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Encyclopedia > Geographia (Ptolemy)

The Geographia is Ptolemy's main work besides the Almagest. It is a compilation of what was known about the world's geography in the Roman Empire of the 2nd century. Ptolemy relied mainly on the work of an earlier geographer, Marinos of Tyre, and on gazetteers of the Roman and ancient Persian empire, but most of his sources beyond the perimeter of the Empire were unreliable. Claudius Ptolemaeus, given contemporary German styling, in a 16th century engraved book frontispiece. ... Almagest is the Latin form of the Arabic name (al-kitabu-l-mijisti, i. ... The Roman Empire is the term conventionally used to describe the Ancient Roman polity in the centuries following its reorganization under the leadership of Octavian (better known as Caesar Augustus), until its radical reformation in what was later to be known as the Byzantine Empire. ... // Events Roman Empire governed by the Five Good Emperors (96–180) – Nerva, Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Marcus Aurelius. ... Marinos of Tyre (Μαρίνος ο Τύριος) Ο Μαρίνος από την Τύρο (περί το 170 - 250 μ.Χ.) ήταν Έλληνας γεωγράφος και χαρτογράφος από την Τύρο. Θεωρείται ως ο θεμελιωτής της μαθηματικής γεωγραφίας, περιγράφοντας με μεγαλύτερη σαφήνεια από όλους τους παλαιότερους γεωγράφους τη βόρεια Ευρώπη, υποστηρίζοντας το μεσημβρινό των Μακάρων ως αφετηρία για τη μέτρηση των μηκών, προηγούμενος έτσι του Πτολεμαίου Κλαύδιου, συντάσσοντας γεωγραφικούς πίνακες. Ο Πτολεμαίος τον περιλαμβάνει στη Γεωγραφική του Υφήγηση, αναφέροντας τα Περί Μαρίνου γεωγραφικής υφηγήσεως, Διόρθωσις του πλάτους εγνωσμένης γης διαστάσεως από των φαινομένων και . ... A gazetteer is a geographical dictionary; an important reference for information about places and place-names (see: toponomy), used in conjunction with an atlas. ... The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ...


The first part of the Geographia is a discussion of the data and of the methods he used. Like with the model of the solar system in the Almagest, Ptolemy put all this information into a grand scheme. He assigned coordinates to all the places and geographic features he knew, in a grid that spanned the globe. Latitude was measured from the equator, as it is today, but Ptolemy preferred to express it as the length of the longest day rather than degrees of arc (the length of the midsummer day increases from 12h to 24h as you go from the equator to the polar circle). He put the meridian of 0 longitude at the most western land he knew, the Canary Islands. See Cartesian coordinate system or Coordinates (elementary mathematics) for a more elementary introduction to this topic. ... GRID can refer to : GRID computing short for gay-related immune deficiency, a former name for AIDS. See also homosexuality and medical science General Repository for Interaction Datasets, a database of biological interactions hosted at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, Canada This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which... Latitude, sometimes denoted by the Greek letter φ, gives the location of a place on Earth north or south of the Equator. ... The equator is an imaginary circle drawn around a planet (or other astronomical object) at a distance halfway between the poles. ... A degree (in full, a degree of arc, arc degree, or arcdegree), usually symbolized °, is a measurement of plane angle, representing 1/360 of a full rotation. ... Midsummer celebration, Ã…mmeberg, Sweden Midsummer, or Litha as it was known by the ancient Germanic peoples and to this day by modern Pagans, refers the period of time centered upon the summer solstice and the religious celebrations that accompany it. ... The polar circles is a name for the Arctic and the Antarctic Circle. ... Meridian is: Meridian (astronomy): an imaginary circle perpendicular to the horizon. ... Map of Earth showing lines of longitude, which appear curved and vertical in this projection, but are actually halves of great circles Longitude, sometimes denoted by the Greek letter λ, describes the location of a place on Earth east or west of a north-south line called the Prime Meridian. ... Canaries redirects here. ...

The Ptolemy world map, reconstituted from Ptolemy's Geographia (circa 150), indicating the countries of "Serica" and "Sinae" (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of "Taprobane" (Sri Lanka, oversized) and the "Aurea Chersonesus" (Southeast Asian peninsula).
The Ptolemy world map, reconstituted from Ptolemy's Geographia (circa 150), indicating the countries of "Serica" and "Sinae" (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of "Taprobane" (Sri Lanka, oversized) and the "Aurea Chersonesus" (Southeast Asian peninsula).

Ptolemy also devised and provided instructions on how to create maps both of the whole inhabited world (oikoumen√®) and of the Roman provinces. In the second part of the Geographia he provided the necessary topographic lists, and captions for the maps. His oikoumen√® spanned 180 degrees of longitude from the Canary islands in the Atlantic Ocean to China, and about 80 degrees of latitude from the Arctic to the East Indies and deep into Africa; Ptolemy was well aware that he knew about only a quarter of the globe. Download high resolution version (1344x915, 810 KB)Ptolemys 150 CE World Map (redrawn in the 15th century). ... Download high resolution version (1344x915, 810 KB)Ptolemys 150 CE World Map (redrawn in the 15th century). ... Ptolemys world map, reconstituted from Ptolemys Geographia (circa 150), indicating Sinae (China) at the extreme right, beyond the island of Trapobane (Sri Lanka, oversized) and the Aurea Chersonesus (Southeast Asian peninsula). ... For other uses, see number 150. ... Seres (Σηρες) was the ancient Greek and Roman name for the northwestern part of China and its inhabitants. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Topography, a term in geography, has come to refer to the lay of the land, or the physiogeographic characteristics of land in terms of elevation, slope, and orientation. ... The Indies, on the display globe of the Field Museum, Chicago The Indies or East Indies (or East India) is a term used to describe lands of South and South-East Asia, occupying all of the former British India, the present Indian Union, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Maldives, and... Africa - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ...


