difference being mainly due to the absence from the Divisio of the sections on the islands of the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. These sections are largely identical with passages in Plinya€™s geographical books (Books III to VI), and show that many passages in Pliny are taken from Agrippa beyond those where he is actually named.
The consensus of the views of modern scholars on Agrippaa€™s map, is that it represents a conscientious attempt to give a credible version of the geography of the known world. But this consensus is not quite complete and therefore I now turn to consider the view of Agrippaa€™s map put forward by Professor Paul Schnabel in his article in Philologus of 1935.
Schnabel does not himself take up the general question of the use of Agrippa by Marinus and Ptolemy. Schnabel here refers to the last chapter of the geographical books of Plinya€™s Natural History, that is, Book VI, cap. Schnabel continues with the negative argument that the Don parallel cannot belong to the school of Hipparchus. We may speculate as to whether Plinya€™s phrase regarding the a€?careful later students,a€? does not refer to Nigidius himself. Schnabel next moves on to a more ambitious argument, making the assumption that Ptolemy has used some of Agrippaa€™s reckonings to establish points in his geography. It is sad to think that this elegant piece of reasoning must be thrown overboard, but Tierney believes it must be rejected on at least three different counts. In the second place Schnabela€™s statement that Agrippa reduced the itinerary figure of 745 miles to a straight line of 411 cannot be accepted. Thirdly, it may fairly be objected that the very method by which Schnabel obtains the figure of 411 miles is faulty. Tierney passes over Schnabela€™s reasons for thinking that Agrippa established lines of meridian in Spain and in the eastern Mediterranean, all of which Tierney finds quite unconvincing. Schnabela€™s attempt to present us with a scientific Agrippa and indeed to reconstruct a scientific Roman geography may be regarded a complete failure, and the older view of Detlefsen and Klotz must be regarded as correct. From another well-known passage in Strabo (V, 3, 8, C, 235-236) that contains a panegyric [a public speech or published text in praise of someone or something] on the fine buildings of Augustan Rome, we know that he was well acquainted with the dedications of Marcus Agrippa that he specifically mentions. Strabo shows the contemporary Roman view of the purely practical purposes of geography and of cartography by everywhere insisting on restricting to a minimum the astronomical and mathematical element in geographical study. This would mean then that Agrippaa€™s map was based on the general scheme of the Greek maps which had been current for upwards of 200 years, since the time of Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, and that it presumably attempted to complete and rectify this scheme by using recent Roman route-books and the reports of soldiers, merchants and travelers.
Towards the end of the fourth century two important events greatly enlarged the scope of geography. About a century later the famous astronomer Hipparchus subjected the geography of Eratosthenes to rather stringent criticisms. The next geographer whose views are well known us is Strabo (#115), who was writing at the time of the construction of Agrippaa€™s map or some years later.
If, then, progress was no longer being made or to be expected from Greek geographers using various astronomical instruments, was anything to be expected from the other tradition, the Roman roads and their itineraries? We must then approach the map of Agrippa on a purely factual basis realizing that it provides us merely a list of boundaries followed by a length and breadth, for the areas within the Empire and beyond it. Fundamentally, therefore, Agrippaa€™s figures allow us to construct a series of boxes or rectangle with which to deck out the shores of the Mediterranean and the eastern world and whose dimensions should be reduced by an uncertain amount. Spain consists of three boxes, the square of Lusitania and the rectangle of the Hispania citerior [Roman province] east of it being placed over the rectangle of BA¦tica. In Gaul [France] a large rectangle lies over a small one, that is Gallia Comata over the province of Narbonensis. The islands of the Mediterranean are not forgotten, at least the major ones, just as Italy lies too far to the southeast, so do Corsica and Sardinia lie too far to the southwest. The eastern Mediterranean is faced by Syria whose longitude Pliny (V, 671 states as 470 miles between Cilicia and Arabia, and whose latitude is 175 miles from Seleucia Pieria on the coast to Zeugma on the Euphrates. We have now either reached or gone beyond the boundaries of the Roman Empire in the north, south and east, as it was in Agrippaa€™s day.
The most important achievement of the map, to Agrippaa€™s mind, consisted in its measurements, and it is possible that he spent very considerable pains in getting these exactly, although we cannot take the account given by Honorius (ca. The exact correspondence between Pliny, the Divisio and the Demensuratio, in giving many of the boundaries of the sections, shows, according to Detlefsen, that these boundaries also were inscribed upon the map. Klotz, in his final review of Agrippaa€™s methods of work, has made some illuminating points that supplement Detlefsen. Within the Empire he chiefly used the itineraries without the overt use of an astronomical backing, although astronomical data, of course, already formed the basis of the Greek maps that were the real foundation of his. Klotz, A., a€?Die geographischen commentarii des Agrippa und ihre Uberrestea€?, Klio 25, 1931, 35ff, 386ff. Note that most scholar, however, believe that due to its placement on the column in a portico or stoa open to the public, the Porticus Vipsani, it was probably rectangular, not circular. According to Fisher seeing that this is a Roman world map sharing many similarities with the mappaemundi, it is logical to assume that SchA¶nera€™s southern landmass is a copy of Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum, the Roman world map upon which the mappaemundi were based. Within the context of the early 16th century, it seems apparent that SchA¶ner found himself caught up in the perfect cartographic storm. All these parts were in place when an errant 1508 report of a strait at the tip of South America with a large southern continent lying beneath inspired SchA¶ner to unwittingly preserve the only copy of Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum on the bottom of his 1515 world globe. When medieval Christians began creating the mappaemundi they borrowed heavily from Agrippaa€™s map as well as Greek designs.
This design adjustment may also explain the Expositio mappemundi (EMM), manuscripts which are a collection of the data items appearing on the mappaemundi.
It was reverse engineered from the mappaemundi, but plays it relatively safe in its assumptions. The new found design also provides for the first time insights into the inspiration for key design aspects on the mappaemundi such as the tribute to Jesus at the top of the map, the transition from a separate commentary requiring locative terminology to commentary overlain onto the mappaemundi no longer requiring spatial references, and the distribution of images from a consolidated arced matrix lying above Africa on SchA¶nera€™s design to areas throughout the mappaemundi. In conclusion, Fisher believes that he has presented a solid logical case for the historic discovery of a long lost 2,000-year-old Roman world map at the bottom of the world, SchA¶nera€™s world that is. 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.
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.
The colleague needed to find an address by a given latitude and longitude which were supplied by a smartphone consumer. The reverse of it is address lookup which occurs when you have the map location and you want to get an address out of it.
Pay attention that I make an asynchronous request since I need to relay on a third party server (which is Google geocoding API in my example). The evidence is purely circumstantial, though the map would have been more encouraging to anyone hoping to circumnavigate Africa, and Crinoa€™s thesis has had no other advocates.
Oddly, there is no city view of Genoa [Janua], while Venice is represented by an impressive set of buildings. Much scholarly ink has been spilled over the meaning of this caption, particularly cum Marino. It therefore indicates the longitude of the habitable world as about twice that of the latitude. Hugh of Saint Victor had described the world as being the shape of Noaha€™s Ark, and Ranulf Higden world maps were oval (#232).
It is interesting that the maker of the Genoese map mentions peculiar customs (cannibalism, people who have no names) but no a€?monstrous races,a€? that is, people with aberrant physical characteristics, other than the pygmies. Gog and Magog are enclosed in northeast Asia, Noaha€™s Ark rests on a mountain range in Armenia, and the Red Sea is red, though there is no text about the passage of the Israelites through its waters. There are four prominent sea monsters in the Indian Ocean, which ocean thus remains a venue for exotic wonders. The legend says that the creature sprang out of the water and attacked some cows pasturing on the shore, and then was captured and mounted and exhibited in Venice and elsewhere. By reason of the limited space, the geographical details inserted in this section of the map are not numerous; indeed, of no part of the map can it be said that the author has crowded it with details. The Rhone, the Rhine, the Po and the Danubea€”the latter with an extensive deltaa€”have been inscribed in a manner which leaves no doubt as to their identity, while into the Black Sea, which with the Sea of Azov is well drawn, flow the rivers Don and Dnieper, and into the Caspian Sea flows the Volga, though no names are affixed.
Here we also find the representation of a ruler, Lordo Rex with genuine Mongol features, the chief of the Golden Horde.
To the south of Ireland, in the ocean, we find the following legend: Concerning Ireland two [stories] are told.
The names of nine cities in addition are given in northern Italy: Florentia, Ravenna, Ancerra, Borletta, Bor[i], Rana, Galta, and Napoli, with one illegible. After the Alexandrian, the second main authority for the eastern portion is Nicolo Conti, the Venetian traveler, who reached the East Indian islands and perhaps southern China, returned to Italy in 1439 and whose narrative was written down by Poggio Bracciolini shortly after 1447. In the extreme east are two large islands, Java major and Java minor, and to the southeast two smaller islands Sanday et Bandam. In this enormous prison, labeled Scythia ultra Ymaum montem [Scythia beyond Mount Ymaus], is the word MAGOG in large letters (perhaps in Ezekiela€™s sense as a country?). The remarkably strong ebb and flow of the waters in the Persian Gulf at the mouth of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, observed by Conti, is thought by the Genoese cartographer worthy of mention: Sinus persicus in quo mare fluit et refluit velut oceanus [The Persian Gulf, in which the sea ebbs and flows as in the ocean].
This section of the coast could not well remain unknown to travelers coming from the mouth of the Indus River.
The legend on the Genoese map relates in part to the Chinese junks, in part to the trade with India, which in the 15th century was in the hands of the Arabians, from whom the Portuguese seized it. Near the Persian Gulf in Arabia a mountain is represented, out of which flows a river, emptying north of Mecca, which doubtless is the Betius of Ptolemy. This is doubtless one of the passes lying somewhat to the west, where Scythia on the north joins with the highlands of Iran, and is probably the Khyber. This lake, mentioned in the fabulous stories concerning India in the middle ages, is, again, derived from Conti. In the extreme northwest, in genuine medieval fashion, a leopard and a griffin have been sketched. In this part of Asia the cosmographer places the land of Magog, whence Jews, Mohammedans, and also Christians of the middle ages, expected the coming of the destructive races at the last day. In Armenia appears Azerum, and to the southeast of this, in an incorrect position, Sauasto. In the interior, Jerusalem, Damascus, placed far to the north; Antioch and, less accurately placed, Tiberias.
Among the cities Media Arabie appears most conspicuous, and the tower decorated with a flag, and lying on the coast, is undoubtedly Dschidda, Contia€™s Zidem. In the interior are Tauria, a center of trade with remote Asia and India; and Ragis, the ancient Rhagas, a residence of Mohammedan princes, and, since the destruction by the Mongolians, a vast ruin, out of which in part the neighboring Teheran is built. Testango, which Pizigani calls Trestago, is Tysch-kandy on the Mertwyi-Kultuk Bay, whence the commercial highway led from the Caspian Sea over the Ust-Urt plateau to Organzin, the ancient capital city Chowaresmiens on the Darjalyk. By this we are to understand Coromandel, lying on the east coast, since it appears evident the legend refers to Meliapur.
