This long needed summary of ancient mapmaking is both scholarly and entertaining. Not limited by the title, the author briefly touches on Mesopotamian mapping, the Etruscans, and other predecessors, eventually working up to the Dark Ages and the Renaissance. Lengthy discussions of Ptolemy and Marinus of Tyre are to be expected. Reasons for the sideways orientation of northern Britain, familiar to collectors of Ptolemaic maps, are discussed. Other material includes a brief section on Roman sea voyages to the northwest, i.e., England, or even beyond. The illustrations are fascinating. Among them is the oldest extant "wall map." It is a town plan painted on a wall in Turkey, dating to about 6200 B.C. Anyone remotely interested in early exploration or mapping will find this a fascinating book.
David C. Jolly, 1987
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