ERATOSTHENES, HIPPARCHUS AND STRABO: Geographia. The Length of the Oikoumene measured on an aslant alignment

The geographical data which can be attributed to Eratosthenes’ is available to us through the text of Strabo’s “Geography”. Unfortunately Strabo was neither a geographer nor a mathematician, but more a social historian, preferring to write mostly about that subject. However, we can glean from the text sufficient geographical data to enable a reasonable reconstruction of Eratosthenes’ world, and confirm some of the distance measures utilised.

The size of the world, 252000 Stadia (of unconfirmed) length is analysed, and then the length of the Stadion determined from the data collated. The metrology for determining the inter-distances from place to place is examined, and conclusions drawn that will require cartographic history to be updated.

8 A4 pages and 11 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

STRABO: DECLARATIONS OF ERATOSTHENES: Factual or misquoted, an investigation. The River Nile measurements and the Oikoumene.

Strabo’s “Geography” Book 17, chapters 1 to 4 discuss Egypt and in particular the River Nile. The data is primarily that of Eratosthenes, but, even though Strabo has sailed the Nile it is still mis-understood and obviously the text is later corrupted by copyist errors.

This paper analyses the River Nile measurements, determines that as Eratosthenes knew of them he had no necessity to rely on the “Aswan Well” phenomenon to determine the degree of Latitude and hence the world circle. The fact that “Egyptian Cord-Stretchers” had obviously measured or determined the world circumference centuries before Eratosthenes is then illustrated.
Finally the length of the Stadion utilised by Eratosthenes, illustrated first in Text Es1, is confirmed and the breadth of the Oikoumene discussed.
8 A4 pages and 5 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 
September 2010 - Texts Mt1 and Mt2 would normally be inserted here to ensure that the chronology of the texts is maintained. However because of their content, which is based upon the text of Claudius Ptolemy, they have been uploaded in draft order only.

CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY: FALSIFICATION, REGIMENTATION OR SYMMETRY: An investigation into the form of Britannia and the Turning of Scotland whilst maintaining the Latitudinal and Longitudinal co-ordinates.

The map of Britannia that can be drawn using the co-ordinates of Latitude and Longitude given by Claudius Ptolemy in Book 2, chapter 1 of “Geographia”, produces a picture of Britannia that is both reasonably in agreement with, and at the same time wildly inaccurate of geographical fact. This paper introduces a methodology for comparing the correct geographic form of Britannia to the Ptolemaic form. It analyses the geographical and Ptolemaic locations of both coastal and “poleis” positions and determines a correspondence for each. It then illustrates how simply the “Turning of Scotland” was achieved, such that the reversal of the co-ordinates was possible whilst maintaining the juxta-positions of individual locations.
12 A4 pages and 12 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA OF MARINUS OF TYRE AND CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY: An investigation into the methodology and distance measure utilised to control the Latitudes but expand the Longitudes thus accommodating the actual littorals.

When Marinus of Tyre and Claudius Ptolemy determined the Earth’s circumference as 180000 Stadia of c184 metres, they created an un-avoidable mis-representation of the correct or geographical world. Coastlines in the Mediterranean Sea which had been sailed for millennia and the distances known, had to be reasonably correctly portrayed. Therefore if the Latitudinal spread of the Sea was curtailed by a reduced circumference, then the longitudinal spread had to increase to accommodate the semblance of reality required for a true map. How this increase was managed, how the land forms of countries were manipulated and where the data was obtained in the first instance, are the subjects discussed and illustrated in this paper. There is also a sub-section section dealing with the measurement of the World, which if Marinus and Ptolemy had actually investigated, by physical measurement, would have led to their producing the most accurate of maps.
18 A4 pages and 17+1 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

INDIA INTRA ET EXTRA GANGEM + SINAE: The maps of Claudius Ptolemy explained and the resolution of place-names including Taprobane and Cattigara Sina

As the maps of Claudius Ptolemy are studied, commencing with Britannia, then the Mediterranean Sea littoral and Arabia with the Middle East, there is a very recognisable profile to each when compared to a geographical map. However, when the map described in Book 7 chapter 1 is constructed, that is,” India this side of the Ganges”, a complete and utter travesty of geographical fact emerges. The following section, “India beyond the Ganges” returns to a semblance of geographical fact. Why should this be? Why suddenly do we see a childlike scribble purporting to be the coastline of India? India is basically a south pointing triangle, and it is drawn in the form of a demented snake. The solution is remarkably simple and provides for a methodology to determine the location of Cattigara Sina, and determine where and which island is Taprobane.
12 A4 pages and 8 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

THE TEXT OF MARINUS THE TYRIAN AND CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY: ”Geographia”, Book 4, chapters 1,6, 7 and 8. The west coast of “Libya” explored, the Zero longitude determined and the East Coast capes located.

Ever since Claudius Ptolemy named one of the Fortunate Islands which he had situated on the Zero Longitude “Canaria”, cartographers have assumed that the Canary Islands off the west coast of Africa are the Zero point. That is patently incorrect. It can be simply illustrated by a re-reading of ancient texts referring to the sailing voyages around Africa, and then the utilisation of a comparative scale map. The East coast of Africa is then examined in a similar manner with the Capes listed by Ptolemy as the final locations on the coast determined to a geographical point. There is then an appendix to the paper which discusses the ratios adopted in the map construction of Claudius Ptolemy, particularly the major world ratio figures and concludes with a discussion on the methodology of constructing a world map.
11 A4 pages and 6 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

A LINE ON THE LANDSCAPE: Travel with “Michael” from Italy to Ireland. The Roman World Survey and its aftermath.

This paper considers the circumstantial evidence for a Mappa Mundi of Roman origin and introduces a methodology for examining that possibility. Julius Caesar (100-44BC) ordered that a world survey be carried out to establish the extent of the Roman Empire and perhaps the adjoining lands which as then had not been conquered. Following the commencement of a new era, BC/AD we find cartographers such as Marinus of Tyre and Claudius Ptolemy producing quite remarkable maps, with for the era an un-paralleled accuracy. Although evidence of the Roman survey is limited, it can only be from official Roman sources that those two cartographers received their latest data. Thus by analysing the works of authorities who succeeded the Romans, such as the Early Christian Church, we can perhaps establish the veracity of the historical texts. Fortunately, those works can be examined by a study of a landscape phenomenon which can only exist because there was a map of sufficient quality and accuracy to allow the concept discovered to be formed. By studying the positions in the landscape of Early Christian edifices of a particular nature, noting the methodology and metrology used, it is possible to conclude that there was a Roman Mappa Mundi dating to the BC/AD interface.
8 A4 pages and 6 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

WHEN RECTANGLE SUPERSEDED TRIANGLE: Britannia in ancient texts, The Venerable Bede and the Tabula Peutingeriana.

There is hidden within early texts, which at first glance would not be thought to contain such information, data on cartography. This paper considers the possible relevance of the Venerable Bede’s (AD672-735) concept of Britannia to cartography, his comprehension of the original data, and why that may have affected his view of Britannia. The information also provides us with an opportunity to construct an alternative for the lost portion of the Tabula Peutingeriana, as it applies to Britannia, Iberia and North Africa, which constitute the missing portion.
8 A4 pages and 4 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

THE GOUGH MAP: AN INVESTIGATION: The provenance of a historical ‘tour de force’ in English cartography.

The Gough map stands alone as a work of immense clarity. But, it is an enigma which requires examination to enable a comprehension of the knowledge available to the original mapmaker. The scale and relative disposition of geographical features must be known, but, apparently any such data normally appended to a map, such as guidance lines (if they were ever drawn) are missing. This may be a simple omission due to a later cutting of the map base skins.
Previous investigations of the map fundamentals have indicated accuracy in the overall concept and dated the map to c1360AD. This paper considers just how the data to draw such a map may have been collated, how it was drawn and the basic parameters underlying its construction. The conclusion is that a paradigm shift in our thoughts is required concerning the availability of ancient data.

12 A4 pages and 16 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 
Text Gm2, the Gough Map technical data from Gm1 "How it was drawn", is now included as Gm2 further on this page

THE SAXTON MAP, 1579 AN INVESTIGATION: Information for a large number of maps was surveyed, engraved and published in an amazingly short length of time for the era and tools available. Just how was this achieved with considerable accuracy, and what followed?

The general map of England and Wales has hidden within its format the basic concept from a century’s earlier survey. Drawn first without its latitudinal or longitudinal bordure scales, the Saxton Map has centre lines which are at variance to the later added bordure. When the actual degree marks were added they conformed to the spirit of cosmography, with tapering longitudes, but were arbitrarily chosen to suit a differing context. The map is a straight forward depiction of England and Wales drawn to Ptolemaic principles and illustrates the confusion within the sixteenth century regarding distance measure that is now the Statute Mile.

12 A4 pages and 16 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

RESEARCH INTO THE METHODOLOGY OF CLAUDIUS PTOLEMY: Has computerisation led to a systemic failure in the simple comprehension of the very basic nature of the data in the “Geographia” of Claudius Ptolemy?