Meliapur is distinguished by a Christian church with a cross and the legend, Here lies the body of the apostle Saint Thomas.
The Genoese cartographer appears to have known the trend of the coast even to Cape Verde, although his representation of the coast southward of Cape Bojador is far from correct in its details.
These last-named cartographers call this gulf Sinus Aethiopicus, while the Genoese cartographer, the name being repeated many times, designates the mainland as Ethiopia, and his legend here reads: Contrary to the tradition of Ptolemy, this is a gulf, but Pomponius speaks of it with its islands. Before this bay, that is, in the open waters of the Indian Ocean, is represented a fish with a swinea€™s head. In the extreme south of the continent the Mountains of the Moon are represented as snow-covered, with the following explanatory legend: These are the Mountains of the Moon, which, in the Egyptian language, are called Gebelcan, in which mountains the river Nile rises, and from which, in the summer-time, when the snows melt, a very large stream flows. It was the Abyssinian Christians whom the cosmographers, at the close of the 14th century, had to thank for information concerning their country.
Marco Polo ascribes the use of war elephants to the inhabitants of Zanzibar, while Masa€™udi expressly states that their land was rich in elephants, which, however, were neither tamed, nor were they used in any manner. A river empties in the Syrtus west of Masrata, which comes from a lake in the neighborhood of Wadam, and which is called by Idrisi Palmenoase, a river five daysa€™ journey south of the Great Syrtus. In addition to the elephant and the crocodile, a camel is represented in the southwest, and near it a mythical animal, which may be a dragon or a basilisk, and which, according to tradition, inhabited Africa in antiquity and in the middle ages. For instance, the name Ethiopia appears six times, and in addition, in Western Europe, Ethiopia interior, and in the east, Ethiopia Egypti.
To tackle this question, it is necessary to hypothesize on the mapmakera€™s intentions and study the way he handles the space on his map. Just as important are the various dimensions of meaning on the Genoese World Map relating to faith and social life.
Today, in character with the preferences of our own culture, we are persuaded to live our everyday life in a homogeneous, absolute space, neatly separated from time, notwithstanding that Albert Einstein disproved this notion. Compare, for instance, this Catalan-Estense map (#246), the Walsperger world map (#245) and this Genoese world map, all of approximately the same date, ca. The Romans were indifferent to mathematical geography, with its system of latitudes and longitudes, its astronomical measurements, and its problem of projections. 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. The reconstructions shown here are based upon data in the medieval world maps that were, in turn, derived from Roman originals, plus textual descriptions by classical geographers such as Strabo, Pomponius Mela and Pliny.
The emphasis upon Rome is reflected in the stubby form of Italy, which made it possible to show the Italian provinces on an enlarged scale. We are told by late Roman and medieval sources that he employed four Greeks, who started work on the map in 44 B.C. That is the form of the Hereford world map (Book IIB, #226), which seriously distorts the relative positions and sizes of areas of the world in a way we should not imagine Julius Caesar and his technicians would have. On the re-establishment of peace after the civil wars, he was determined on the one hand to found new colonies to provide land for discharged veterans, on the other hand to build up a new image of Rome as the benevolent head of a vast empire. It was erected in Rome on the wall of a portico named after Agrippa, which extended along the east side of the Via Lata [modern Via del Corso].
Orosius seems to have read, and followed fairly closely both Agrippa and Pliny, as well as early writers from Eratosthenes onwards. His source was clearly one commissioned by Romans, not Greeks, as his figures for those areas are in miles, not stades. The Agrippa map probably did not, in the absence of any mention, use any system of latitude and longitude.
These include both land and sea measurements, though the most common are lengths and breadths of provinces or groups of provinces. But on the credit side, Agrippaa€™s map, sponsored by Augustus, was obviously an improvement on that of Julius Caesar on which it is likely to have been based. The general history of ancient cartography and our knowledge of Roman buildings in the Augustan period would appear to be our surest guides.
The German philologist and historian Detlev Detlefsen always clung steadfastly the view that there was no such publication and that the inscriptions on the map itself provided all the geographical information that was available to later times under the name of Agrippa. Detlefsen had explained their origin by assuming the production of smaller hand-copies of Agrippaa€™s map, their smallness then making a written text desirable. Small discrepancies were to be explained by differences in the copies of the map used by each. Strabo used Agrippa only for Italy and the neighboring islands, so that our chief evidence comes from the other three sources. Detlefsen believed that the island sections were later added to the Demensuratio, but according to Tierney there can be little doubt that he is wrong in this and that Klotz is right in thinking that these sections have rather fallen out of the Divisio.
It relies on the general scheme of the Greek maps that had been current since the time of Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, and attempts to rectify them, particularly in Western Europe, with recent information derived from the Roman itineraries and route-books.
We have to thank Professor Schnabel for providing in the same article a new critical text of both the Demensuratio and the Divisio. He sets out, at first, to prove that Agrippaa€™s map possessed a network of lines of longitude and latitude.
39, sections 211-219, where Pliny mentions evidently as a work of supererogation, a€?the subtle Greek inventiona€? of parallels of latitude, showing the areas of equal shadows and the relationship of day and night Pliny then gives seven parallels, running at intervals between Alexandria and the mouth of the Dnieper, with longest days running from fourteen to fifteen hours. Hipparchus had made the Don parallel the seventeen-hour parallel, corresponding to 54A° N latitude, whereas Pliny here puts it at sixteen hours or 48A° 30" N latitude, which is nearly correct. 39, section 211, refers obviously to all that follows as far as the end of Book VI and shows that the complete passage is taken from Greek sources. In the first place, Schnabel has apparently overlooked Ptolemya€™s method of establishing the longitude and latitude of particular geographical points. Pliny gives this itinerary as running at the base of the Alps, from the Varus through Turin, Como, Brecia, Verona and other towns on to Trieste, Pola and the Arsia. For the reduction, of longitude he uses, as I have said, the factor of forty-three sixtieths derived from Ptolemya€™s fifth map of Europe (Book VIII, cap.
Tierney turns to his last main argument in which lie tries to prove Agrippa to be the author of a new value of the degree at 80 Roman miles or 640 stadia, Pliny (V, 59) gives the distance of the island of Elephantine from Syene as sixteen miles and its distance from Alexandria as 585 miles. If we accepted it we might as well accept that everyone in antiquity who either sailed or traveled in a north-south direction in the eastern Mediterranean was also engaged in establishing a new degree value. On the general question of Roman proficiency in geographical studies some light is thrown by a passage of Strabo (Book III, C 166) who says: a€?The Roman writers imitate the Greeks but they do not go very far. The phrase which he uses of Agrippaa€™s aqueducts is exactly echoed in Plinya€™s phrase tanta diligentia. Before entering into the details of Agrippaa€™s map it will be useful to examine briefly these two traditions, the Greek and the Roman, in order to grasp more clearly the problem which confronted Agrippa or whoever else might wish to construct a world map in the age of Augustus. We are told that it was Democritus who first abandoned the older circular map and made a rectangular one whose east-west axis, the longitude, was half as long again as the north-south axis, the latitude.
The campaigns of Alexander and the new Greek settlements pushed the Greek horizon far to the east while in the west the intrepid Pytheas of Massalia circumnavigated Britain and sailed along the European coast from Gibraltar at least as far as the Elbe, publishing his investigations in a work which included gnomonic observations at certain points, and remarks on the fauna and flora of these distant areas. He made devastating attacks on the eastern sections of the map, as being seriously incorrect, both on mathematical and on astronomical grounds. Sad to relate, the gradually accumulating mass of details concerning roads and areas did not add up to any great increase in geographical knowledge. Our three main authorities, Pliny, the Divisio and the Demensuratio, have suffered a great deal in the transmission of these latter figures, the longitude and latitude, so-called. Klotz has argued that Agrippa did not use the word longitudo in the technical sense of the east-west measurement, nor the word latitudo in the technical sense of the north-south measurement, but rather in the more general sense of length and breadth.
To evaluate the map we must take a glance at each of these boxes in turn, and the most convenient order would appear to be that of the Greek geographers and of Agrippa himself, if we can trust the order of the Divisio that has Europa, Asia, Lybia, that is, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The internal line of division ran south from the estuary at NA“ca between the Astures and the Cantabri, down to Oretania and on to New Carthage. Off the coast of Gallia Comata lies an enormous Britain, 800 by 300 miles, and north of it an equally exaggerated Hibernia [Ireland].
Corsica, in fact forms the eastern boundary of Sardinia and this explains why the long axis of both islands is described as the longitude.
Tierney believes that it is possible to remove the difficulties felt about Agrippaa€™s Syria by both Detlefsen and Klotz. Only a few more boxes or rectangles are left to the east of the line, formed by Armenia, Syria and Egypt, but now they begin to grow portentously large.
Spain has three sections and Gaul two, while in the east of Europe Dacia and Sarmatia run off to the unknown northern ocean, and further east again the sections are quite enormous. Natural features such as the mountains and rivers that divided provinces were shown also, but in what exact way is not clear. He points out that just as Eratosthenes had divided the inhabited earth into his famous a€?sealsa€?, so also Agrippa divided the earth into groups of countries without reference to their political or geographical conditions. Any attempt to draw the map of Agrippa from the figures that have survived without some astronomical backing is entirely hopeless. Wherever itineraries did not exist he made use of the estimated distances of the Greek geographers, and outside the Empire he had to rely on them altogether. Proceeding in our evaluation with this in mind we can gain insights into how the mappaemundi arrived at their final design. Fisher believes that the central zones on Agrippaa€™s map had to be eliminated when the Christians decided to adopt and adapt from Greek maps the concept of cartographic centricity by distorting the map to position the holy city of Jerusalem at the mapa€™s center.
Some believe that these manuscripts were instruction sets used to construct a mappa mundi based on the fact that the text is spatially specific. The reconstruction acknowledges that the waterway originated on Agrippaa€™s map as it is common to most mappaemundi, but it assumes that the Roman original was far less imposing, whereas SchA¶nera€™s design suggests that the mappaemundi are far more accurate in their depiction of the waterway spanning most of the continent. All three adjustments were based on their Roman counterparts, but reflect necessary adjustments as the makers of the mappaemundi opted for a Christocentric design. His evaluation, however, is based on the fact that copies of Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum did indeed exist and were at one time distributed throughout Europe becoming the model for the medieval mappaemundi. 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. 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! The example in this post will show you how you can use Google geocoding API in order to achieve that using C#. In today’s mobile development it is very common to use the smartphone built-in GPS’ in order to make geocoding and reverse geocoding.
However, the map is not well preserved, a fact due in part to careless handling, in part to its peculiar mounting which evidently is very old. The map was made not for practical use but for display, probably in the library of the Spinola family.
