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Encyclopedia > Cosmas Indicopleustes

Cosmas Indicopleustes (literally "Mr. World Sailing to India") of Alexandria was a Greek a monk, probably of Nestorian tendencies. Around 550 he 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. Cosmas seems to have personally visited the Kingdom of Axum in modern Ethiopia and Eritrea, India and Sri Lanka. Alexandria Modern Alexandria. ... A monk is a person who practices asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit. ... The term Nestorianism is eponymous, even though the person who lent his name to it always denied the associated belief. ... Events By Place Byzantine Empire Silk reaches Constantinople (approximate date). ... The Christian Topography is a 6th century book written by Cosmas Indicopleustes. ... This Buddhist stela from China, Northern Wei period, was built in the early 6th century. ... Axum, properly Aksum, is a city in northern Ethiopia. ...


"Indicopleustes" means "Indian voyager". While it is known from classical literature, especially the Periplus Maris Erythraei that there had been trade between the Roman Empire and India from the first century BCE onwards, Cosmas report is one of the few from individuals who had actually made the journey. He described and sketched some of what he saw in his Topography. Some of these have been copied into the existing manuscripts, the oldest dating to the ninth century. This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... The Periplus of the Erythraean Sea (Periplus Maris Erythraei ) is a Greek periplus, describing navigation and trading opportunities from Roman Egyptian ports like Berenice along the coast of the Red Sea, and others along East Africa and India. ... A fruit stand at a market. ... The Roman Empire is the name given to both the imperial domain developed by the city-state of Rome and also the corresponding phase of that civilization, characterized by an autocratic form of government. ...


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[citation needed] 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. Antarctica Australia Africa Asia Europe North America South America Middle East Caribbean Central Asia East Asia North Asia South Asia Southeast Asia SW. Asia China Australasia Melanesia Micronesia Polynesia Central America Latin America Northern America Americas C. Africa E. Africa N. Africa Southern Africa W. Africa C. Europe E. Europe... 15th century adaptation of a T-O map. ... A typical daytime sky. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Christianity. ... Many religions and spiritual movements hold certain written texts (or series of spoken legends not traditionally written down) to be sacred. ...


Cosmology aside, Cosmas proves to be an interesting and reliable guide, providing a window into a world that has since disappeared. He happened to be in Adulis at the Red Sea Coast of modern Eritrea at the time (ca 525CE) when the King of Axum was preparing a military expedition to attack the Jewish king Dhu Nuwas in Yemen, who had recently been persecuting Christians. On request of the Axumite king and in preparation for this campaign he recorded now-vanished inscriptions such as the Monumentum Adulitanum (which he mistakenly attributed to Ptolemy III Euergetes). Adulis is an archeological site in Eritrea, about 30 miles south of Massawa. ... Location of the Red Sea The Red Sea is an inlet of the Indian Ocean between Africa and Asia. ... The Axumite Kingdom, also known as the Aksum Kingdom, was an important trading nation in northeastern Africa, growing from circa the 5th century BC to become an important trading nation by the 1st century AD. It converted to Christianity in 325 or 328 (various sources). ... This article describes some ethnic, historic, and cultural aspects of the Jewish identity; for a consideration of the Jewish religion, refer to the article Judaism. ... Yusuf Dhu Nuwas (also called Yusuf Asar Dhu Nuwas, Masruq, and Dunas Zhidovin) was the last king of Yemen (then called Himayar) from a Jewish dynasty of unknown origin. ... The Monumentum Adulitanum was an ancient Aksumite inscription in Greek and Geez depicting the military campaigns of an early Aksumite king. ... Ptolemy III Euergetes, (Ptolemaeus III) (Evergetes, Euergetes) (reigned 246 BC-222 BC) is sometimes called Ptolemy III Euergetes I. (Ptolemy VIII also titled himself Euergetes: the Beneficent; but he is usually known, then and since, as Ptolemy Physcon: Belly. ...


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This article uses text taken from the Preface to the Online English translation of the Christian Topography, which is in the public domain.


  Results from FactBites:
 
Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography (1897) Introduction. (4979 words)
Cosmas does not say whether in the course of this voyage he reached India, which was his destination when he embarked.
Cosmas, when all his travels were over, returned to Alexandria, perhaps after paying a visit to Jerusalem; and, abandoning the secular life, retired to the seclusion of the cloister, where he devoted his leisure to the composition of works on descriptive geography, cosmography, and Scriptural exegesis.
But while Cosmas regarded as impious the doctrine that the heavens revolve, he admitted the revolution of the celestial luminaries, which, he held, were propelled in their courses by the angels, who do not live in heaven but are restricted to the aerial spaces below the firmament, until the resurrection.
Cosmas Indicopleustes (890 words)
Cosmas probably received only an elementary education, as he was intended for a mercantile life, and in his earlier years was engaged in business pursuits.
The earth rises towards the north and ends in a cone-shaped mountain behind which the sun continues its wanderings during the night, and the nights are long or short according as the position of the sun is near the base or the summit of the mountain.
Cosmas, with the aid of his travelling companion, Menas, took a copy of it in 522 for the governor of the Christian king Elesbaan of Abyssinia, retaining a replica for himself.
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