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Ancient PerspectivesMaps and Their Place in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome$
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Richard J. A. Talbert

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226789378

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226789408.001.0001

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Mapping the World: Greek Initiatives from Homer to Eratosthenes

Mapping the World: Greek Initiatives from Homer to Eratosthenes

(p.81) Three Mapping the World: Greek Initiatives from Homer to Eratosthenes
Ancient Perspectives

Georgia L. Irby

University of Chicago Press

This chapter examines maps and mapmaking in ancient Greece, with reference to initiatives from Homer to Eratosthenes. It begins with a discussion of the challenges involved in the study of Greek cartography and the function of maps as an important expression of Greek culture. It considers Greek maps in relation to abstract philosophical theories and their depiction of topography and relative distances as well as cosmogony and humanity's place in the universe. It also looks at early Greek maps, like those made in Miletus and its thinkers such as Anaximander and Hecataeus. In addition, it describes the maps attributed to Aristagoras, Herodotus, Democritus, and Hipparchus and analyzes the representation of spherical earth in Greek maps. Finally, it describes the Museum at Alexandria, a center of learning founded by Ptolemy II Philadelphus.

Keywords:   maps, mapmaking, ancient Greece, Homer, Eratosthenes, cartography, topography, cosmogony, Miletus, Museum at Alexandria

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