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
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461 473

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
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Text Gm2, the Gough Map technical data from Gm1 "How it was drawn", is now included as Gm2 further on this page
495 562

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
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588 647


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
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661 1075


Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa was tasked with the production of a map, not a map of the Roman Empire c20BCE, but a map of the whole known world.
Pliny the Elder wrote his reference work, “Natural History” c77CE, well after the death of Agrippa in 12BCE. But, Pliny obviously viewed the finished map which had been erected or displayed in a public area, the Porticus Vipsania.
The source of the geographical data within Pliny’s text is mostly attributed to Agrippa and appears to come from the commentary written to accompany the world map.
Thus by extracting the data attributable to Agrippa for geographical, and then the astronomical/astrological facts contained within Pliny’s text, we can unravel the dubious extant reconstructions of the past and indicate hitherto un-researched facets of the text.
This has enabled a new interpretation of those facts to be made, and thus the possibility to describe and draw a map more akin to the original by Agrippa.
The previous text, cgPl1, contains much of the research for this text. It has not been repeated, merely referenced.

17 A4 pages and 24 full colour diagram maps

March 2011
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1079 1102


The Histories” deal with Greek/Persian conflicts until c430BCE, the first year of the Peloponnesian War.
“Herodotus of Halicarnassus, his researches are here set down to preserve the memory of the past by putting on record the astonishing achievements both of our own and of other peoples; and more particularly, to show how they came into conflict.”
Those are his first words, and after them is a Geographical, Social, Religious and Mythological treatise concerning the world known to Greeks and Persians. He is known as the “Father of History”, and sometimes criticised for his “outlandish tales”, but, many have subsequently proven correct.
This text analyses and comments upon most of the geographical facts contained there-in.

17 A4 pages and 13 full colour diagram s

February 2012
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