Antique Maps by Claudius Ptolemaeus (*100 - 168)

Claudius Ptolemaeus (also Claudius Ptolemy) was an ancient Greek-Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was an astrologer, astronomer, mathematician and geographer. Ptolemy was the author of several scientific treatises, at least three of which were of continuing importance to later Islamic and European science.

In terms of geography, he is the author of the Geography, also known as Geographia, Cosmographia, or Geographike Hyphegesis, a discussion of the geographic knowledge in the Roman Empire of the 2nd century. He discussed methods of map projection and added instructions for making a map from a grid of latitude and longitude lines. He also listed the coordinates of 8,000 places. The original ancient work has included maps, but no map survived from these days. Due to the difficulties involved in copying them by hand, the original maps have not been copied in the manuscript transmission. The maps have been re-added to medieval copies of the work from the coordinated in the text. His work survived in the Arab world but seems to have had little influence on mapmaking there. Another copy of the Geographia was found in Constantinople by the Byzantine monk Maximus Planudes in 1295. Since there were no maps included, he drew his own based on the coordinates found in the text. In 1397 a copy was given to Palla Strozzi in Florence by Emanuel Chrysoloras. The first Latin translation titled Geographia Claudii Ptolemaei was made in 1409/10 by Florentine Giacomo da Scarperia, also known as Jacobus Angelus. The first printed edition with maps was published in Bologna in 1477, which was also the first printed book with engraved illustrations. During the following centuries, many editions with printed maps based on Ptolemy's coordinates have been published. The Florence edition of 1480-82, and the Ulm edition of 1482 containing new maps with actual geographical information for the first time beside the 27 traditional Ptolemy maps.

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