The maps in surviving manuscripts of Ptolemy's Geographia however, date only from about 1300, after the text was rediscovered by Maximus Planudes. Events Beginning of the Renaissance. ... Maximus Planudes (c. ...


Maps based on scientific principles had been made since the time of Eratosthenes (3rd century BC), but Ptolemy improved projections. It is known that a world map based on the Geographia was on display in Autun, France in late Roman times. In the 15th century Ptolemy's Geographia began to be printed with engraved maps; an edition printed at Ulm in 1482 was the first one printed north of the Alps. The maps look distorted as compared to modern maps, because Ptolemy's data were inaccurate. One reason is that Ptolemy estimated the size of the Earth as too small: while Eratosthenes found 700 stadia for a degree on the globe, in the Geographia Ptolemy uses 500 stadia. It is not certain if these geographers used the same stadion, but if we assume that they both stuck to the traditional Attic stadion of about 185 meters, then the older estimate is 1/6 too large, and Ptolemy's value is 1/6 too small. Because Ptolemy derived most of his topographic coordinates by converting measured distances to angles, his maps get distorted. So his values for the latitude were in error by up to 2 degrees. For longitude this was even worse, because there was no reliable method to determine geographic longitude; Ptolemy was well aware of this. It remained a problem in geography until the invention of chronometers at the end of the 18th century. It must be added that his original topographic list cannot be reconstructed: the long tables with numbers were transmitted to posterity through copies containing many scribal errors, and people have always been adding or improving the topographic data: this is a testimony to the persistent popularity of this influential work. MAPS could refer to: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Mail Abuse Prevention System Multi-jurisdictional Automated Preclearance System This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Eratosthenes (Ερατοσθένης) Eratosthenes (Ερατοσθένης) (276 BC - 194 BC) was a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer. ... // Events The first two Punic Wars between Carthage and Rome over dominance in western Mediterranean Rome conquers Spain Gaulish migration to Macedonia, Thrace and Galatia 281 BCE Antiochus I Soter, on the assassination of his father Seleucus becomes emperor of the Seleucid empire. ... The Mercator projection shows courses of constant bearing as straight lines. ... Autun is a town in the Saône-et-Loire département in Burgundy, France. ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... Ulm is a city in the German Bundesland of Baden-Württemberg (about 100 km south-east of Stuttgart). ... Events Portuguese fortify Fort Elmina on the Gold Coast Tizoc rules the Aztecs Diogo Cão, a Portuguese navigator, becomes the first European to sail up the Congo. ... The West face of the Petit Dru above the Chamonix valley near the Mer de Glace. ... Eratosthenes (Ερατοσθένης) Eratosthenes (Ερατοσθένης) (276 BC - 194 BC) was a Greek mathematician, geographer and astronomer. ... A chronometer is a clock designed to have sufficient long-term accuracy that it can be used as a portable time standard on a vehicle, usually in order to determine longitude by means of celestial navigation. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...


In his Optics, a work which survives only in a poor Arabic translation, he writes about properties of light, including reflection, refraction and colour. His other works include Planetary Hypothesis, Planisphaerium and Analemma. Prism splitting light Light is electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength that is visible to the eye (visible light) or, in a technical or scientific setting, electromagnetic radiation of any wavelength. ... The word reflection (also spelt reflexion in British English) can refer to several different concepts: In mathematics, reflection is the transformation of a space. ... The soda straw appears to be broken, due to refraction of light rays as they emerge into the air. ... Color is an important part of the visual arts. ...

Contents


References

  • Berggren, J. Lennart and Jones, Alexander. 2000. Ptolemy's Geography: An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters. Princeton University Press. Princeton and Oxford. ISBN 0-691-01042-0.
  • Stevenson, Edward Luther. Trans. and ed. 1932. Claudius Ptolemy: The Geography. New York Public Library. Reprint: Dover, 1991. (This is the only complete English translation of Ptolemy's most famous work. Unfortunately, it is marred by numerous mistakes and the placenames are given in Latinised forms, rather than in the original Greek).

External links

Primary sources

  • Ptolemy's Geography at LacusCurtius (English translation, incomplete)
  • Extracts of Ptolemy on the country of the Seres (China) (English translation)

Secondary material

  • Alexander Jones, "Ptolemy and his Geography"
  • Ptolemy's Geography of Asia - Selected problems of Ptolemy's Geography of Asia (currently in German)
  • Ptolemy's Geography of Northwestern Europe
  • History of Cartography including a discussion of the Geographia

 
 

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