The History Of Antique World

Since antiquity we have tried to make sense of the world around us and it is this drive to understand and document our environment has given rise to one of arts’ least appreciated gems – antique maps and cartography. Although today we are used to maps as dry, functional things that we occasionally reach for when lost, it was only a few centuries ago that they .manded the attention and wonder normally reserved for great works of art. Origins Until relatively recently our curiosity of the world around us outpaced our knowledge of geography. Early attempts at extending this knowledge were limited to oral tradition and based squarely on what people could see for themselves. This knowledge of a landscape and local environment, often .bined with lore and myth, helped create living maps .municated from person to person and generation to generation. The need for more reliable methods of .municating this local knowledge led to the development of topographical maps. These captured the salient elements of a terrain to more reliably record and pass on knowledge. These early maps tended to concentrate on the relationships between obvious topographical features, with little attention paid to true measurement or accuracy. However these early attempts were successful in that they stored knowledge for future generations and, although inaccurate by the standards employed today, it did standardize the kind of knowledge passed between generations and helped sow the seeds for early cartography. They also offer historians a unique glimpse into the lives and preoccupations of these primitive societies. Early maps Some of the oldest known maps date from 5000 BCE, however it wasn’t until the development of geometry around 2500 years later that we begin to see maps that attempt to describe spatial relationships accurately. The ancient Egyptians used maps around this time to plot areas around the Nile which, because of flooding, rendered landmarks unusable at certain times of the year. Ancient Greece did much to refine and develop cartography into the science we know today. Greek astronomer Ptolemy is the most famous example from this time, and his important work Geographia survived relatively intact through time. Although the maps are inaccurate by today’s standards they did set in motion the beginnings of cartography, and placed importance on accurate observation to make sense of the world around us. Later Maps and Modern Cartography The Middle Ages were a period of relatively poor development in terms of maps. The stress was on maps that emphasized religious bias, often depicting Jerusalem as the center of the world. However, the end of the Medieval period saw the beginning of cartography’s rise as both a science and an art, .manding equal attention for both. By the 16th century the world’s great powers .peted to dominate the globe and the need for accurate charts and maps grew. This gave rise to the role of cartography, often draftsmen working for navies to give life to the hard earned knowledge from seafaring nations like the Dutch and British. Although initially fulfilling a technical need the role of the cartographer soon developed along similar lines to other crafts. By the 17th century skilled cartographers were in great demand. This recognition of the profession soon gave rise to professional cartographers who took cartography from drawing functional charts to creating unique works of art. Many maps from this period were embellished with decorative elements, such as sea monsters and mythical creatures. At this time maps were designed not just for functionality but also to attract buyers. Their rich detail and artistic expression added much to their value, both as working tools and as desirable objects. The increasing use of maps at this time also helped usher in the enlightenment, a direct descendant of cartographies’ need for accurate, scientific measurement. The increasing availability of good quality maps demonstrated humanities ability to make sense of their world and, to a certain extent, gain some control over it. A Distinguished History The development of charts and maps has echoed our desire to make sense of our world, as well as providing an insight into the knowledge possessed by humans at different times throughout history. The history of antique maps reflects our growing confidence and awareness of the finite nature of the world and, although it is something we now take for granted, its history demonstrates its central importance. Copyright The Tapestry House, all rights reserved. This is Free-Reprint article from The Tapestry House. Our terms are: Please leave copyright statement intact Please publish author info including links Please do not use the article in unsolicited emails Please keep all links intact and "as is" – no embedded keyword advertising You can contact us at 相关的主题文章: