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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: This 'atlas' was the work of a family of Catalonian Jews who worked in Majorca at the end of the 14th century and was commissioned by Charles V of France at a time when the reputation of the Catalan chart makers was at its peak. The title of the Atlas shows clearly the spirit in which it was executed and its content: Mappamundi, that is to say, image of the world and of the regions which are on the earth and of the various kinds of peoples which inhabit it. Today the original Catalan Atlas can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and has now assumed the form of seven loose wooden panels of which five inside ones bear one half of a sheet of the Atlas on each side, while the two outer ones consist of one side that bears a half sheet of the Atlas and one half of the binding on the other side.a€?The first of the two preliminary sheets deals with the days of the month from the first to the thirtieth. The Catalan Atlas is actually a world map built up around a portolan chart, thus combining aspects of the nautical chart by employing loxodromes and coastal detail with the medieval mappaemundi exemplified by its legends and illustrations. We know in unusual detail the circumstances in which the Catalan Atlas of 1375 (the date of the calendar which accompanies it) was produced and the career of the cartographer who compiled it. The patrons of Cresques, King Peter III of Aragon and his son, in addition to their scientific interests, were keenly interested in reports of Eastern lands, in relation to their forward economic policy, and were at special pains to secure manuscript copies of Marco Polo's Description of the World, the travels of Odoric of Pordenone Description of Eastern Regions and, what may surprise the modern reader, the Voiage of Sir John Mandeville. In the interior the position, extent, chief divisions, towns and rivers of China and the Mongol Empire are approximately represented.
On the southern portion of the Cathay coast, the general uniformity of the coast is broken by three bays, and it is significant that these are associated with three great ports, Zayton [near Changchow], Cansay [Hangchow, better known in medieval records as Quinsay ] and Cincolam [Canton].
Quite a number of harbors are indicated on the eastern coast of India, a few of them still identifiable, while a sailing junk testifies to trading activity, especially with the island of Iana (?), which is here associated with the legendary isle of the Amazons (regio femarum [sic]) and symbolized by its queen.
In mainland India, King Stephen has been represented: the text beside him indicates that this Christian ruler is a€?looking towards the town of Butifilis,a€? Marco Polo's kingdom of Mutifilis. The people of Gog and Magog following their monarch, bearing banners with the emblem of the devil, detail of the map of Asia.
Sources other than those embodied in Polo have also been used for the portion of the Indian Ocean included in the map.
If the map is stripped of its legends and drawings of the older tradition, it is apparent that the main interest of the compiler is concentrated in a central strip across Asia.
In the west is the Organci [Oxus] river shown, as on most contemporary maps, flowing into the Caspian, and alongside it the early stages of the traditionally used overland route, from Urganj [the medieval Khiva] through Bokhara and Samarcand to the sources of the river in the mountains of Amol, on the eastern limits of Persia. This description, with several omissions, was in outline the route followed by Maffeo and Nicolo Polo (Marco Polo's father and uncle) on their journey to the Great Khan's court. Scarcely less valuable, and certainly of special interest for the student of geographical theory, are the Catalan speculations concerning the unexplored territories of the earth.
Hardly any place on the west coast of Africa is identified only one name, perhaps a mythical spot, is found south of Cape Bojador in the former Spanish Sahara, but we are told that Africa, land of ivory, starts at this point and that by traveling due south one reaches Ethiopia.
East of the Sultan of Mali appears the King of Organa, in turban and blue dress, holding an oriental sword and a shield.
In northeast Africa, a knowledge of the Nile valley as far south as Dongala, where there was a Catholic mission early in the 14th century, is apparent.
On one matter, however, the mapmaker Cresques could hardly refrain from speculating, for the following reason: land exploration had, for a long time now, outrun oceanic discovery, and so, concerning Africa, much more was known of the Sudan by the end of the 14th century than was known of the oceanic fringe area in the same latitudes. In Asia the Red Sea stands out, being shown as red, a characteristic that derives, we are told less from the color of the water than from that of the sea bed.
Moslem traders from cities along the Barbary Coast of North Africa began to cross the Sahara in the Middle Ages in an effort to bring back gold, rumored to be in great supply in the Sudan. Within the means of cartographic representations on this Atlas there appears to be no specialities, those symbols and other graphics used by Cresques correspond to those commonly used in the Middle Ages. The compiler of the prototype used by Cresques for the Catalan Atlas had recourse to different, sometimes even contradictory sources. In summary, the merit of the Catalan Atlas lay in the skill with which Cresques employed the best available contemporary sources to modify the traditional world picture, never proceeding further than the evidence warranted. Today the original Catalan Atlas can be found in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, and has now assumed the form of seven loose wooden panels of which five inside ones bear one half of a sheet of the Atlas on each side, while the two outer ones consist of one side that bears a half sheet of the Atlas and one half of the binding on the other side.The first of the two preliminary sheets deals with the days of the month from the first to the thirtieth. As a response to this interest, Cresques extended his chart to include all that was then known of Asia, notably from Marco Polo's narrative. This town [Beijing] has an extent of 24 miles, is surrounded by a very thick outer wall and has a square ground plan.
The description emphasizes the richness and urbanity of the Chinese capital at the edge of the civilized world. To the north is Catayo, the Great Khan and his capital of Chanbaleth; to the south Manji, with its great cities of Zayton and Cansay. 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. King Charles requested this map from Peter of Aragon, patron of the best Majorcan mapmaker of the time: Abraham Cresques.
Originally the Catalan Atlas consisted of six large wooden panels that were covered with parchment on one side. To the right, from top to bottom, is a diagram of the tides; another lists the movable feasts, and a third drawing represents a blood-letting figure.
The result is that the Atlas represents a transitionary step towards the world maps developed later during the Renaissance, especially by its extensive application of contemporary geographical knowledge and ambitious scope. Although the sailors were used to plainer charts whose importance lay principally in their utility and accuracy, even ordinary marine charts begin to follow the Catalan tradition with regards to their use of standardized color patterns. When in 1381 the envoy of the French king asked King Peter of Aragon for a copy of the latest world map (proof in itself that the reputation of the Catalan school had been widely recognized) he was given this example, which has been preserved in Paris ever since.
For the first time in medieval cartography this continent assumed a recognizable form, with one or two notable exceptions. From west to east, the main divisions of the Mongol territory include the Empire of Sarra [the Kipchak Khanate], the Empire of Medeia [the Chagtai Khanate of the middle], and the suzerain empire of the Great Khan, Catayo [China]. Each side has a length of six miles, the wall is 20 paces high and lo paces thick, has 12 gateways and a large tower, in which hangs a great bell, which rings at the hour of first sleep or earlier.
The vertical waterway is the Grand Canal built by Kublai from Manji to Cambulac; below are the 7548 islands, rich in all manner of spicery, placed by Marco in the Sea of Chin. Of these, Canton is not mentioned by Marco Polo; it was, however, much frequented by Arab navigators and traders, upon whose reports the compiler was probably drawing.
Yule points out that Kao-li was the name given for Korea, and he therefore considers that the island Cresques depicts here represents confused notions about both the Korean peninsula and Japan; otherwise there is no obvious graphic reference or hint of Zipangu [Japan]. The first is difficult to explain; to make up for it the cartographer has inserted a great island of Jana [Java], which however was probably intended for Sumatra. The notion that there were Christian rulers east of the Islamic world stems largely from the legend of Prester John; also important, however, were the real Christian minorities in India and the fact that the tomb of Saint Thomas was thought to be in Mailapore, a suburb of Madras, the Mirapore of the map. And it sometimes happens though rarely, that the widow of the dead man throws herself into the flames,a€? a practice that recalls widow-burning (sutti) of India. There we are told that Satan came to his aid and helped him to imprison the Tartars Gog and Magog. The Persian Gulf, extending almost due west, has an outline similar to that on the Dulcert map, but is otherwise superior to any earlier map.
Herein lies a succession of physical features: mountains, rivers, lakes and towns with corrupt but recognizable forms of their medieval names as given in the narratives of the great travelers of the 13th century.
It is also possible to discern traces of their second journey, accompanied by Marco, in which they employed the 'south road' of the silk route, and, except for a detour through Ormis at the bottom of the Persian Gulf, ran from Trebizond through Eri [Herat], Badakshan, and along the southern edge of the Tarim basin from Khotan to the city of Lop. Unlike many classical and fellow medieval scholars, the draftsman of Majorca showed praiseworthy restraint in this respect. For here, as is often the case in other maps of the period, the cartographer compensated for the dearth of known geographical points by including historical facts.
The delineation of the Nile river system is vitiated, however, by the conception that it flowed from a great lake in the Guinea region, Lacus Nili.


As previously mentioned, the early draftsmen insisted upon cutting the continent short just beyond the limit of coastal knowledge, that is, in the vicinity of Cape Bojador. It is cut in two by a land passage, a conventional allusion to Moses' miraculous crossing (Exodus, 14:2122). Between the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea appears the King of Tauris [Tabriz] and north of him Jani-Beg, ruler of the kingdom of the Golden Horde, who died in 1357.
Stories reached 14th century Europe of the splendor of Mansa Musa, ruler of the Mali and lord of Guinea, one of the reputed richest of the 'Negro Kingdoms' of the Sudan, whose pilgrimage to Mecca created a sensation in 1324. However, there are great differences to be observed between what is labeled by some the a€?portolano sectiona€? (sheets 3 and 4, Europe and North Africa) and the rest of the map sheets.
The legendary Insula de Brazil, for example, which is found on various medieval maps of the North Atlantic and later gave its name to Brazil, is shown here twice, once west of Ireland and a second time farther south. Elsewhere, however, the weight of received opinion is still felt, as, for example, in the various islands with fabulous names; they cannot represent the Madeiran group, as these islands were discovered only in 1418-1419. In the same spirit he removed from the map many of the traditional fables which had been accepted for centuries, and preferred to omit the northern and southern regions entirely, or to leave southern Africa blank rather than fill it with the anthropagi and other monsters which adorn the bulk of medieval maps. This contrasts strongly with the people of the islands farther east who are described as savages living naked, eating raw fish, and drinking sea water.
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.
This form later was transformed into a block-book, in which each sheet formed a double page, the parchment itself serving as a hinge between each of the two wooden panels. The latter is accompanied by a long text describing the world; it deals with its creation, the four elements of which it is composed, its shape, dimensions, and divisions. Though the Catalan Atlas is the earliest complete example of its kind which has survived, it was undoubtedly preceded by other similar attempts at extending the range of the portolan chart. Thus, pilots knew at a glance, for instance, that any port lettered in red offered revictualing and a safe harbor; dots and crosses, on the other hand, indicated underwater hazards.
Continental interiors are filled with detail, compass lines drawn, and decorative items are added to enhance the nearly up-to-date picture. Its capital at Cambalucr or Chanbaleth [Beijing], the city of the Great Khan which so intrigued the chroniclers of the 14th century, receives due prominence, with a long legend describing its magnitude and grandeurs. When it has finished ringing, no one may pass through the town, and at each gate a thousand men are on guard, not out of fear but in honor of the sovereign. The attempt at representing the configuration of the coast suggests at least that his informants were interested from a maritime point of view. Altogether, as mentioned above, we are told there are 7,548 islands in the Indian Ocean; they are rich in gold, silver, spices, and precious stones, so much so that a€?great ships of many different nationsa€? trade in their waters. Farther north is the realm of Kebek Khan, a historical figure who reigned from 1309 to 1326: a€?Here reigns King Chabeh, ruler of the Kingdom of the Middle Horde. Here the text contains information from Marco Polo's account of how in the province of Malabar the death of criminals, who are compelled to commit suicide, is celebrated by their relatives with his observation on the custom of widows immolating themselves on the pyres of their dead husbands, mentioned a few lines later.
In the Gulf, the island of Ormis [Hormuz] is shown, opposite the former settlement of the same name on the mainland. These are jumbled together in a manner sometimes difficult to understand, but with the help of Marco Polo's narrative, it is possible to disentangle the itineraries which the map was evidently intended to set out. East of this lies the lake, Yssikol [Issik Kul], and Emalech the seat of the Khan, the Armalec of other travelers, in the Kuldja region.
The compiler, however, perhaps because he confused this desert area with the Gobi, has transferred this stretch to the north of the Issik Kul. In addition to Asia, the narratives of contemporary travelers were also extensively used by Cresques in Africa. We are told, for example, that merchants bound for Guinea pass the Atlas mountain range, shown here in its typical form of a bird's leg with three claws at its eastern end, at Val de Durcha. This rare speculation on the part of Cresques contained at least some partial truth because the Lacus Nili, the Pactolus of Strabo, and the Palolus of later maps, which in the Catalan Atlas and subsequent works is located in the neighborhood of Timbuktu, may reasonably be identified with the flood region of the Niger.
By so doing, however, they found themselves reducing the vast extent of the Sahara almost to a vanishing point. The port of Quseir is clearly marked, and the accompanying text specifies that it is here that spices are taken on land and sent to Cairo and Alexandria. The importance of Baghdad as a center of the spice trade is emphasized; from there, precious wares from India are sent throughout the Syrian land and especially to Damascus.
This African prince appears in the Catalan Atlas in a stately fashion with crown, orb, and scepter, with the inscription: The richest and noblest King in the world. In this section the coastlines are greatly differentiated and the abundance of names is in great contrast with the quantity of information, literally and graphically, supplied in sheets 5 and 6 (Asia). Nor can they be the Azores, which are first mentioned in 1427, or the Cape Verde Islands discovered only in 1455-1456.
They are obviously to be identified with the Ichthyophagi, one of the fabulous races traditionally placed in Asia or in Africa. 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. This arrangement led to the folds of the precious sheets becoming worn through with use, so that these sheets were divided into 12 half-sheets, mounted on boards to fold like a screen. Then come geographical accounts of countries, continents, oceans, and tides, as well as astronomical and meteorological information.
Abraham Cresques, a Jew of Palma on the island of Majorca, for many years was 'master of mappaemundi and compasses', i.e.
From the Mar del Sarra [Caspian Sea] in the west, with a fairly accurate outline in the style of the portolan charts, the Mongol domains stretch away eastwards to the coasts of Catayo [China].
Some of the islands off Quinsay may stand for the Chusan archipelago, and further to the south is the large island of Caynam, [Hainan]. The kingdoms of India as enumerated by Polo are absent from the map, and there are significant differences in the towns appearing in the two documents. The reference is to the gate that Alexander is supposed to have built in the Caspian Mountains to exclude Gog and Magog, who are here equated with various Central Asian tribes.
The Southern Arabian coast has names differing from those given by Polo, and in one of them, Adramant, we may recognize the modern Hadhramaut. The delineation is then confused by the repetition of the Badakshan uplands, the mountains of Baldassia, a mistake that probably arose from confusion over the river system of southern Asia. In fact the section illustrated by #235B is thought to represent Nicolo and Maffeo Polo, with their Mongol envoys, crossing the Tien Shan mountains on their way through what is now China's Sinkiang Province, to Beijing (south is at the top). Here the special feature of interest on the Catalan Atlas is the inscription and picture of the vessel recording the departure of the Catalan, Jacome Ferrer, on a voyage to the 'river of gold' southwest of the new Finisterre of Bojador in 1346.
