Saturday, March 19, 2011

World Map IV

I like maps of how old scholars viewed the world because they are 1) simple and 2) alien while still being familiar.  There are also several of them, so you could use them as alternate prime material planes or whatever.  I found a few nice ones in the Library of Universal History and Popular Science (1910).  Here is the oldest and simplest map:
I took that, cut all the labels in case you want to add your own names, and fiddled with the color levels to get rid of the ghost texts lines:
In light of my printing adventure I'm trying to trace this one into an svg, but I'm still learning that process.  (I promise when I figure it out I'll post a tutorial). These are both public domain and if you can use them, please do.


  1. I find it really interesting that the Caspian was known of, but not its further shore. And the Indus is somewhere out there, but not the Alps.

    Did I ever rant at you about 15th c. Mauritian navigator ibn Majid and his description of the coast of Eurasia? He knew about the Indian Ocean, of course, and had some information about the Med and the Atlantic coast of Europe, and then he posits a hole at the pole (leading into a hollow earth?) before continuing down the coast of China and back into the IO. I was amazed at how right he was when I read it.

    Tibbetts' translation ("Arab Navigation in the Indian Ocean before the Coming of the Portuguese") is fascinating. Majid gives the qualities of a good navigator as: competence at route finding, ability to read the signs of the sea, vigilance, ability to stay awake, professionalism and diplomacy when dealing with passengers, merchants and ship-owners, and a rugged constitution.

  2. Thanks for the comment. The idea of being in a world where the coastline is unknown is fascinating and kind of scary coming from someone used to gps positioning and seeing humans even in "wilderness" areas.