Scouting Ireland. Orienteering for Beavers, Cubs, Scouts . . . https://my.scouts.ie/uploads/files/One%20Programme/Orienteering_v3_1.pdf
1. Orient the map. Using features, sun or compass.
The Orient - The Eastern World - Where the sun rises: Asia, China, Japan(the land of the rising sun - Nihon), e.t.c. To orient oneself - "to arrange facing east," from French s'orienter "to take one's bearings," literally "to face the east". Origin latin "oriri" to rise -- latin "orient" rising or east -- french/english. During Roman and Medievial times it was common for maps to be drawn with East at the top. Orienteering as a sport was created by Swedish military around 1886 as training for navigating on land.
Babylonian clay tablet. "Imago Mundi". 600BC.
This picture is an interpretation of the original tablet.
Babylonia in the center of the map.
The Bitter River (salty sea) surrounding Babylonia.
Seven or Eight islands beyond the Bitter River.
Heavenly ocean and Animal constellations beyond the Islands.
Herodotus World Map 450BC.
Herodotus was a Greek born in what is now part of Turkey which was in the Persian Empire. He is known as the father of History. He traveled and collected information about history and geography and people, he tested the material to see if it was true and he wrote down the facts. Of course he has also been called the father of lies! The description of countries, seas, rivers and mountains in Herodotus' Histories have been used to create maps.
Roman Map of the world. Orbis Terrarum. 20AD.
East at the Top.
The meditteranean sea and Italy/Rome close to center of map.
Note the river Nile rising in the mountains of Africa and flowing through Egypt to the Nile Delta.
Ancient Roman Map. Tabula Peutingeriana
This ancient roman map is a small section of the famous Tabula Peutingeriana: An ancient Roman
Ptolemy's map of the World. 100AD to 15th century
Ptolemy was Greek. He lived in the city of Alexandria in the Roman province of Egypt, He was a scientist and worked on mathematics, astronomy and geography among other things. His work on geography was recorded in a work called the Geographia. The Geographia is a collection of Greco-Roman geographic knowledge of the world and a description of how to make an accurate map. Ptolemy created a mathematically accurate map projection. He assigned co-ordinates to every place and projected the features from the world globe on to the map. His maps and tables were copied until the 15th century with both errors and improvements being made by the copiers. The latest Ptolemic maps we have are from the later medieval copies.
What a real 12th century copy of a Ptolemaic map looks like:
Ptolemy's map of Ireland:
Mappa Mundi. Medieval European maps of the world.
Any medieval European map of the world in a circular style is called a Mappa Mundi.
Of course at this time maps originally from Roman maps, Ptolemy projection style maps and others were in books and were being copied. The Mappa Mundi were stylised circular maps. With North or East on the top. Often with religious or other mythical imagery included.
There are several distict types of mappa mundi:
- Zonal maps - zones from North to South: Arctic, Europe/Asia, Africa, Antipodes and Antartica
- Tripartite or "T-O" maps - with a division of Asia(the East) on Top and Europe and Africa (the North and South) below
- Quadripartite maps - like T-O maps adding in the Antipodes.
- Complex maps - with same layout as T-O and Quadripartite maps but with considerable more detail
Medieval Islam Map example
South is to the top of the map.
See the river Nile rising in the mountains and flowing through Egypt ot the Nile Delta.
The center of the map was the area best known to the map makers.
This one style seems quite like the complex mappa mundi.
Some fun with medieval map monsters. Hic svnt Dracones!
Eventually . . .