It has been read to refer to Marino Sanudoa€™s map, to the knowledge of sailors (though ungrammatically), and to Marinos of Tyre. It is, however, but mere conjecture to assert that our draughtsman had a Marinus map before him while working out his sketch, though it conforms to the geographical notion of that ancient cartographer. A standard way of describing the earth, from Bede to the Catalan Atlas (#235), was to compare it to an egg. But since this is a description of the cosmographers, who make no mention of it, it is omitted from this narration.a€? Who are the cosmographers, who also appeared in the caption cited above but in a more negative context? Angelo Cattaneo has identified the source of this legend as Chapter 18 of Pero Tafura€™s Andancas e viajes de Pero Tafur por diversas partes del mundo avidos, written c. Between the Dniester, at that time the western boundary of the Mongol empire, and the Dnieper is the city Lordo, a name that often appears in references to treaty relations established between the Mongols and the people of the Occident.
Here we also find Lisbona, Sibilla, Taragona, Barcelona, Saragosa, and a few other names which are illegible.
From the names given which so frequently appear in the history of the period that of Constantinople is omitted. All these are taken from the Conti narrative: Java major is thought to be Borneo, and Java minor the island now known by that name. West of the Golden Chersonese is an animal with the tail of a fish, a humanlike head and large horns and ears, with outstretched arms so attached to the body as to make them serviceable in flying or swimming.
Heinrich Wuttke (Karten der seefahrenden Volker) provides a transcription of the captions in the margins and in the figure. In the place of Ptolemya€™s Taprobana two islands are represented, the larger of which, though appearing in outline to be Taprobana, is rather to be taken as a representation of Sumatra, while the smaller bears the name Ceylon. The inhabitants of this Taprobana, which in their language is called Ciamutera, are barbarians, having large ears in which they wear ornaments, and they dress in linen clothes.
According to a conjecture of Yule, the name Sumara, which appears in a manuscript of Marco Polo as the name of one of the kingdoms of the island, is only a corruption of Sumatra. The other legend, near the picture of a three-masted ship, reads: The Indian Sea is filled with many islands, rocks and sand-banks.
Chinese junks, after an interval of five hundred years, again sailed the Indian Ocean at the end of the 13th century. In addition to the sails, which were made of bamboo matting and attached to four or more masts, these Indian ships had rudders, which were handled by from ten to thirty men. Marco Polo called it the Sea of Ghel, or Ghelan, since Gilan, the city whence silks came, was to the Italians the best-known city on its shores.
A mountain range farther eastward, and stretching in a northeast-southwest direction, is the east Iranian mountain range, along which flows the Indus. Here was a national highway over which, immediately preceding this period, the wild people of central Asia so frequently came into southern Asia. In these rather remarkable sketches we probably have a reference to the lakes of Udaipur and Dbar on the southern highlands of Mewar, which lakes in fact lie between the Indus and the Ganges. Yule refers to it as one known in the fourth century of the Christian era, in which allusion is made to the hyacinth or jacinth. In Turkestan is the legend King Cambellannas, son of the great Khan, by which legend is probably meant Timur, who reunited the numerous small kingdoms into which, about 1350, Dschagati had fallen.
On most of the early maps of the middle ages this land of Gog and Magog is represented, but with the advance of knowledge of Asia the names were given to lands further northward.
Of the cities which are here most distinguished there may be named Sinope, which is adorned with a Genoese banner. Of the cities of Parthia only the name Yier appears, by which perhaps Dschordschan is meant.
Maabar, it should be noted, is not to be confounded with Malabar, or Melibar of Marco Polo.
There was scarcely a Christian traveler from the time of Montecorvino and Marco Polo, returning with information concerning the so-called Thomas Christians, who had failed to visit Meliapur near Madras, since the place of Saint Thomasa€™ burial was a sacred spot not only to Christians but also to Mohammedan pilgrims. The Arnona Civitas of the Genoese cartographer seems to lie in about the position of Contia€™s Cernove, reached by him in a fifteen daysa€™ journey from the mouth of the river. The southern coast of Africa is made to extend in a flattened curve toward the east, which representation is similar to that on the world maps of Sanudo, of Leardo, and of Fra Mauro (#228, #242, #249). A legend here reads: This animal, called the sea hog, gathers its food with its snout like the land hog. This legend gives us the Arabic name for the Mountains of the Moon as Gebelcan, which is doubtless the same as Gebel Camr. The Blue Nile, however, is represented according to most recent information from Abyssinia; this river, uniting with the Atbara, forms one river which flows out of a large lake, in which an island is represented. It may be noted that even today the banks of this lake, as well as its islands, are the site of numerous churches and monasteries. There can be no doubt that in the lands on the west side of the Red Sea elephants were captured by the Ptolemies in great numbers, tamed and made use of in war, as Ptolemy Euergetes testifies in the inscription from Adulis that he employed Troglodytic and Ethiopian elephants against those from India.
It is difficult to determine whether by this Wadi Schegea or Wadi um el Cheil is to be understood.
One here recalls the description which Idrisi gives of a dragon living on an oasis to the east of Sahara, so enormous in size that it was often mistaken for a mountain.
But since that is a representation of cosmographers who have given no description of it, therefore an account of it is here omitted.
What is clear is the mapmakera€™s declaration of intent, his striving for accuracy and a near-natural depiction of the world, all of which make his map look rather modern.
Using these histories, he concentrated his attention on certain regions, emphasizing especially Asia, distinguishing certain locations through different forms of depiction, thereby creating a hierarchical space.
Perhaps in answering certain questions one should not look too hard for historical transitions or changes in cartography, as this tempts one to privilege current representational conventions.
Therefore, although this study focuses on maps that are centuries old, it just might enhance our understanding of the current conflict between our daily experience and our theoretical knowledge of space and time.
This leads him on to the advantages of the northern half from the point of view of agriculture. The original was made at the command of Agrippaa€™s father-in-law, the Emperor Augustus (27 B.C.
These were no doubt freedmen, of whom there were large numbers in Rome, including many skilled artisans. A late Roman geographical manual gives totals of geographical features in this lost map with recording names, but even the totals, on examination, turn out to be unreliable. Mapping enabled him to carry out these objectives and to perfect a task begun by Julius Caesar. This portico, of which fragments have been found near Via del Tritone, was usually called Porticus Vipsania, but may have been the same as the one that Martial calls Porticus EuropA¦, probably from a painting of Europa on its walls.
Dicuil tells us that he followed Pliny except where he had reason to believe that Pliny was wrong.
It is through such features that continents, nations, favorable sites of cities, and other refinements have been conceived, features of which a regional [chorographic] map is full; one also finds a quantity of islands scattered over the seas and along the coasts. The fact that such an insignificant and distant place as Charax was named on the map shows the detail that it embodied. His sister, Vipsania Polla, began the work, and we know from Dio Cassius that it was still unfinished in the year 7 B.C. There can be no reasonable doubt that the map was a rectangular one with the east-west measurements running horizontally and the north-south measurements running vertically.
Though Strabo does not mention Agrippaa€™s name here he is probably merely being tactful with regard to the Emperor who, presumably, took a large part in the completion of the portico with its map. One must grant Detlefsen that in Plinya€™s main reference there is talk only of a map and the commentarii are merely the basis of the map.
Partsch on the contrary, had assumed an original publication, contemporary with the original map, of a Tabellenwerk, that is, a series of tabulated lists.
1475, and, according to Paul Schnabel (Text und Karten des PtolemA?us, 1938) the thirteen manuscripts of the 15th and 16th centuries and a further manuscript of the 13th century all derive from the ninth-century codex in the library of Merton College, Oxford.
What they show is rather that on the orders of Theodosius two members of his household composed a map of the world, one written and the other a painting.
The classical scholar Alfred Klotz, however, in his articles on the map has shown that a number of correspondences between the two works as against Pliny point rather to a common source from which both works are derived. Greek cartography, like Greek writing, ran from left to right and perhaps the former practice was promoted by the fact that the western boundary of Europe was well known, at least from the time of Pytheas (ca. The numerals are much more corrupt than those in Pliny, and there is usually a presumption, therefore, that Plinya€™s figures preserve a better version of Agrippa. Schnabel, while expressing appreciation of the earlier work of Alfred Klotz, yet criticizes Klotz severely on two grounds.
For the sixth of these parallels he gives a slight correction due to the Publius Nigidius Figulus (ca. Therefore, Schnabel argues, the incorrect latitude of Hipparchus was corrected by Agrippa who had experience of the Black Sea in his later years. His proximate source, moreover, he names in section 217, according to his usual custom, as Nigidius Figulus.
The parallels of Meroe and Thule were both equally useless in astrological geography although they may well have been mentioned by Nigidius, as they are by Strabo simply by way of clearing the decks. H, 10, 1.) for the mouth of the river Varus (the frontier of Gaul and Italy), that is, 27A° 30a€™ E longitude and 43A° N latitude, and again his position for Nesakton (Geog. This method Ptolemy has described quite clearly and unambiguously in the fourth chapter of Book I of his Geography. It is difficult to see how Schnabel imagined that this line could be reduced to a straight line of 411 miles.
What they have to say they translate from the Greeks but of themselves they provide very little impulse to learning, so that where the Greeks have left gaps the Romans provide little to fill the deficiency, especially since most of the well-known writers are Greek.a€? On a comparison of this passage with Straboa€™s usual sycophantic admiration of things Roman we can rate it as very severe criticism. He was, therefore, well acquainted also with the map or Agrippa to which, or to whose content he refers no less than seven times in his Books II, V and VI.
In the fourth century the study of spherical geometry was pushed forward rapidly by Eudoxus in the Academy, and again by Callippus. This new knowledge was then exploited geographically by Eratosthenes of Cyrene (#112) in the latter half of the third century. His delineation of the Near East, of Egypt, the Black Sea and the Mediterranean was reasonably correct, and this was also true of his sketch of the Atlantic coast of Europe and the Brettanic islands in which area he followed Pytheas. Hipparchus further indicated the theoretic requirements for establishing the exact location of points on the eartha€™s surface.
Despite his criticism of earlier geographers such as Pytheas, Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, it has long been recognized that he does not advance their work except in providing some details in regard to the map of Europe, while his general map of Europe has more faults than that of Eratosthenes. Without the stiffening of astronomical observation the Roman road systems were like a number of fingers probing blindly in the dark.
The variation in the figures is aggravated by the fact that our later authorities do not entirely understand the Roman method of expressing large numbers as used by Agrippa and Pliny. This is, however, a serious error on the part of Klotz and to accept it would be a very retrograde step in our appreciation of the map. Therefore the word longitude could reasonably he used of its full length, and the measurements at right angles to this, that is, the latitudes, varied so much that Agrippa thought it necessary to give at least two, one in northern Italy and the second from Rome to the river Aternus. Since the Pyrenees are supposed to run north and south the longitude of Hispania citerior is really the latitude, as was noted before.
Over the Rhine lies a small Germany, only half the size of Gaul, and southeast of it an Illyricum and Pannonia of about the same size as Germany.
Cross measurements of the Mediterranean are given at three points, from the Italian coast by way of Corsica and Sardinia to Africa, from southern Greece through Sicily to the same place, and from Cape Malea in Greece to Crete and Cyrenaica. Mesopotamia measures a fairly modest 800 by 320 miles, but further east Media measures 1,320 by 840, Arabia to the south is 2,170 by 1,296 and, finally, India represents the Far East with 3,300 by 1,300. He must have taken over the map of Eratosthenes as revised by people such as Polybius, Posidonius and Artemidorus, and made it the basis of his own. Pliny understood these measurements as being the prime value of the map and that is why he copies them so exhaustively. Sometimes simple dividing lines were used, such as that used in central Spain, or wherever natural features of division were not present.
Thus Agrippaa€™s India corresponds generally to the first a€?seala€? of Eratosthenes, and Agrippaa€™s Arabia, Ethiopia and Upper Egypt corresponds to the fourth a€?seala€?. Even with an astronomical basis they only provide us with a set of rectangles mostly scattered at haphazard about the Mediterranean. At the boundaries to the north, east and south he had to content himself with qua cognitum est. This water feature is significant not only in the fact that it is completely landlocked, unlike most waterways which empty into a surrounding sea, but also notably both waterways are 1) truncated at each end by circular lakes 2) are similarly arced away from the center of their C-shaped surrounding, and 3) span the portion of their C-shape lying opposite the Greek and Italian peninsulas, the portion of the map which coincides with Africa.
First century Roman maps like Agripaa€™s Orbis Terrarum, which had existed throughout Europe, disappeared during the medieval period, but at least one copy was discovered in Germany just a few years prior to the arrival of Schonera€™s 1515 globe, the Peutinger Table (#120), and therefore it is not unreasonable to believe that SchA¶ner might have had access to an unfinished copy of Agrippaa€™s map.
When Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum was originally created and put up for display on the wall of a portico, extensive commentary was likely consolidated within the center circular zone (2), but extending Jerusalem and Asia Minor into the mapa€™s center displaced much of the central text and necessitated the text's redistribution about the mappamundia€™s new design, relocating comments within the region to which each pertained, which is why we find the mappae mundi littered with commentary. But it may actually be that the EMM were based on the original text found on Agrippaa€™s map with the locative terms such as a€?above,a€? a€?opposite,a€? and a€?to the south ofa€? being necessary for a consolidated text set apart from the map, while the mappaemundia€™s placement of these data items directly onto the map logically allowed the removal of the spatial references. The mappaemundi maintained this orientation because medieval Christians held Eden, which they believed resided in the east, in high esteem. The reconstruction also omits completely the lateral mountain range above the waterway, which seems like a rather large oversight as both the Peutinger Table and Ptolemya€™s map, two ancient Roman maps, incorporated a trans-African range as does SchA¶nera€™s design. It also maintains a more realistic belief that ancient maps did not maintain the accuracy of modern maps, but retained a basic design and set of elements common to nearly all ancient maps. 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.
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). When you want to make a geocoding request you can use Google’s geocode service in order to make location queries. To prevent the crinkling of the parchment, as would appear, it has been mounted on four boards of suitable width and of about half an inch in thickness, which boards have been adjusted to fold.
In support of the last idea, it is noteworthy that the map appears to extend 225A° by 87A°, the extent of the habitable world, according to him. This abandonment of the more common circular form enabled the cartographer to show features that were increasingly squeezed on 15th century mappaemundi. The main purpose of the analogy seems to have been to describe the various spheres surrounding the earth (egg white, shell), but the idea of an egg shape could have been derived from these works.
In the Indian Ocean are shown a mermaid and a fish with a devila€™s head, while on land nearby is a snake with a human head. Prester John is represented behind a wall, protecting him from the future rampages of Gog and Magog.
This monster is said to attack the ships of the Indians, usually breaking them immediately, but its crest can get stuck in the ship's wood and as a result the creature, unable to escape, kills itself. Sara was the capital of the Kipchak, and in the 14th century was a city of great importance, but in 1395 was destroyed by Timur.
Though the names Sanday and Bandam have not been satisfactorily explained, the reference in the legend to spices and cloves makes it fairly certain that they are islands of the Moluccas group.
If we have here an attempt at a representation of the Gulf of Siam, the city Pauconia is probably Bangkok.
A legend gives the following information: This species of fish, recently [caught?] in Candia, feeds upon the meadows of the shore like cows. A legend near this reads: The island of Ceylon, having a circumference of three thousand miles, is rich in rubies, sapphires, and cata€™s-eyes, and produces cinnamon from trees similar to our willow tree. Marco Polo, the first traveler from the west who seems to have brought definite word from Sumatra, called it Java the Less, under which name, however, according to the Genoese cartographer, we are to understand Java or Borneo. Their ships, therefore, are constructed with many compartments, to the end that if they are broken in any part, the remaining parts may be sufficiently strong to complete the course.
Marco Polo, who, on his homeward journey, sailed in one of them as far as Malabar, gives us a detailed picture of these boats. The larger vessels also carried small boats, which were used, as Marco Polo states, a€?to lay out the anchors, catch fish, bring supplies aboard, and the like. Mons Synai, near the northern border of the Red Sea, is represented, on the summit of which is the Convent of St.
Aside from the Volga and the Ural, two other rivers are here represented, rising in a range of mountains that extends in an east-west direction.
This river forms through its four outlets a conspicuous delta, and receives from the neighboring mountain range two tributaries.
Indeed, from the most ancient times this important highway was the connecting link between northern and southern Asia, and its architectural ruins a€”the fortifications erected by the different peoples at different timesa€”point to its significance. It was one known to the Byzantines, to the Arabs, and to the Chinese, but it seems to owe its origin to India. King Cambalech, that is, the Great Khan, is represented in a picture as ruling Cathay, and the King of India is represented on horseback with sword in hand. Here the cosmographer seems to rely in the main on Arabic sources, and especially on Idrisi. On the Persian Gulf lies Ragan, by which Arragan is probably to be understood, whose ruins are found in the vicinity of the present Babahan, with Fars on the Ab Ergum. Destroyed first by Genghis Khan in 1221, and again by Timur, this great Asiatic frontier commercial city in the time of Conti was in ruins. The tradition that the holy Thomas preached Christianity in India, suffered martyrdom, and was buried in a mountain had its origin in very early times. Conti gives a vivid description of this part of the Ganges River, up which river, as he states, he sailed for the space of three months; and from his description one might conclude that he had passed entirely through Hindustan, and that after he had made the desired commercial observations he turned about to make a long sojourn in Maharatia, perhaps one of the four important cities to which he refers. The southern continental boundary of the Indian Ocean appearing on Ptolemya€™s world maps, reduced to a long and narrow peninsula by Sanudo and Fra Mauro, is still further reduced by the Genoese cartographer. The name Djihal-alqamar, Mountains of the Moon, according to a conjecture of Kiepert, was derived in Ptolemya€™s time erroneously from Djibal-qomr, Blue Mountains. Meroe, however, does not, as with Ptolemy, lie on a river island, but on a river peninsula. The large island Dek, or the Holy Daga Island, dedicated to Saint Stephen, is now inhabited by hermit monks, and to it the outside world is not admitted.
In Tunis a river is made to empty into the Mediterranean, which is probably the Medscherda, with one branch emptying on the north side of the Gulf of Tunis, and with another into the Gulf of Hammamet. It had the form of a snake in that it crawled on the ground, but had large ears extending forward. Professor Fischer thinks this is to be understood as signifying that the Genoese cosmographer based his information on pre-Christian authors, that is, Pliny and Ptolemy, while omitting his own view concerning the position of the earthly paradise.
The mapmaker saw apparently no inconsistency in depicting different times simultaneously or one element in multiple locations, melding time and space seems to be effected unconsciously. In studying cosmological models of the Middle Ages, it would be more constructive to look for continuities that might even expose our modern understanding of homogeneous space as an illusion. 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. 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.
The speakers compare Italy with Asia Minor, a country on similar latitudes where Greeks had experience of farming.
India, Seres [China], and Scythia and Sarmatia [Russia] are reduced to small outlying regions on the periphery, thus taking on some features similar to the egocentric maps of the Chinese. He first became prominent as governor of Gaul, where he improved the road system and put down a rebellion in Aquitania. Thus Agrippa is said to have written that the whole coast of the Caspian from the Casus River consists of very high cliffs, which prevent landing for 425 miles. Such a word certainly ties up with Divisio I: a€?The world is divided up into three parts, named Europe, Asia, Libya or Africa. It is, as one might expect, more accurate in well-known than less-known parts, and more accurate for land than for sea areas. Moreover it seems to have been the first Latin map to be accompanied by notes or commentary. In regard to the materials of construction I think we have to choose between the painted type of wall-map mentioned by Varro and the construction of marble slabs that is used in the forma urbis Romae of two centuries later, of which considerable parts are extant.
Detlefsen, as against the view of Partsch, effectively quoted the passage of the younger Pliny, on the 160 volumes of his unclea€™s commentarii, which he describes as electoruma€¦ commentarios, opisthographos quidem et minutissime scriptos, annotated excerpts, written on the back in a minute hand. It is, of course, possible to imagine that tabulated lists were put up as an adjunct to the map at the short ends, but the references to Spain and the Caspian seem somewhat out of place even here, and the balance of probability on this problem seems to lie, although rather precariously in favor of a contemporary, or nearly contemporary, publication of at least a selection of Agrippaa€™s material comprising something more than mere lists of names and figures. Detlefsena€™s view that both works were the transformation of actual maps into a written record had the advantage that the differences in the order of the material in the two works was of little consequence, the map giving merely the visual impact, and the writer a€?being free to begin his description at whatever point on the map he preferreda€?.
First come the boundaries of the province given in the constant order east, west, north, south.
Firstly, Klotz has not discussed the possible use of Agrippa in Ptolemya€™s Geography, and secondly, and much more fundamentally, he has not recognized the scientific importance of the world-map of Agrippa as a link between Eratosthenes and Hipparchus on the one hand and Marinus and Ptolemy on the other, but has merely repeated traditional views dating from the end of the 19th century. It follows further, says Schnabel, that Plinya€™s seventh parallel, that of fifteen hours, belongs equally to Agrippa.
Detlefsen pointed this out in 1909, and Kroll (after Honigmann) throws further light on the subject in his article on Nigidius in R.
Plinya€™s final phrase about these scholars adding half an hour to all parallels denotes rather the astronomer than the astrologer. III, 1, 7) on the river Arsia, that is, 36A° 15a€™ east longitude arid 44A° 55a€™ N latitude. It would be fairer to use the reduction factor from Ptolemy's third map of Europe, referring to Gaul (Book VIII, cap. Hipparchus however, reckoned the distance from Syene to Alexandria as seven and one-seventh degrees of latitude. The most important of these passages is the first (II, 5, 17, C 120) where he refers to the important role played by the sea and secondarily, and by rivers and mountains in the shaping of the earth.
Yet we may be sure that maps still continued to be made as rectangles on a plane surface, although the relation of the spherical to the plane surface must have begun to appear as a problem. His calculation of the length of the eartha€™s circumference and of the degree length of 700 stadia was a notable event in the advance of geography. For latitude he described the celestial phenomena for each individual degree of the ninety degrees running north front the Equator to the North Pole, giving for each the length of the longest day and the stars visible. He tells us that the lack of gnomonic readings in the east, of which Hipparchus complained, was equally true of the west (IL 1, C 71).
When one considers the variants within the MSS groups it follows that one may have a dozen or more variants for a single number. The corresponding Greek words had, of course, originally meant length and breadth with no particular sense of direction. In Spain again the Pyrenees were always regarded as running north and south, parallel to the Rhine, while the east coast as far as the straits and Cadiz was regarded as running more or lees in a straight line to the west. Detlefsen accepts that Agrippaa€™s figure is an error without being able to explain why, while for Klotz Syria is an obvious proof that Agrippa assigned no definite direction to his longitude. India alone, therefore, has a longitude as great as the whole Mediterranean, while its latitude is comparable to that of Europe and Africa combined.
His chief pride would seem to have been in his measurements, and indeed it is only for the exactness of these that Pliny praises him when he refers to BA¦tica in Book III, 17.
Again the horizontal spine of Mount Taurus plays an important role in both as a line of division between the northern and southern areas, Agrippa, however, follows the Eratosthenic method of division only in a general way and not in detail. It is quite certain that the waterway made its way onto the mappaemundi via Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum as this landlocked waterway represents the Roman belief that the Nile River originated in the mountains of Mauritania and ran laterally across the continent dividing the African continent in two with Libya to the north and Ethiopia to the south. And finally, based on SchA¶nera€™s design Agrippaa€™s map was built around a concentric grid that resembled a polar projection which he as a globe maker would have readily recognized.
Ancient Roman maps like the Peutinger Table, however, oriented the map with north to the top similar to the reconstruction based on SchA¶nera€™s design. But should some doubts still linger, he offers one last review two earlier images comparing the landmass to other C-shaped maps, the Greek Hecataeus (#108) and medieval Hereford world maps, and ask that you consider the mathematical probability that SchA¶ner would incorporate the precise elements of these maps in their precise order and placement without an ancient world map as his template. 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. 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.
In certain parts the colors are yet brilliant, though softened with age; in other parts they have almost disappeared, and nothing has contributed more to this destruction than the nibbing of part-on-part. Without an expert and minute palaeographical investigation, it is impossible either to accept or reject the attribution to Toscanelli, but Crino presented a case which requires further examination. What we now know about Marinos is mostly from Ptolemya€™s criticism of him, but the Arab geographer al-Maa€™sudi reported in the 10th century that he had seen Marinusa€™ geographical treatise. Jerusalem does not appear in the center of the map but is considerably to the west of a center located south of the Caspian Sea.
Another possibility is that the oval form represents the mandorla, or nimbus, which surrounded Christ in many medieval works of art.
The title of Ptolemya€™s work, as it circulated through Italy in the 15th century, was usually given as Cosmographia rather than Geography, a less familiar Greek term. As we might expect from a Genoese map, good use has been made of the nautical chart as well.
Van Duzer adds that Tafura€™s account derives from Poggio Bracciolinia€™s Facetiae, written between 1438 and 1452, which describes a very similar monster that attacked some women by the seashore, and was killed and exhibited in Ferrara.
Between the Dnieper and the Don the author has made a suggestive reference to the custom of that migratory folk of transporting their houses about with them on wagons drawn by oxen, a custom also attributed to the early Teutons and the Huns. Saratellis, if this is a correct reading of the name, is probably the Saracanco of Balducci Pigolotti. We may have in this gulf one of the earliest cartographical representations of the Yellow Sea and the Gulf of Petchili. In this island there is a lake, in the middle of which is a noble city whose inhabitants, given over to astrology, predict all future events. Conti gives to the island a circumference of about two thousand miles, as does Marco Polo, which is very nearly correct. These, moreover, are supplied with several masts, from three to ten, and having sails made of reeds and palm-leaves joined together, they pursue their courses with great rapidity. When the ship is under sail, she carries these boats slung to her side.a€? Many of the vessels had as many as four decks, and even the smaller ones, fifty or sixty cabins. Catherine; and we also find here the highlands of Armenia, out of which flow the Euphrates and Tigris, these highlands being especially distinguished by a representation of Noaha€™s Ark. From the mountain range on the northern border of Parthia, a great range stretches diagonally across the entire Asiatic continent, to the gulf indicated on the east, to which gulf reference has been made. Very properly, the name of Alexander is associated with it, since through his founding of Alexandria ad Caucasum the southern region was secured against the attack of the northern barbarians, the Scythians, who, in the language of the middle ages, were called Tartars.
They owe their origin in part to artificial dams, and serve the purpose of reservoirs for artificial irrigation. Northern Asia is properly made to appear as a region covered with pine forests, a representation which is to be found on no other early world map, and which seems to suggest that the Genoese mapmaker was in possession of somewhat detailed information concerning the character of the region. He places Magog north of the mountain range stretching entirely across Asia, Gog south of the same, and on the border range several towers are indicated.
In the highlands of Iran appear the names Media, Zilan, Parthia, Aria, Aracosa, Gedrosia, Cormania and Persis. This place, incorrectly located on the coast, is not referred to by Conti, nor is it to be found on any other map. The name Machin seems clearly to be a modification of the Sanskrit Maha Chin, that is, Great China, a name which the Persian and the Arabic writers frequently used for Manzi, the southern part of China. Legends are here inscribed on either side of a broad scroll, wherein the author refers to his work and gives the date of its composition, which legends are almost illegible. This seems to refer to the snow-peaks of the Kilimanjaro and Kenya, as seen from a great distance, which mountains send their waters toward the interior of the continent.
Even the irrigation canals, which lead out from the Nile in Nubia and Egypt, are represented by the Genoese cartographer. About the time that the Genoese cartographer produced his map he could well have received excellent information concerning Abyssinia.
A similar river, dividing into two branches near its source, empties into the sea in Algeria east and west of Algiers, and a smaller one east of Ceuta.
Medieval cosmographers place this now in East Africa, now in East Asia, but more frequently in the latter. Taking his stated aim for truth seriously would imply that all of these features were part of his truth. Within this round frame the Roman cartographers placed the Orbis Terrarum, the circuit of the world.
This shape was also one that suited the Roman habit of placing a large map on a wall of a temple or colonnade. If Romans were planning this, they would place the northern section much further west, whereas the cartographers were Greeks, and they followed a tradition which originated in Rhodes or Alexandria. He pacified the area near Cologne (later founded as a Roman colony) by settling the Ubii at their request on the west bank of the Rhine. Agrippa was an obvious choice as composer of such a map, being a naval man who had traveled widely and had an interest in the technical side. The date at which the building was started is not known, but it was still incomplete in 7 B.C. If the commentary had not been continuous, but had merely served as supplementary notes where required, there is a possibility that by Plinya€™s time, some eighty years later, it might have gone out of circulation.
Augustus was the first to show it [the world] by chorography.a€? Evidently there is a slight difference of meaning between this and Ptolemya€™s definition, by which chorography refers to regional mapping.
From the quotations given by Dilke, there would appear to be a general tendency by Agrippa to underestimate land distances in Gaul, Germany and in the Far East, and to overestimate sea distances. Although the words used are longitudo and latitudo, they have no connection with longitudinal and latitudinal degree divisions. Romans going to colonies, particularly outside Italy, could obtain information about the location or characteristics of a particular place. We know that the campus Agrippae was in the campus Markus on the east side of the Via Flaminia and that it was bordered towards the street on the west by the Porticus Vipsania. In view of the widespread use of marble facings that characterizes the age of Augustus, the marble slab method appears more probable.
Riese and Partsch had argued that certain references to Agrippa in Pliny, in particular the reference to the inaccessibility of part of the coast of the Caspian Sea and also that to the Punic origins of the coastal towns of Baetica refer more naturally to a published work than to the map in the Porticus Vipsania. We do not know the size of this map that has perished, or whether its descent from the map of Agrippa was through a series of hand-copies as Detlefsen supposed. In actual fact Pliny and the Divisio both begin their description from the straits of Gibraltar, moving east, while the Demensuratio, on the contrary, begins with India moves west. Following on this and connected there with come the longitude and latitude, in that order, expressed in Roman miles with Roman numerals. These views stated that Agrippaa€™s work was constructed on the basis of Roman itinerary measurements and took no note of the scientific results of the astronomical geography of the Greeks.
Pliny then adds a€?from later studentsa€? five more parallels, three of them, those of the Don, of Britain, and of Thule, running north of the original seven, and two, those of Meroe and Syene, running south of them.
What is new in Plinya€™s parallels may be referred to the Greek astronomers of the age of Hipparchus or the two or three generations after him.
By subtraction we get the difference in longitude between the two places as 8A° 45a€™ and the difference in latitude as 1A° 55a€™.
This third class was to be manipulated as intelligently as possible so as to fit in with the basic evidence of the first two classes. But in every case instead of a geometrical definition a simple and rough definition is enough. He also established a fundamental parallel of latitude, following the example of DicA¦archus.
The north, the far east, and Africa south of the Arabian gulf, were practically unknown, and even in the Mediterranean and the land-areas surrounding it, major defects were due to the great uncertainties of measurement, whether by land or by sea. Straboa€™s aversion to the mathematical and astronomical sick of geography has already been described and considered as typical of the age that he lived.
Much toil has been expended by scholars such as Partsch, Detlefsen and Klotz in attempting to divine which, if any, of these figures belong to Agrippa. They became technical terms for longitude and latitude with a strict directional sense in the filth century B.C. The north coast, however, was usually thought to run from Lisbon (Cabo da Roca) to the Pyrenees, the northwest capes, Nerium and Ortegal, being ignored. Detlefsen held that the map was not drawn to scale and that the measurements were merely inscribed upon it. Unfortunately, in nearly all cases we know neither the beginning nor the end of the routes measured, nor do we know, with any exactness, the direction of the route. Eratosthenes determined the sides of his a€?seals,a€? that were irregular quadrilaterals, by the points of the compass.

It is clear that he gave the itinerary stages in Italy and Sicily in addition to the coastal sailing measurements. He believes such a notion is impossible and with the presentation of a sound argument for the circumstances contributing to SchA¶nera€™s error, there remains little reason to doubt that because of his grand error we are able to gaze upon Agrippaa€™s Orbis Terrarum for the first time in many centuries. 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.
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.
For further reading about making geocode requests go to Google Geocoding API documentation. On the question, of main interest here, as to the correspondence between the letter of 1474 and the map of 1457, it is possible, however, to form some opinion.
The highly pictorial character of this well-preserved map leads us to think of it as more traditional than it actually is. In the 14th century didactic poem, a€?Il Dittamondoa€? Fazio degli Uberti, described the inhabited world as long and narrow (a€?lungo e strettoa€?) like an almond (mandorla), with no apparent religious significance.
Certainly, neither Ptolemy, Pomponius Mela, nor Pliny had given a location for Paradise, save for fantasies about the Fortunate Islands, and the Genoese mapmaker appears to associate classical with scientific geography.
These fantastic creatures join other wonderful but real animals, such as a giraffe, a leopard, a crocodile, two monkeys, and a swordfish.
Illustrations of the monster which are very similar to that on the 1457 Genoese map accompany excerpts from the Facetiae which are appended to various 15th and 16th century editions of Aesopa€™s fables. Such a wagon with driver and oxen, rather crudely sketched, is represented moving eastward, near which appears the legend, Ubi lordo errat. The other [story relates] that certain of their trees bear fruit which, decaying within, produces a worm which, as it subsequently develops, becomes hairy and feathered, and, provided with wings, flies like a bird.
According to Pigolotti, Sara could be reached in a day by water from Astrakhan, Saracanco in eight days by water or by land. Longer legends take material from Conti on the funeral practice of wife burning (a€?if they refuse out of fear, they are forced to do ita€?), the cultivation of pepper, the collection of human heads in Sumatra, the sea-tight compartments of Chinese junks, the practice of tattooing, and the availability of spices and multicolored parrots. Sanday sends saffron, nuts, muscatas, and maces to the Javas, Bandan an abundance of cloves. Magog (Gog is missing), the Tatars, the Ten Lost Tribes, the Antichrist and the Alexander story are mixed as though they naturally belonged in the same place - as they by then did, at least in the literature and exegesis directed to the literate but not learned.
The position of Ceylon was now well known, being here placed to the east of a peninsula that we can recognize as the southern point of India. In its outlines Further India, UltraIndia (Southeast Asia) is Ptolemaic, a fact which is especially noticeable in the very prominent peninsular character.
And these [ships], loaded in particular with spices and other aromatics, sailing rather often to Mecca in Arabia, trade with the Western merchants through an exchange of their goods. South of the Caspian Sea we find a quadrangle framed by mountains that appears to be Parthia, according to the representation of Ptolemy. The Genoese cosmographer must have had information concerning the numerous towers scattered here and there over this pass.
They are remarkable for their natural surroundings, and for the palaces of the rulers of Mewar erected on their banks.
In the extreme north appears the figure of a man casting himself into the sea, whose act is explained in the following legend: It is the custom of these people, as old age comes on, to cast themselves from the steep precipices into the sea.
The people Gog appear as a group of dwarfs covered with a shield, who are attacked by two cranes. On the Sea of Marmora is Palolimen and Diascinolo which on English charts is represented as Eskel Bay, a semicircular harbor with a very good anchorage twelve kilometers east of the mouth of Susurulu Tschai. Including in part Indo-China, the name Machin may also include Southeast Asia, for which there is support in certain 15th century references, as there are people of Southeast Asia among whom the custom of tattooing prevails; this being particularly true of the Laos and the Burmese. One of them seems to read: This sea is called the ocean which, according to cosmographers, stretches out infinitely in every direction, covering the earth except about a fourth part here laid down. It was doubtless through Arabic merchantmen that the Alexandrian geographer derived his information, on a visit to the east coast of Africa. On an island in a lake of Abyssinia there appears to be a floating house, and near it the legend: In this lake there is an island, Tana by name, which contains forests and groves and a great temple of Apollo.
In 1439 Pope Eugenius IV named an apostolic delegate to that region, and sent a letter to Prester John, the ruler of Abyssinia; and we also learn that an Abyssinian ambassador appeared at the Council of Florence in the year 1441. If the Genoese cosmographer, in the well known regions, represents somewhat arbitrarily his watercourses, we can certainly expect to find this in the less known regions. Three human figures are introduced to represent the political and ethnographical situation, one a turbaned Mohammedan ruler of Egypt, with the inscription Dominus; the other a crowned head with black hair, carrying a banner, on which is a cross with the inscription, Presbyter Johannes Rex, denoting the Christian ruler of Abyssinia.
The north coast of Africa embraces Mauretania, to which Regnum fesse and, in part, Regnum Trenecen belong. Calata is probably Idrisia€™s Al Cal, near Msila in the highlands of the Schotts, a significant city before the rise of Bougie, the capital city of the kingdom of the Hammaditen. As a visual aid to this discussion, the temple map will have been envisaged as particularly helpful. He must have had plans drawn, and may even have devised and used large-scale maps to help him with the conversion of Lake Avemus and the Lacus Lucrinus into naval ports. Two late geographical writings, the Divisio orbis and the Dimensuratio provinciarum (commonly abbreviated to Divisio and Dimensuratio) may be thought to come from Agrippa, because they show similarities with Plinya€™s figures. If West Africa is any guide, in areas where distances were not well established, they were probably entered only very selectively. Also the full extent of the Roman Empire could be seen at a glance.a€?Certain medieval maps, including the Hereford and Ebstorf world maps (see monographs #224 and #226 in Book IIB) are now believed to have been derived from the Orbis Terraum of Agrippa, and point to the existence of a series of maps, now lost, that carried the traditions of Roman cartography into Christian Europe.
Varro, in the following century, tells us of a map of Italy that was painted on the wall of the temple of Tellus.
Remains of the portico are stated to have been found opposite the Piazza Colonna on the Corso at about the position of the column of Marcus Aurelius and further north. The volumes of commentary referred to by the younger Pliny were not published, but were clearly digested to the point where little further work was needed to prepare them for publication, and the same situation may well be accepted for the commentarii of Agrippa. The text, however, had long previously been known from its reproduction in the first five chapters of the De Mensura Orbis Terrae, published by the Irish scholar Dicuil in A.D. But it did quite clearly derive from that map, whether in the map-form or in a written form, with its list of seas, mountains, rivers, harbors, gulfs and cities. On Klotza€™s view that both works derive from a common written source this major divergence becomes a problem to he explained, but Klotz can offer no explanation.
The boundaries are marked by the natural features, usually the mountains, rivers, deserts and oceans, only occasionally by towns or other features.
Of these parallels Schnabel tries to establish that at least two are due to Agrippa, to wit, the first of the new parallels passing through the Don, and the seventh of the old parallels passing through the mouth of the Dnieper. Using Ptolemya€™s reduction factor at 43A° N latitude which is forty-three sixtieths we find that with Ptolemya€™s degree of 500 stadia the difference in longitude between the two places in question is 3,135 and five-twelfths stadia and the difference in latitude is 958 and one-third stadia.
It was this third kind of evidence which gave Ptolemy his positions for the Varus and the Arsia.
He thinks the 411 miles represents the itinerary measurement from the Varus to Rimini through Dertona, and that the Arsia has got attached to it by a slight confusion in Pliny's mind in thinking of the boundaries between the mare superum and the mare inferum, with which, in fact, he equates the Varus-Arsia measurement.
This factor of forty sixtieths or two-thirds gives a distance of approximately 384 miles from Varus to Arsia and the striking coincidence on which Schnabel has built this elaborate theory simply vanishes. Therefore, argues Schnabel, Agrippa made a new reckoning of the degree at 80 Roman miles or 640 stadia.
Such features as these brought into existence the continents, the tribes, the fine natural sites of cities and the other decorative features of which our chorogaphic map is chock full.a€? The map of Agrippa displayed, therefore, all the natural features just mentioned and, in addition, the names of tribes and of famous cities. Only a combination of the practical measurements with astronomical observation could have affected a real progress and our evidence shows only too clearly that this happy union did not take place. Some light has been thrown on the subject by comparison with later Roman itineraries for the particular areas.
The result of this misconception was that the figures for longitude and latitude were simply interchanged. Agrippa regarded the Syrian coast running northeast from the boundary of Egypt, as running much more in an easterly direction than it actually does.
His map represents, says Detlefsen, a moment of historical development, a point in the process of crystallization of the lands of the Mediterranean into the Roman Empire. Agrippa defines the boundaries of his groups of countries in the same way, by the points of the compass, but as regards size he supplies only the length and breadth, thus agreeing with Strabo, already quoted.
It is a question whether these itinerary measurements were given, in detail on the map for all the western provinces, not to mention the eastern ones.
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.
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. Kimble, there are at least three distinct influences, in addition to the portolan [nautical] chart tradition, that can be detected in these examples: Classical, Christian and Arab.
Oversized crowned or turbaned kings, monstrous and simply exotic animals, an elephant bearing an elaborate howdah, and scary sea monsters associate with more scientific signs, such as flags and city symbols. Ptolemya€™s maps, while not exactly oval, were wider from east to west than they were high (north to south). A partially finished network of rhumb lines appears on the map, and on the right are two scale bars, though they are more a sign of intention than reality. One such edition is Sebastian Branta€™s Esopi appologi sive mythologi cum quibusdam carminum et fabularum additionibus (Basel: Jacobus de Phortzheim, 1501), in which Bracciolinia€™s text about the monster is cited and accompanied by an illustration of the monster quite similar to that on the 1457 Genoese map.
A good picture of a Mongol appears on the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea, and also one west of the Black Sea, being drawn about the time of the destruction of their rule. The reference appears to be to a marine animal, perhaps the dugong, which, resembling a cow and accustomed to graze in the fields along the seashore, was captured in the East and brought to Venice. In this as well as in other parts of extreme southern Asia the Geonoese cosmographer seems especially to exhibit an acquaintance with the record of the distinguished Italian traveler Nicolo di Conti who referred to Ceylon as Zeilan.
Cannibals inhabit a part of this island, who, continually waging war with their neighbors, make a collection of human heads as treasures, and he who has the most heads is the richest. It stretches toward the south, terminating in a prominent Golden Chersonese, a name which the legend suggests: Here gold is found in abundance with jewels and precious stones.
In the Gulf of Iskanderun a river empties, flowing out of the northeast, recognizable as the Dschihan, on which lies the city Antioch. These mountains clearly are the Taurus, Paropamisus and the Emodas of Ptolemy, the continental axis of Asia, that is, the Hindu Kush, the Quen Lun, the Nan Schan, and the other border mountains of eastern central Asia today, which in their spurs reach almost to the Gulf of Petchili.
As in questions relating to the Nile, Ptolemy showed himself to be better informed than were geographers of later date, even to very recent times, so it also appears that his representation of the mountain systems of Asia, though somewhat altered by our author, was remarkably well done in the larger general features. This statement concerning the lakes as represented on our map is supported by the fact that a mountain appears to the southwest, from which a river flows to the south, at the mouth of which lies Cambay. A legend gives the following explanation: These are of the generation of Gog, who do not exceed the height of a cubit, who do not attain the age of nine years, and who are continually molested by cranes. On the same strait, but farther to the southeast, lies a second city, Caila, near which is the legend, Caila, where they use the leaves of trees instead of papyrus.
The Genoese cartographer clearly considers Burma a part of Machin, which since the 13th century had belonged to China.
This sea, disturbed by the force of the moon, ebbs and flows around the earth every lunar day, as Albertus says in his Natural History. In support of the statement that the Genoese cosmographer was well informed concerning Abyssinia may be found the representation of a war elephant carrying a tower filled with armed men. A third figure, unmistakably a negro, in the southwest, holds a ball (?) in his hand, and is described in the following legend: These are the people who live degenerate lives, among whom there is no distinguishing name, who behold the rising and the setting sun with direful imprecations.
But whether it was only intended to be imagined by readers or was actually illustrated in the book is not clear. The map was presumably developed from the Roman road itineraries, and may have been circular in shape, thus differing from the Roman Peutinger Table (#120).
The theory that it was circular is in conflict with a shape that would suit a colonnade wall. What purpose was served by giving a width for the long strip from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea is not clear.
Dilke provides a detailed discussion of Agrippaa€™s measurements using quotes from the elder Plinya€™s Natural History.
We do not know the occasion of this dedication, but since it was meant to celebrate a victory it may been intended for the geographical instruction of the Roman public. They are said to allow the conclusion that it had the same dimensions and construction as the adjacent porticus saeptorum, whose dimensions were 1,500 ft. The twelve lines were inscribed on this map and also on an obviously contemporary written version thereof, and it is this written version that has been preserved for us both by Dicuil and in the various manuscripts of the Divisio orbis terrarum, whereas the map has perished. Klotz, however, believed that be could determine the original succession of countries and groups of countries as treated in the published work of Agrippa by criteria. The Demensuratio on one occasion gives the fauna and flora of Eastern India, which it calls the land of pepper, elephants, snakes, sphinxes and parrots.
He argues that the Dnieper was used as a line of demarcation between Sarmatia to the east and Dacia to the west only on the map of Agrippa, and neither earlier nor later, and that therefore the parallel from the Don through the Dnieper must derive from that map. Plinya€™s seven klimata are a piece of astrological geography and derive through Nigidius from Serapion of Antioch, who was probably a pupil of Hipparchus, or if not was a student of his work. But there is no vestige of probability or proof that Agrippa made new gnomonic readings to correct Hipparchus. Schnabel now treats the spherical triangle involved as a plane right-angled triangle, and using the theorem of Pythagoras, he finds that the hypotenuse, that is, the distance between the Varus and the Arsia is 3,291 stadia or 411 Roman miles. Gnomonic readings were often inaccurate, measurement of time was still very vague, and a degree length one-sixth too large did not help. He used the circle of 360 degrees, giving up the hexecontads [a 60-sided polygon] of Eratosthenes. But since we normally do not know by what route Agrippaa€™s measurements were taken, this light may prove to be a will-o-the wisp.
Aristotle, Strabo and Pliny all insist on the technical directional sense, as there was the possibility of ignorant people misunderstanding them.
The same thing occurred in the British islands that were regarded as running from northeast to southwest. 1,200, 720 and 410 miles, respectively, running from the unknown north down to the Aegean, but all having approximately the same latitude of just under 400 miles. Therefore the longitude was to him the east-west direction, and the latitude from Seleucia Pieria to Zeugma was the north-south direction.
Partial distances were given from station to station along the Italian coast, but Detlefsen thinks that the summation of the coastal measurements appeared elsewhere on the map. Where this process is complete we have ready-made provinces, where it is still in progress we find the raw materials of provinces-to-be, which are still parts of large and scarcely known areas, and finally, where Roman armies have never set foot we find enormous, amorphous masses lumped together as geographical units.
It is notable, as Detlefsen points out, that Strabo must have recognized this lack of scientific value. It appears from passages in Pliny that Varro had already used the Roman itineraries in his geographical books and Agrippa was only following his example.
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. 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. Inscriptions on the map, as well as recently discovered geographical features, however, proclaim the map to be a document of cartographic thinking similar, if not as large and ambitious, to that of Fra Mauro (#249). For a 15th century mapmaker, this form made convenient room for discoveries in the Atlantic and in Asia. The Genoese mapa€™s sea monsters reflect the cartographera€™s interest in exotic wonders, which is everywhere in evidence on the map, and typical of the scientific outlook of the early modern period, which was driven by curiosity and took a great interest in marvels. The Italians were then in close relations with the Golden Horde from Moncastro, Kaffa, Sudak, and Tana as centers, and were, therefore, in a position to know intimately their customs and manner of life.
Bandan, moreover, has parrots of three kinds: red ones, those of variegated color with yellow beaks, and white ones the size of hens. That rare animals at the time of the construction of our map were brought to Italy, where they were viewed with astonishment by the natives, certain observations of Benedetto Dei bear witness. This description of Taprobana appears clearly to have been taken from Conti, and it is very interesting to observe that our cartographer, not in a very successful manner, has attempted to bring the report of Conti into accord with Ptolemy.
The Caucasus stretches across the isthmus between the Black and the Caspian seas, and as numerous rivers rising in the Caucasus empty into the former, the mountain range had to be drawn nearer the Caspian Sea in order that there might be sufficient space for the range and the representation of the Iron Gate near Derbent.
The Ptolemaic Imaus, which divides Scythia into Hither and Further Scythiaa€”Scithia citra ymaum montem and Scithia ultra ymaum montesa€”is very prominently represented on our map.
Herein in particular does the value of the Genoese map appear in a comparison with the larger map by Fra Mauro (#249), although the latter is richer in details. Even today in northeast Asia, there may be found a people among whom suicide is common, the result of a belief that should one depart this life before the feebleness of old age comes on, a life of happiness in the hereafter is secured.
Idrisi also represents the people Gog as dwarfs, and our cosmographer identifies them as the pygmies of Pliny, who placed them in the mountains of the north of India, exactly as does the Genoese cosmographer, in a beautiful valley protected from the cold winds, where they are molested only by the attacks of the cranes. On the west coast only the name Altoluogo appears, which name one finds on almost all sea charts. The city Calacia, lying in the interior, seems more difficult to distinguish, which city is referred to by Conti, but is not definitely located. Caila is Contia€™s Cahila on the Gulf of Manaar, Marco Poloa€™s Cail, and Ptolemya€™s Colchi. It appears from this that Albertus Magnus was one of the Genoese cartographera€™s authorities. The same applies to possible cartographic illustration of Varroa€™s Antiquitates rerum humanarum et divinarum, of which Books VII-XIII dealt with Italy.
The map of Agrippa, however, was set up, not in a sacred place, but in a portico or stoa open to the public, the Porticus Vipsania. Dicuil worked and wrote probably at the Frankish palace at Aix-la-Chapelle in the time of Charlemagne and Louis the Pious. The date of the making of the map was probably the fifteenth consulate of Theodosius II, that is, A.D.
One of these was the direction shown in the order of naming several particular countries where several are included in the same section, or the direction shown in the list of the boundaries of the section. This argument, however, is unsound for a number of reasons, of which the most obvious in this context is that whereas the Dnieper is given by our sources as the west boundary of Sarmatia, it is never given as the east boundary of Dacia. Nigidius was a notorious student of the occult and his astrological geography was contained in a work apparently entitled de terris. At right angles to this he established a meridian running from Meroe northwards to the mouth of the Dnieper, and passing through Alexandria, Rhodes and Byzantium.
Yet he did not try to get a more exact value for the degree, although this was the point where theory could most easily have affected practice. Moreover, although the Roman roads may often have rationalized the native roads by new road-construction or by bridging, yet in general they continued to be town-to-town roads, and if the itineraries ever correctly represented the longitude and latitude of a province it would be by pure chance. But, you may object, this technical sense is only suitable for describing rectangles and not all countries fall into that convenient form. Here again longitudo is the long axis and latitudo the short axis, not because of a misuse of these technical terms, but simply because their general position was misconceived.
Further east again Sarmatia [Russia], including the Black Sea to the south, measures 980 by 715 miles, Asia Minor 1,155 by 325, Armenia and the Caspian 480 by 280. Any doubt on this matter is removed when we look at Pliny (VI, 126), where he gives the latitude from the same point, Seleucia Pieria, to the mouth of the Tigris. It is probable that Italy and the neighboring islands were given in greater detail than other areas.
Of the first class, the ordered provinces, we have eight in Europe, three in Africa, and three in Asia. He gives us from Agrippa, a few lines along the coasts of Italy and Sicily but not a single one of his reckonings for the provinces. Since so little of the materials of the ancient geographers bas been preserved it is mostly a matter of chance whether we know or do not know whether Agrippa agreed or not with the measurements of a particular earlier geographer.
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. 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. Crone, is that the letter definitely refers to a chart for navigation, while the 1457 map is primarily a world map drawn by a cosmographer. By the end of the century, the circular form was becoming impractical, and once the Americas were added to world maps, it was gone almost completely. The demon-like monster in particular is evidence of the cartographera€™s research in recent travel literature to find sea monsters for his map. If this is so, this is the first time that the much sought after spice islands appear clearly on a map. Mention may be made of the peacock which he brought from Alexandria for Cosimo de Medici; also of a chameleon, and, more important than all, of a big serpent with 100 teeth which he seems to have brought to Florence from Beirut (possibly a reference to the crocodile). This city is distinguished by a strong tower and the legend: This is Derbent, which in their language [means] a gate of iron. It branches in diagonal directions westward of the sources of the Indus, that is, nearly twenty degrees farther westward from the continental axis than it is represented by Ptolemy. In the representation of the Indus, for example, with its five branches, our author follows Ptolemy. The river Ava, as well as the southern parallel tributary of the Ganges, and the two Chinese rivers, the one flowing to the southeast and the other to the northeast, come from a mountain which is further explained by the legend: In this mountain carbuncles are found. Two legends are here inscribed, the one relating to the medieval geographical myth concerning the ten lost tribes of Israel, and the other to Antichrist. This identification of Gog with the pygmies of classical antiquity is peculiar to this map. There may have been a Persian maritime city by this name on the coast of Oman, since by reason of favorable winds and gulf currents the two coasts of the Persian Gulf stood in such close relations that again and again in their history Persian rule controlled the Arabic coast, and Arabic rule the Persian coast. For centuries, even into the 16th, Caila was the central point of commerce between China, Further India, and the archipelago of the east and the trade centers of the Mediterranean.
Though the geography of India as here laid down presents difficulties, there are difficulties which are equally great along the east coast. The other legend for which Professor Fischer failed to get an intelligible reading asserts that: Beyond this equinoctial line Ptolemy records an unknown land, but Pomponius, and in addition many others, raising a doubt whether a voyage is possible from this place to India [the Indians], say that many have passed through these parts from India to the Spains, and .
With some degree of certainty we may identify the Wadi Draa, represented as flowing through many lakes and emptying south of Cape Bojador.
On the Mediterranean, from east to west, we find Larissa, Alexandria, Senara (in the Medicean atlas, Zunara, and Vesconte also gives Zunara). But at least we know that he was keen on illustration, since his Hebdomades vel de imaginibus, a biographical work in fifteen books, was illustrated with as many as seven hundred portraits.
Plinya€™s most specific reference to the map is where he records that the length of BA¦tica, the southern Spanish province, given as 475 Roman miles and its width as 258 Roman miles, whereas the width could still be correct, depending on how it was calculated. It was not a map of a part of the Empire, not even a map of the Empire as a whole, but rather a map of the whole known world, of which the Roman Empire was merely one part.
The Porticus Vipsania was, therefore, an enormous colonnade and it follows that the map with which we are concerned was only one decorative item among the many that adorned it.
