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Anglo Saxon map of the world from 1000AD

(20 Posts)
Hassled Sun 16-Apr-17 22:35:17

Here. It's East to West, not North to South, so those shapes bottom right are UK and Ireland. Sri Lanka is apparently at the top. There doesn't seem to be a Spain (or is that the star shaped island?), but they seemed to know a lot about the Greek islands. No Sub-Saharan Africa? It's fascinating - how did they know so much?

Thecontentedcat Sun 16-Apr-17 22:48:48

Do you mean uk is bottom left? Agree fascinating

katymac Sun 16-Apr-17 22:51:59

What is the star shaped island do yu think? It's big if it's Gibralta?

Sweets101 Sun 16-Apr-17 22:54:57

It took me ages to work the UK blush
Agree it is fascinating

ChocAuVin Sun 16-Apr-17 22:58:04

Wow... love this. Where is it from? The Wikimedia link below the image wouldn't load.

OlennasWimple Sun 16-Apr-17 23:01:26

I think Spain is the peninsula at the bottom middle with the green line going through it? Then perhaps the two columns are supposed to be the Pillars of Hercules, making Gibraltar the point on the land to the right. They knew about the wider world from reading classical scholars, as well as trade links, their own exploration and invaders

Perhaps the star shaped island is Italy?

Hassled Sun 16-Apr-17 23:13:59

Yes sorry - uk bottom left.
I don't know where it came from - DS2 sent it to me, knowing I like this kind of thing (old maps).

tribpot Sun 16-Apr-17 23:30:26

I think it's in the British Library - Anglo-Saxon Mappa Mundi, 1025-1050

Roma is directly above the weird star-shaped island, the largest of the walled cities (assuming that's what the thing that looks a bit like a Quidditch pitch is!)

I think maybe Alexandria is the Quidditch pitch just above the huge orange river that forks into three before it reaches the sea.

Obsidian77 Sun 16-Apr-17 23:39:54

I think the star-shaped Island might be Mallorca?
Sicily is quite accurately represented and Italy you can tell from the Adriatic.
They did seem to love the Greek Islands.
Very cool, thanks op

7Days Sun 16-Apr-17 23:40:48

Thats Spain just above the pillars of Hercules, it seems. And you can make out the west Italian coastline as one of the kind of inlets into the continent.

tribpot Sun 16-Apr-17 23:45:56

Here is the Wiki entry for the map image and here is where it is mentioned. You can download a much better resolution image than the one the British Library is making available. You can see Galilea, Siria, Chaldea and Babilonia, but I can't find Constantinople. It has to be on there somewhere.

Hassled Mon 17-Apr-17 16:49:42

Thank you for those links which are a great help - I can't find Constantinople either. What do you think the lion, top left, represents? I can make out Mesopotamia to the South South East of the lion, but not the writing around it.

tribpot Mon 17-Apr-17 19:36:17

I think I've found Constantinople, picture attached. It's above 'Tracia' (Thrace) and opposite it on the other side of the 'river' is Cappadocia and maybe Cilicia? I think Ephesus is maybe mentioned there too.

Above the lion I think it says 'hic abundia [or something like that] leones' - that could be 'here abundant lions', like 'here be dragons'. The word next to the lion looks like 'Borea..' something - could the writing directly below the lion refer to the Taurus Mountains? They are not too far from Mesopotamia, so that would fit.

tribpot Mon 17-Apr-17 19:36:53

Oh forgot to attach the picture of course!

tribpot Mon 17-Apr-17 19:44:02

I also see Chaldea now, next to Mesopotamia, which makes the Quidditch pitch below both words Babylonia.

Hassled Mon 17-Apr-17 21:44:59

I love the Quidditch pitch references grin. I'm still in awe at the level of information they had, and their understanding of relative size of land masses/distance - even the relatively accurate outline of the British Isles would have been quite a feat. Quite sophisticated calculations must have been needed - we know from this trader that it took X months to travel from the place he calls Y, so it must be this far from us. And the information would have been compiled from so many different sources.

tribpot Mon 17-Apr-17 21:56:54

Yes - and how on earth were they even keeping track of time well enough to reckon the days? I guess there must have been some exchange of more local maps with traders and explorers along the routes to allow them to borrow each other's research.

AdoraBell Mon 17-Apr-17 21:59:08

Fascinating, but I'm too tired to concentrate on it tonight.

tribpot Tue 18-Apr-17 07:33:46

This is useful map covering some of the same region in the year 125 - a thousand years earlier but a lot of the names are still relevant.

I'm trying to work out if I can see 'Ebron', 'Jericho' and Caesarea and trying to decide what the Quidditch pitch nearest Alexandria is - Hierosolyma aka Jerusalem?

OlennasWimple Tue 18-Apr-17 12:16:31

The lion looks very much like the lion on the flag of Sri Lanka, but is probably simply a mythical beast to fill in a bit of space on the map

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