Many papers, subject matter cartography, and more particularly those concerning the methodology of Claudius Ptolemy now include the “de rigueur” utilisation of computer programmes, computer generated visualisations and the Star Burst Plots which endeavour to illustrate data comparisons. That this usage of the computer does not of itself appear to offer any additional information to the subject matter and is merely presentational, should perhaps give cause for reconsideration by those authors of its usage.
This paper is not a polemic against the use of computer generated data, which certainly has its place when appropriately used. It is in fact questioning the over complication caused by such usage when simple maps or diagram maps used as the prime research tool would actually explain more.
This paper illustrates that by comparing maps based upon the same projection, and with the use of only simple maps (for that is all that Claudius Ptolemy has bequeathed to us) a fuller understanding of “Geographia” can be gained.

9 A4 pages and 2 full colour diagram maps

April 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 
528 551

WILLIAM STUKELEY, ANTIQUARIAN; MAP OF 1723 Herman Moll, Engraver and Cosmographer

William Stukeley FRS, FRCP, FSA (1687-1765) was a multi talented individual who is now best known for his dissertations on Stonehenge and Avebury. He also wrote several texts concerning the Antiquities of Britain and in 1724 published, “ITINERARIUM CURIOSUM. Or, an account of the antiquity and remarkable curiositys in nature and art, observed in travels through Great Britain”. This text includes the 1723 map.

Herman Moll, engraver and cosmographer, (probably Dutch 1654-1732), moved to England and composed his atlas comprising “fifty new and correct maps of England and Wales”. Within that text, “A NEW DESCRIPTION OF ENGLAND AND WALES”, published also in 1724 he included the Stukeley map. He was also a well known figure in the London Coffee Shop society of the age.

Comparisons of the two maps and their drafting indicate the knowledge of the era.

4 A4 pages and 10 full colour diagram maps

June 201
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

WHEN WAS BRITANNIA A RECTANGLE? Early texts analyzed and maps investigated

There is a surprising amount of geographical information in the early texts; both Roman Latin and British Latin, which if analyzed indicate a changing description of Britannia. That change is from a Triangular shape to a Rectangle. Why?
These two shapes are hardly compatible. Thus this speculative paper is a hypothesis on the reasons for the change, its basis in fact, and its record in the early maps.
It is also one of three texts which combine to explain the early map history of Britannia.

9 A4 pages and 12 full colour diagram maps

June 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 

BETWEEN PTOLEMY AND BEDE, JUST WHERE IS IRELAND? An examination of it’s textual positioning

Continuing the theme of using early medieval texts to evaluate cartographic knowledge, this paper examines the textual descriptions of Ireland and its relationship geographically to Britannia.
It is again speculative, a hypothesis to answer the many diverse descriptions in those texts and to understand how they may have originated.
It is the final chapter in the investigation of Britannia and Hibernia apropos their geographical size and location, but not the last paper regarding the landscape positioning of religious establishments commenced in text StM1.

5 A4 pages and 7 full colour diagram maps

June 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 


 This paper is a continuation of research within my texts Cp2 and Cp3. In his Geographike Hyphegesis, Ptolemy sets down the length of the oikoumene attributable to Marinus the Tyrian. In so doing we find two major pointers which can be utilised to ascertain how Marinus calculated this length.

Firstly, as already evidenced by research in texts Es1, Es2 and Cp3, the Eratosthian Stade of c157.5 metres is used by both Marinus and Ptolemy with their mapping of at least India.

Secondly, in the text of Ptolemy we read that the two eastern distance measures, to and from the Stone Tower are itinerary measures, and thus it is possible to confirm that Marinus has used the same methodology as Eratosthenes of Cyrene to calculate and thus establish his oikoumene; Itinerary measures.

12 A4 pages and 7 full colour diagram maps

September 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 


The map of Marinus the Tyrian is in fact the map used by Claudius Ptolemy but drawn on a different graticule. A simple investigation of the text of Claudius Ptolemy reveals that fact. Also indicated, despite the protestations by Ptolemy concerning the length of the oikoumene given by Marinus, is the fact that Ptolemy actually uses the same length, although he tries to hide the fact, to determine his oikoumene of only 180 degrees.

16 A4 pages and 13 full colour diagram maps

September 2010
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images 


Variously praised as, ‘the most important medieval map of Britain’, or ‘the earliest surviving map to show the island of Britain in a geographically recognisable form’, and ‘the oldest surviving road map of Great Britain’, the Gough map has been the subject of much scrutiny over the years. But no researcher appears to have dissected the map, deduced its foundations and then endeavoured to redraw it, metaphorically and physically, to prove their findings. This paper reports on such an attempt and the surprising results.

10 A4 pages and 12 full colour diagram maps

May 2014
Read Paper  View Diagrams  Download Paper  Download Images