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Eratosthenes — BCE drew an improved world map, incorporating information from the campaigns of Alexander the Great and his successors. Asia became wider, reflecting the new understanding of the actual size of the continent. Eratosthenes was also the first geographer to incorporate parallels and meridians within his cartographic depictions, attesting to his understanding of the spherical nature of the Earth. Posidonius or Poseidonius of Apameia c. His work "about the ocean and the adjacent areas" was a general geographical discussion, showing how all the forces had an effect on each other and applied also to human life.

He measured the Earth 's circumference by reference to the position of the star Canopus. Both men's figures for the Earth's circumference were uncannily accurate, aided in each case by mutually compensating errors in measurement. Strabo is mostly famous for his volume work Geographica , which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although Strabo referenced the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus and acknowledged their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that a descriptive approach was more practical.

Geographica provides a valuable source of information on the ancient world, especially when this information is corroborated by other sources. Within the books of Geographica is a map of Europe. Whole world maps according to Strabo are reconstructions from his written text. Pomponius is unique among ancient geographers in that, after dividing the Earth into five zones, of which two only were habitable, he asserts the existence of antichthones , people inhabiting the southern temperate zone inaccessible to the folk of the northern temperate regions due to the unbearable heat of the intervening torrid belt.

On the divisions and boundaries of Europe , Asia and Africa , he repeats Eratosthenes; like all classical geographers from Alexander the Great except Ptolemy he regards the Caspian Sea as an inlet of the Northern Ocean, corresponding to the Persian Persian Gulf and Arabian Red Sea gulfs on the south. Marinus of Tyre's world maps were the first in the Roman Empire to show China. Around CE, Marinus wrote that the habitable world was bounded on the west by the Fortunate Islands.

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The text of his geographical treatise however is lost. He also invented the equirectangular projection , which is still used in map creation today. A few of Marinus' opinions are reported by Ptolemy. Marinus was of the opinion that the Okeanos was separated into an eastern and a western part by the continents Europe , Asia and Africa.


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He thought that the inhabited world stretched in latitude from Thule Shetland to Agisymba Tropic of Capricorn and in longitude from the Isles of the Blessed to Shera China. Marinus also coined the term Antarctic , referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle. His chief legacy is that he first assigned to each place a proper latitude and longitude ; he used a "Meridian of the Isles of the Blessed Canary Islands or Cape Verde Islands " as the zero meridian.

Surviving texts of Ptolemy 's Geography , first composed c. Instead, in Book VII of his work, he outlines three separate projections of increasing difficulty and fidelity. Ptolemy followed Marinus in underestimating the circumference of the world; combined with accurate absolute distances, this led him to also overestimate the length of the Mediterranean Sea in terms of degrees. The oldest surviving manuscripts of the work date to Maximus Planudes 's restoration of the text a little before at Chora Monastery in Constantinople Istanbul ; surviving manuscripts from this era seem to preserve separate recensions of the text which diverged as early as the 2nd or 4th century.

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A passage in some of the recensions credits an Agathodaemon with drafting a world map, but no maps seem to have survived to be used by Planude's monks. Instead, he commissioned new world maps calculated from Ptolemy's thousands of coordinates and drafted according to the text's 1st [10] and 2nd projections, [11] along with the equirectangular regional maps. A copy was translated into Latin by Jacobus Angelus at Florence around and soon supplemented with maps on the 1st projection. Maps using the 2nd projection were not made in Western Europe until Nicolaus Germanus 's edition.

Cicero 's Dream of Scipio described the Earth as a globe of insignificant size in comparison to the remainder of the cosmos. Many medieval manuscripts of Macrobius ' Commentary on the Dream of Scipio include maps of the Earth, including the antipodes , zonal maps showing the Ptolemaic climates derived from the concept of a spherical Earth and a diagram showing the Earth labeled as globus terrae , the sphere of the Earth at the center of the hierarchically ordered planetary spheres.

The Tabula Peutingeriana Peutinger table is an itinerarium showing the cursus publicus , the road network in the Roman Empire.