Thus he says that the order Cevennes-Jura for the northern boundary of Narbonese Gaul shows motion from west to east, and again the list Macedonia, Hellespont, left side it the Black Sea shows the same movement. This work seems to have included his commentary on the sphaera Graecanica describing the Greek constellations and his sphaera barbarica on the non-Greek constellations. From the coincidence of the figures Schnabel strongly argues that Ptolemy must have taken over the figure of 411 miles from Agrippa. The establishment of these two lines provided the theoretical basis for a grid of lines of parallels and meridians respectively, points being fixed by longitude and latitude as by the coordinates in a graph.
The measurements of Agrippa should, therefore, be reduced but it is not easy to say by what factor. This is true indeed, and here we have to consider a few ancient misconceptions about the shapes and positions of particular countries. The distance is 175 miles from Seleucia to Zeugma, 724 miles from Zeugma to Seleucia and Tigrim and 320 miles to the mouth of the Tigris, that is, 1,219 in all. Of the second class, where the Romans had recent military campaign we have three in Europe, that is, Germany, Dacia and Sarmatia, one in Africa, Mauretania, and one in Asia, Armenia.
Klotz has shown that he used Eratosthenes very often, but that on occasion he disagreed with him, and that Artemidorus apparently he did not use at all.
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 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. Further, the Toscanelli chart presumably depicted the ocean intervening between the west coast of Europe and the a€?beginning of the Easta€™. Conti describes them as lying on the extreme edge of the known world: beyond them navigation was difficult or impossible owing to contrary winds. The Iron Gate, usually associated with Alexander the Great and the apocalyptic people, Gog and Magog, has an important place on the world maps of the middle ages. In the region at the foot of the mountain between the Indus and the Ganges we find the Indian desert represented. Judging from the rivers that spring there from, and from this legend, we are led to conclude that the mountain-land is eastern Tibet. The one to the east of Inaccessible mountains, designated here as Ymaus mons, reads: From this race, that is, from the tribe of Dan, Antichrist is to be born, who, opening these mountains by magic art, will come to overthrow the worshipers of Christ. The towers referred to above are explained in the following legend: King Prester John built these towers in order that those shut therein might not have access to him. In the account of his voyage Vasco da Gama gives information concerning the city and kingdom of Cael. Whether the rivers emptying still further southward represent the numerous rivers which empty south of Senegal and Cape Verde, it is not possible to determine. On the portolan charts there is always represented a large bay in the southeast corner of the Great Syrtus, which must have been an important harbor. Since we are told that this work was widely circulated, some scholars have wondered whether Varro used some mechanical means of duplicating his miniatures; but educated slaves were plentiful, and we should almost certainly have heard about any such device if it had existed.
Pliny continues: a€?Who would believe that Agrippa, a very careful man who took great pains over his work, should, when he was going to set up the map to be looked at by the people of Rome, have made this mistake, and how could Augustus have accepted it? The second criterion is that the use (the alleged use) of the term longitudo for a north-south direction or for any direction other than the canonical one of east-west, shows us the direction of Agrippaa€™s order in treating of the geography.
Nigidiusa€™ a€?barbaric spherea€? was derived from the like-named work of Asclepiades of Myrlea. The two main passages from Straboa€™s second book may reasonably be regarded as a transcript of contemporary geographical practice and since between them they give an exact description of the methods followed in the ancient remains of the map of Agrippa, Tierney thinks that they may rightly be regarded as a strong proof that the views held on this map by Detlefsen and Klotz are generally correct. In somewhat similar circumstances Ptolemy reduced the figures of Marinus in Asia and Africa by about one-half. This distance, he adds, is the latitude of the earth between the two seas, that is, the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. 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.
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. On the map of 1457, this ocean is split into two, and falls on the eastern and western margins. In the southern sea there is a note: In this sea, they navigate by the southern pole (star), the northern having disappeared. Doubtless it was the medieval wall stretching from the mountains to the sea near Derbent, closing the road along the Caspian Sea to the peoples of the steppes on the north, that called forth the legend of the Iron Door.
In contrast, the Ganges is represented according to recent information, that is apparently from the record of Conti. The representations of our cosmographer are here very erroneous, and the errors may perhaps be attributed to Conti and Poggio, since one is led to conclude by a careful study of the Conti narrative that it is not simply the story of a practical merchant traveler, but a story often adorned by the additions of a learned copyist. The other reads: Here dwell the ten lost tribes of the Hebrew race with the half tribe of Benjamin, who, unrestrained by their law and being degenerates, pass an epicurean existence. These towers stretch along the crest of the mountains, as if intended to protect the more highly civilized parts of China from the wild people of north and central Asia.
Farther southward, Antioceta, a fortification on the coast often referred to in the 15th century; also corocho, the ancient Corycus, northeast of the mouth of the Selefke. The tree whose leaves, it is stated, are used for paper is not the paper-mulberry tree, but the fan-palm.
It owes its origin as a harbor to a high, rocky headland, perhaps formerly an island, which extends from the southwest to the northeast and continues in a long chain of rocks. For it was Augustus who, when Agrippaa€™s sister had begun building the portico, carried through the scheme from the intention and notes [commentarii] of M. Tierney does not believe that either of these criteria can show us the order of treatment in the original publication, presuming, that is, that there was an original publication. The detailed extension of the Greek parallels into the Roman west is apparently due to Nigidius.
Agrippa, he thinks, took the itinerary figure for the distance from the Varus to the Arsia, which is given as 745 miles by Pliny (III, 132) and reduced it to a straight line of 411 miles by astronomical and mathematical measurement. 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. 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.
Though Crino raised many points of interest, he did not establish his case beyond reasonable doubt.
The Carbuncle Mountains and the art of obtaining these valuable stones play an important role in the records of all cosmographers of the middle ages.
It seems probable that we have here an early reference to the Great Wall of China, which appears on no other medieval map. This is Straboa€™s Cape Korykos with the Koryken Cave, where in Greek, in Roman, in Byzantine, and also in Armenian times stood a fortification. Calacia, or Calacatia, according to Batuta, is Kalahat, Kalhat, Kilat or Kilhat, in Oman southeast of Muskat, where its ruins may yet be seen near a small fishing village of the same name. The fanlike leaves, about two hundred square feet in size, the Singhalese are said to use in the place of paper. We are prone to forget that all ancient geographers were necessarily map-minded, and even when the map was not before their physical eye, it was before their mental eye.
This proves, therefore, that Agrippaa€™s map was not a purely itinerary map, but that Agrippa reduced the itinerary measurements in the way described. 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. 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€?. Biasutti argued that the horizontal and vertical lines on the map are parallels and meridians taken from the world map of Ptolemy, and that the longitudinal extent of the old world approximately corresponds to his figure of 180 degrees. However, Conti did not himself visit these islands, though he gives their position as fifteen daysa€™ journey east of Java major and minor, to which their products were brought for transportation to the west. Two of these tributaries on the left seem to be the Brahmaputra and the Barak, though the larger one on the north may be intended as the Irawadi, since on this lies Ava, and above it is a legend taken from Conti: Rather the Ganges which otherwise is called the Dava. On the Catalan world map of 1375 appears a legend with an interesting pictorial representation. Abulfeda and Raschiduddin, his contemporary, refer to the great wall as the Wall of Gog and Magog. Here we find Tarsso and Layazo, which in the middle ages was a harbor of Lesser Armenia, and an important terminal on the commercial route to India. The ancient Pusk olay manuscripts in the Buddhist monasteries were all written with an iron stylus on such paper, that is, on the leaves of the talipot palm, prepared by cooking and drying.
Augustus, as he was ill, handed his signet-ring to Agrippa, thus indicating him as acting emperor. The order of countries within a section would, I think, very much depend on the momentary motions or aberrations of that mental eye. It is unfortunate, however, that nearly all Agrippaa€™s figures come down to us in a non-reduced form that makes it impossible to reproduce his map.
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. 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€?. It is difficult to see, therefore, if this map of 1457 was similar to that sent to Portugal, where its importance lay, for this information was accessible to all inquirers. Cloves at that time came only from the small islands of the Moluccas lying west of Halmahera, which perhaps the Genoese author has attempted here to represent. The word is Persian, signifying gate or narrow pass, and is a name often met with in Persia. Though our cosmographer makes certain mistakes in relation to the chief stream of India, yet his representation of the hydrography of Asia is near the truth, and, as stated, is much better than that given by Fra Mauro. A mountain is indicated with a deep valley out of which a bird flies, having a piece of meat in its beak, and out of the same valley a river flows which in its course forms the boundary between India and China. As the builder of this wall, our cosmographer in his legend names Prester John who appeared on the Catalan map of 1375 in the Nubian and the Abyssinian regions, and from that time on the name seems to have been connected with the last-named region, though, as the Genoese map shows, it did not completely disappear from central Asia. Kalhat, from the time of Idrisi to the arrival of the Portuguese, was the most important harbor and port of departure from Oman and the entire Persian Gulf to India, as was earlier Sohar and later Muskat. The same year Agrippa was given charge of all the eastern parts of the Empire, with headquarters at Mitylene. 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. All of the parallels north of the equator are located theoretically with the exception of three: Meroe, Syene and Rhodes. The interest of the cartographer seems more probably to have lain in Contia€™s description of the oriental spice islands and the possibility of reaching them by circumnavigating Africa.
The name Sanday is unknown, and Bandan is only a corruption, and should not be confounded with Banda, as cloves do not come from that island.
As the Indus and its delta received special consideration, so also did the Ganges, the mouth of which is marked by the following legend: The mouth of the Ganges River, the width of which is fifteen miles, on whose banks grow canes so large that they exceed [the size of] the arm, and the islands grow nuts which we call Indian. There is support for the belief that in the letter of Alexander III, the ruler of Abyssinia is to be understood, although the great majority of the allusions to him seem to support the idea that the original Prester John was a central Asiatic ruler. It appears that at the time the Genoese map was drawn the shipping from the Persian Gulf and from Ormuz followed the coast from Oman almost to Ras-el-Hadd, and from that point with the monsoons direct to India.
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. 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]. His work is clearly related, though not closely, to the great map of Far Mauro, his contemporary. The wall stretching landward along the mountain ridge is yet, in part, well preserved, and one can follow its ruins for a distance of many miles.
They told him everything and he said not to worry, and that he was the kinga€™s interpreter.
According to popular tradition, it extends along the entire ridge of the Caucasus, and so it appears on this map extending from the second iron door, or pass, across Asia. From Maharatia, Conti states that he made a thirteen daysa€™ journey eastward to the Carbuncle Mountains, that is, to the border mountains of Burma, which the Genoese mapmaker attempts to represent. The next day they were taken into the kinga€™s presence and he asked the same questions they had been asked by the interpreter. The first European who actually visited the Moluccas was the Italian Varthena, about seventy years after Contia€™s expedition to the East. A legend on the map of the Pizigani makes it clear that the wall from Derbent was originally constructed to protect the Persian territory from the people of the steppe region. 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 islands were considered as lying on the boundary of the habitable and known world, and as marking the limit of navigation. 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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