More geographical information is given on the Maghreb, which, after all, is part of the Mediterranean. Thanks to their notorious capacity to travel long distances without water, they completely transformed African trade, opening sub-Saharan areas to Islam.
In Arabia, between the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, is located the kingdom of Sheba; the queen, who came to visit King Solomon, is shown crowned and holding a golden disk as symbol of her wealth. Navigational information is also recorded: a€?From the mouth of the river of Baghdad, the Indian and Persian Oceans open out. The mountains in the European and African section are arranged in chains or chain-like symbols, in Asia they appear as regular humped garlands of rocks. The Catalan Atlas, in fact, marks the progress in the gradual discovery of the Atlantic and the west coast of Africa with an illustration of Jaime Ferrera€™s ship, which, we are told, set sail on lo August 1346 bound for the fabulous Rio de Oro [River of Gold] in Africa. In this spirit of critical realism, Cresques and his fellow Catalan cartographers of the 14th century, threw off the bonds of tradition and anticipated the achievements of the Renaissance.
The city stands near the apex of a triangle formed by two rivers and the ocean; each of the two rivers divides into three before reaching the sea, a representation embodying a somewhat confused notion of the inter-linked natural and artificial waterways of China. 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.
Four half-sheets are occupied by cosmographical and navigational data, they describe the whole concept of the world, show astronomical and astrological representations, and provide information about the calendar, the sun, moon, planets, the signs of the zodiac and the tides. The second sheet presents a spectacular diagram of a large astronomical and astrological wheel. This country makes a sweep from east to south with an approach to its actual form, and along it's coast appear several of the great medieval ports and trading centers frequented by Arab merchants. There Cresques placed some of the fabulous and monstrous races legendary in classical antiquity and the Middle Ages: a€?On this island are people who are very different from the rest of mankind. Conspicuous on the map is the Christian Kingdom and city of Columbo, placed on the east coast.
And know that these people marry at the age of about twelve years and generally live to be 40 years old.
The island of Scotra, an important stage on the trade route from Aden to India, is misplaced to the east, and appears to occupy the approximate position of the Kuria Muria Islands. The legend above them reads, in translation: This caravan left the Empire of Sarra to go to Catayo, across a Great Desert (Sarai, on the Edil [Volga], was the capital of the Kipchak Tartars, from which the Polos had set out about 1262. This refers to the northwest coast of Africa which extends beyond Cape Bojador to a point just north of the Rio d'Oro. Later draftsmen, in order to escape the embarrassment caused by indicating the great trans-Saharan caravan routes within these narrow limits, began to speculate on the course of the west African coast, south of Bojador.
Here they fish for pearls, which are supplied to the town of Baghdad.a€? We learn that a€?before they dive to the bottom of the sea, pearl fishers recite magic spells with which they frighten away the fisha€? a piece of information that comes straight from Marco Polo, who mentions that the pearl fishers on the Malabar coast are protected by the magic and spells of the Brahmins. The heathens believe that Paradise is situated there, because the islands have such a temperate climate and such a great fertility of the soil. For this reason the heathens of India believe that their souls are transported to these islands after death, where they live for ever on the scent of these fruits. 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. An even earlier chart (probably covering the whole 'world' originally), that by Angelino Dulcert, of Majorca, dated 1339, also has points of resemblance to the Catalan Atlas.
