in Historical Atlases

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2003 | ISBN: 9780226300719
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226300726 | DOI:

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Nineteenth-century maps for medieval history added nothing new to the ways in which the past is portrayed. Examples of these methods, or types, can be detected in the earliest period and continue to appear in the historical atlases of today. Ptolemy's provincial maps of “ancient geography” may serve as examples, with the difference that no date was affixed to them; rather, they were only implicitly qualified as “ancient.” A major improvement came when someone took a portrayal of the ancient eastern Mediterranean, fastened a suitable inscription to it, and, by this device, turned geography into a historical guide to the journeys of Saint Paul. Pictures are expected to pack more meaning into their lines, shapes, and colors than cumbersome words manage to express. The surprising thing is how rarely nonverbal eloquence has been attempted, let alone achieved.

Keywords: nineteenth century; historical atlases; Ptolemy's provincial maps; ancient geography; historical guide

Chapter.  8474 words. 

Subjects: Early Modern History (1500 to 1700)

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