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It is a 13th-century copy of an original map dating from the 4th century, covering Europe , parts of Asia India and North- Africa. The map is named after Konrad Peutinger , a German 15thth-century humanist and antiquarian. The map was discovered in a library in Worms by Conrad Celtes , who was unable to publish his find before his death, and bequeathed the map in to Peutinger. Around Cosmas Indicopleustes wrote the copiously illustrated Christian Topography , a work partly based on his personal experiences as a merchant on the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in the early 6th century.

Though his cosmogony is refuted by modern science, he has given a historic description of India and Sri Lanka during the 6th century, which is invaluable to historians. A major feature of his Topography is Cosmas' worldview that the world is flat , and that the heavens form the shape of a box with a curved lid, a view he took from unconventional interpretations of Christian scripture. Cosmas aimed to prove that pre-Christian geographers had been wrong in asserting that the earth was spherical and that it was in fact modelled on the tabernacle, the house of worship described to Moses by God during the Jewish Exodus from Egypt.

The medieval T and O maps originate with the description of the world in the Etymologiae of Isidore of Sevilla died This qualitative and conceptual type of medieval cartography represents only the top-half of a spherical Earth. Jerusalem was generally represented in the center of the map. Asia was typically the size of the other two continents combined.

Because the sun rose in the east, Paradise the Garden of Eden was generally depicted as being in Asia, and Asia was situated at the top portion of the map. The Albi Mappa Mundi is a medieval map of the world, included in a manuscript of the second half of the 8th century, preserved in the old collection of the library Pierre-Amalric in Albi , France. The manuscript bearing the card contains 77 pages. It is named in the eighteenth century " Miscellanea " Latin word meaning "collection". This collection contains 22 different documents, which had educational functions.

The manuscript, a Parchment probably made from a goat or sheep skin, is in a very good state of preservation. It represents 23 countries on 3 continents and mentions several cities, islands, rivers and seas. Ibn Hawqal was an Arab scientist of the 10th century who developed a world map, based on his own travel experience and probably the works of Ptolemy. Another such cartographer was Al-Istakhri.

This map appears in a copy of a classical work on geography, the Latin version by Priscian of the Periegesis , that was among the manuscripts in the Cotton library MS. Tiberius B. It is not intended purely as an illustration to that work, for it contains much material gathered from other sources, including some which would have been the most up-to-date available, although it is based on a distant Roman original similar to the source of another 11th-century world map , illustrating an edition of Isidore of Seville —on which the network of lines appears to indicate the boundaries of imperial provinces.

The date of drawing was formerly estimated at about CE —, based on suggested links to the journey of Archbishop Sigeric of Canterbury from Rome [20] but more recent analysis indicates that, although the information was revised about that time, the map was probably drawn between and Like the later map by al-Idrisi see below this map is clearly outside the largely symbolic early medieval mapping tradition, but equally it is not based on the famous Ptolemaic co-ordinate system. East is at the top, but Jerusalem is not in the centre, and the Garden of Eden is nowhere to be seen.

Unusually, all the waterways of Africa, not just the Red Sea, are depicted in red mountains are green. The depiction of the far East is ambitious, including India and Taprobane Sri Lanka —the latter depicted according to the exaggerated classical conception of its size. Unsurprisingly, Britain itself is depicted in some detail. Great Britain, unusually by medieval standards, is shown as one island, albeit with an exaggerated Cornish promontory, and Mona, Ireland and the many Scottish islands are all indicated.

The cartographer is slightly confused by Iceland, depicting it both by a version of its classical name 'Thule', north-west of Britain, and as 'Island', logically linked with Scandinavia. An open-access high-resolution digital image of the map with place and name annotations is included among the thirteen medieval maps of the world edited in the Virtual Mappa project. He corresponded with Alcuin , and took part in the Adoptionist controversy, criticizing the views of Felix of Urgel and Elipandus of Toledo.

He is best remembered today as the author of his Commentary on the Apocalypse , published in It contains one of the oldest Christian world maps as an illustration of the Commentary. Although the original manuscript and map has not survived, copies of the map survive in several of the extant manuscripts.