There are several references to world maps executed by him, though this is the only one now known. There is a further allusion to Alexander having erected two trumpet-blowing figures in bronze; these, according to various medieval legends, resounded with the wind and frightened the Tartars until the instruments were blocked up by various nesting birds and animals. For India and the ocean to the west, therefore, we may conclude that charts were used which differed in detail from Polo's account, though similar in general features. Here unfortunately the map ends; unlike the Medici Atlas, or some others, it makes no attempt at a representation, conjecture or otherwise, of the southern portion of this continent. The text beside a Touareg riding on a camel and also a group of tents informs us that this land is inhabited by veiled people living in tents and riding camels. Various trading stations are indicated on the shore of the Indian Ocean from Hormus, a€?where India begins,a€? to Quilon in Kerala. With meticulous care the islands in the region of the portolan chart section are displayed, they are painted in color, some of them like Sicily, Sardinia and Corsica are shown in gold. 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. The other elements (fire, air, water) are incorporated into the next three concentric circles; then come the seven planets, the band of the zodiac, and the various stations and phases of the moon. In view of the possible identity of Dulcert, and the Ligurian origin of the Medici Atlas, we may conclude that this type of world map, though developed by Catalans, originated early in the 14th century in northern Italy, where the narrative of Marco Polo, which, as will be seen, supplied many of the details embodied in the map, would be most readily available. After his death in 1387, his work was carried on by his son, Jafuda, who eventually instructed the Portuguese under the patronage of Prince Henry the Navigator. This form of the name (it is rendered Coilum by Polo), and other details, suggest that the compiler drew upon the writings of Friar Jordanus, who was a missionary in this area, and whose Book of Marvels was completed and in circulation by 1340.
It is marked by a line of towns up the valley of the Edil from Agitarchan [Astrakhan] through Sarra [Sarai], Borgar, and thence eastward through Pascherit [probably representing the territory of the Bashkirs east of the middle Volga], and Sebur, or Sibir, a medieval settlement whose site is unknown, but thought to be on the upper Irtish. The crowned black man holding a golden disk is identified as Musse Melly, a€?lord of the negroes of Guineaa€? - in fact, Mansa Musa, of fabulous wealth. Speculation of this sort did at least have the merit of enabling the mapmaker to draw the Sahara with greater accuracy.
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. These proportions are of some significance, for they have undoubtedly restricted the cartographer in his portrayal of the extreme northern and southern regions.
The next six rings are devoted to the lunar calendar and to an account of the effect of the moon when it is found in the different signs of the zodiac. The Catalan Atlas says: The circumference of the earth is 180,000 stadia, that is to say 20,052 miles (this is the same calculation as Ptolemy's, yet it was given a full thirty years prior to the first known Latin translation of his Geographia, #119 ). But the day of the Jewish school of cartography at Majorca was already drawing to a close, owing to the wave of persecution which swept through the Aragon kingdom in the latter years of the century. Possibly additions were also made so that the map might serve as an illustration to his narrative. In this quarter, the information upon which the map is based was not drawn from Marco Polo. Also its treatment of the Atlantic islands: the Azores, Canary, and Madeira groups, is more complete than any representation of earlier times. The gap in the snake-like Atlas Mountain chain of North Africa is meant to illustrate a pass that these Arab merchants commonly used (#235A).
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. This was perhaps to some extent deliberate, for two years before the composition of this map, we hear of the Infant John (son of Peter of Aragon) demanding a map 'well executed and drawn with its East and West' and figuring 'all that could be shown of the West and of the Strait [of Gibraltar] leading to the West'.
Three more rings show, respectively, the division of the circle into degrees, while the last gives an account of the Golden Number.
There are still other names which are not found in Jordanus either; but the commercial importance of Cambay (Canbetum, on the map) would account for the relatively detailed information about this region.
To the south is a long east-west range, called the Mountains of Sebur, representing the northwestern face of the Tien Shan and Altai. His pilgrimage to Mecca, including a visit to Cairo, was famous for the enormous amount of gold he spent on that occasion. 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.
The Infant, in other words, was interested, not in northern Europe and Asia or in southern Africa, but in the Orient and the Western Ocean.
They eat white men and strangers, if they can catch them.a€? The reference is to giants familiar from the medieval Alexander legend, specifically defined here as Anthropophagi. There is, surprisingly, no indication of the river Indus, a striking omission also from Polo's narrative. In the late 13th and early 14th centuries there were Franciscan mission stations at these localities, and the details no doubt came originally from the friars.
