ETIAM PERIRE RUINAE

 

 

 

 

In "Etiam Perire Ruinae", which means "even its ruins have disappeared" (Lucan.  Pharsalia , IX, 969), you will find maps of the ancient world. It is an ambitious work that began about two years ago, and perhaps it will never finish because its scope will be considerable.

 

The intention is to make a complete catalog of the known world in the second century after Christ. In the first place following the fundamental work of the great Claudius Ptolemy, and also that of the other two great geographers before him, Pliny the Elder and Strabo of Amasia. It would try to review all the places that a traveler of ancient times would find: seas, rivers, capes, gulfs, mountains, ethnic groups, towns, cities and regions, with their Latinized name.

On the one hand, the maps of Ptolemy will be presented in their ancient configuration (conveniently retouched by me), according to the work Claudii Ptholomei Alexandrini Cosmographia , edited in Rome in 1478 by Conrad Schweinheim and later Arnold Buckinck, from the translation from Greek to Latin made years before by Jacobus Angelus (more information in biography of Ptolemy). There are many editions of the Geographia of Ptolemy, but this has been the one I have chosen because it presents some especially attractive maps.

 

In these maps I have placed all the names that appear in Ptolemy's work, which are registered in an "Access" file where all the names are listed, various data are added, including the current names, if known, and enables the comprehensive consultation of all the terms that appear. At the moment, this "access" file will not be available, and from time to time I will upload "excel" files, updated, with various search options.

Apart from the "old maps" of Ptolemy, the modern maps are included: that is, maps with the current contours of all the regions treated, in which all the ancient names are equally placed. In some cases there is no question of its exact location; in others it is approximate, and in others it is simply assumed (then it is accompanied by a question mark).

In these modern maps, divided by provinces or historical regions will appear the names that appear in the work of Ptolemy), Pliny the Elder (Natural History) and Strabo of Amasia (Geography). In addition, there will be a general map where the names of these three authors will appear together, plus those of other minor geographers or ancient historians, at most until the second century AD. (Herodotus, Dicearco, Eratosthenes, Posidonio, Agatárquides, Píteas, Claudius Eliano, Marco Vipsanio Agrippa Pomponio Mela, Julio Caesar, Pausanias or Diodoro of Sicily). In some cases, the names are cited by several authors, in others only by one; and the subject of synonyms is of greater importance, very frequent and sometimes with very different spellings due to various reasons: poor transcription made by copyists throughout history, variability of a name or origin other than the source itself.

The idea is that the reader of ancient works has this work as a support and can get an exact idea of where the places mentioned by Greek and Roman authors in their treatises were. That his knowledge is not simply reduced to a name, most of the times strange and unknown, but that it can be easily known to which ancient country he belonged: if he was on the coast or in the interior; if it was located in a mountainous place or was washed by a river; to what people or ethnic group he belonged; with what other towns and ethnic groups it bordered or what cities were nearby.

Therefore, to view the maps, four tabs will be available: Europe, Africa, Asia and Oikoumene (inhabited land). The first three will be subdivided into the maps of Ptolemy (ancient and modern contour), Strabo, Pliny and other authors. And in the Oikoumene those geographers or historians who describe the known world will appear, but by reporting a smaller number of geographical names it is possible to represent them on a single map where the three continents are included.

 

In the tab "Bibliography" you will find the list of bibliographic material used to carry out this work, and the digital version of the work if it is available. The list of all the bibliography used is added below.