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Qarakhanid Uyghur scholar Mahmud al-Kashgari compiled a Compendium of the languages of the Turks in the 11th century. The manuscript is illustrated with a "Turkocentric" world map, oriented with east or rather, perhaps, the direction of midsummer sunrise on top, centered on the ancient city of Balasagun in what is now Kyrgyzstan , showing the Caspian Sea to the north, and Iraq , Armenia , Yemen and Egypt to the west, China and Japan to the east, Hindustan , Kashmir , Gog and Magog to the south. Conventional symbols are used throughout—blue lines for rivers, red lines for mountain ranges etc.

The world is shown as encircled by the ocean. The Moroccan geographer, Muhammad al-Idrisi , incorporated the knowledge of Africa , the Indian Ocean and the Far East gathered by Arab merchants and explorers with the information inherited from the classical geographers to create the most accurate map of the world at the time. It remained the most accurate world map for the next three centuries. The Tabula Rogeriana was drawn by Al-Idrisi in for the Norman King Roger II of Sicily , after a stay of eighteen years at his court, where he worked on the commentaries and illustrations of the map.

The map, written in Arabic, shows the Eurasian continent in its entirety, but only shows the northern part of the African continent. The Ebstorf Map was an example of a European mappa mundi , made by Gervase of Ebstorf , who was possibly the same man as Gervase of Tilbury , [23] some time in the thirteenth century. It was a very large map: painted on 30 goatskins sewn together, it measured about 3. The head of Christ was depicted at the top of the map, with his hands on either side and his feet at the bottom.

It represented Rome in the shape of a lion, and had an evident interest in the distribution of bishoprics. The map is signed by one "Richard of Haldingham or Lafford ". The writing is in black ink, with additional red and gold, and blue or green for water with the Red Sea coloured red. The captions demonstrate clearly the multiple functions of these large medieval maps, conveying a mass of information on Biblical subjects and general history, in addition to geography.

Jerusalem is drawn at the centre of the circle, east is on top, showing the Garden of Eden in a circle at the edge of the world 1. Curiously, the labels for Africa and Europe are reversed, with Europe scribed in red and gold as 'Africa', and vice versa. An open-access high-resolution digital image of the map with more than 1, place and name annotations is included among the thirteen medieval maps of the world edited in the Virtual Mappa project. Italian geographer Pietro Vesconte was a pioneer of the field of the portolan chart. His nautical charts are among the earliest to map the Mediterraean and Black Sea regions accurately.

He also produced progressively more accurate depictions of the coastlines of northern Europe. In his world map of he brought his experience as a maker of portolans to bear; the map introduced a previously unheard of accuracy to the mappa mundi genre. The Catalan Atlas originally consisted of six vellum leaves folded down the middle painted in various colors including gold and silver.

The first two leaves contain texts in Catalan language covering cosmography , astronomy , and astrology.

These texts are accompanied by illustrations. The texts and illustration emphasize the Earth's spherical shape and the state of the known world. They also provide information to sailors on tides and how to tell time at night. Unlike many other nautical charts, the Catalan Atlas is read with the north at the bottom. As a result of this the maps are oriented from left to right, from the Far East to the Atlantic. The first two leaves, forming the oriental portion of the Catalan Atlas, illustrate numerous religious references as well as a synthesis of medieval mappae mundi Jerusalem located close to the centre and the travel literature of the time, notably Marco Polo 's Book of Marvels and the Travels and Voyage of Sir John Mandeville.

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Many Indian and Chinese cities can be identified. Created under the supervision of Korean officials as part of a cultural project of the newly founded Joseon Dynasty , [30] it is the most familiar example of the known-world maps based on Chinese cartographic techniques with additional input from western sources, via Islamic scholarship in the Mongol Empire. Superficially similar to the Da Ming Hun Yi Tu which has been less well known in the West because it is kept in closed archive storage the Kangnido shows its Korean origin in the enlargement of that country, and incorporates vastly improved though wrongly positioned, scaled and oriented mapping of Japan.