This is plausible enough, for he controlled a large part of Africa, from Gambia and Senegal to Gao on the Niger, and had access to some of its richest gold deposits. 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 cartographer satisfied him by cutting out, as it were, an east-west rectangle from a circular world map which would cover the desired area. George Grosjean, in his commentary on the 1977 facsimile edition of the Atlas, stresses that the orientation of this map must be understood from its essential part.
To these far distant waters are also relegated mermaids, some of them probably the traditional half-woman and half-fish, the others more siren-like half-birds. This oversight probably arose from confusion that often can be found between the Indus and the river Ganges.a€?The Indian powers are represented on the Catalan Atlas by the Sultan of Delhi and the Hindu King of Vijayanagar, who is wrongly identified as a Christian.
Reports of the fabulous wealth of this African ruler did much to encourage an interest in the exploration of Africa.
This oversight probably arose from confusion that often can be found between the Indus and the river Ganges.The Indian powers are represented on the Catalan Atlas by the Sultan of Delhi and the Hindu King of Vijayanagar, who is wrongly identified as a Christian.
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. The map was constructed in the portolano style, a type of medieval navigation chart which was intended to lie on the chart-table of a ship and always was oriented to the necessities of navigation, thus there is no 'orientation of priority' of such maps.
The one illustrated has two fishtails, in accordance with one of the most common medieval conventions. Farther north appear the Three Wise Men on their way to Bethlehem and at the top (or bottom) of the map a caravan; all of the latter figures are drawn upside down, as the map was probably meant to be laid horizontally and viewed from both sides. 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. The shape of the Catalan Atlas, therefore, must not be taken as evidence on questions such as the extent, form or knowledge of the African continent; nor does the change from a circular to a rectangular frame indicate specifically any change in ideas relating to the shape of the earth. Since the Atlas was not intended as a portolano for daily use but instead was a luxury edition for a princely library, it is useless to ask for correct orientation of the map-sheets. Camels laden with goods are followed by their drivers; behind them various people, one of them asleep, are riding horses.
The same year Agrippa was given charge of all the eastern parts of the Empire, with headquarters at Mitylene. This fact notwithstanding, however, as the legends that are legible prevail in north-orientation, in the modern literature of the maps the north-orientation is now adopted.a€?A major impetus to the advancement of exploration in Western Europe during the later Middle Ages came through the evolution and use of this very kind of map, the nautical chart or portolano. This fact notwithstanding, however, as the legends that are legible prevail in north-orientation, in the modern literature of the maps the north-orientation is now adopted.A major impetus to the advancement of exploration in Western Europe during the later Middle Ages came through the evolution and use of this very kind of map, the nautical chart or portolano. Designed to assist mariners find their way at sea, it served a practical purpose akin to that of the future road map, but it answered this purpose by depicting not the route itself, but detailed coastlines and hazards to shipping. Mariners previously had to rely on written itineraries which can be traced back to the peripli or coastal pilots of the classical world.
Following the introduction of the mariner's compass in Europe towards the end of the 13th century, nautical or portolan charts were made as an extension of the peripli, constructed on a framework of radiating compass lines, with north at the top. Places were located and marked around the coasts, while places located further inland and usually the entire interior of the continents were left blank. The province and town of Lop mentioned by Marco Polo can be connected with the modern town of Ruoqiang (Charkhlik) south of Lop Nor. It should be emphasized that while the Atlas was drawn in the portolano style, it is not, strictly speaking, a portolan chart. The typical nautical chart, which some scholars believe had its origin with the Catalan mapmakers, had hitherto been cartographically the very opposite of the medieval theocratic or ecclesiastical maps. Portolan charts traditionally displayed only known, discovered coasts, precisely detailed harbors, river mouths, rocks, shallows, currents, etc.




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