As mediators between an inner mental world and an outer physical world, maps are fundamental tools helping the human mind make sense of its universe at various scales. We have seen that, according to the earliest geographical notions, the habitable world was represented as having the shape of an inverted round boat, with a broad river or ocean flowing all round its rim, beyond which opened out the Abyss or bottomless pit, which was beneath the habitable crust. It is strange that some historians, in pointing out so cleverly that the Chaldean conception was more in accordance with the true doctrine concerning the form of the globe than had been suspected, fails, at the same time, to notice that Homer in his brain-map reversed the Chaldean terrestrial globe and placed the north at the top. It may be necessary to emphasize that the ancient Greek maps shown in this volume are “reconstructions” by modern scholars based upon the textual descriptions of the general outline of the geographical systems formed by each of the successive Greek writers so far as it is possible to extract these from their writings alone. Whoever sets out to write on the history of geography in China faces a quandary, however, for while it is indispensable to give the reader some appreciation of the immense mass of literature which Chinese scholars have produced on the subject, it is necessary to avoid the tedium of listing names of authors and books, some of which indeed have long been lost. Homer, The Outward Geography Eastwards: “The outer geography eastwards, or wonderland, has for its exterior boundary the great river Okeanos, a noble conception, in everlasting flux and reflux, roundabout the territory given to living man.
Its outstanding characteristic was the fruitful marriage of theoretical and empirical knowledge.


In both Western Europe and Byzantium relatively little that was new in cartography developed during the Dark Ages and early Middle Ages, although monks were assiduously copying out and preserving the written work of many past centuries available to them.
It may be said at the outset that both in East and West there seem to have been two separate traditions, one which we may call ‘scientific, or quantitative, cartography’, and one which we may call ‘religious, or symbolic, cosmography’. A series of maps of a coastal region (for example, that of Holland or Friesland) or of river estuaries (the Po, Mississippi, Volga, or lower Yellow River) gives information on the rate of changes in outline and their causes. John III, King of Portugal, ordered his remains to be sought for in a little ruined chapel that was over his tomb, outside Meliapur or Maliapor.
Later geographers used the accounts of Alexander’s journeys extensively to make maps of Asia and to fill in the outline of the inhabited world. Pilgrims from distant lands obviously needed itineraries like that starting at Bordeaux, giving fairly simple instructions.
The survey was carried out, mostly in squares, by professional surveyors with knotted ropes.


Hyde Clarke has more than once pointed out in The Legend of the Atlantis of Plato, Royal Historical Society 1886, etc., that Australia must have been known in the most remote antiquity of the early history of civilization, at a time when the intercourse with America was still maintained. He knew it would be out of date, but that is precisely what he wanted - an ancient map; to perpetuate it, he also had a carpet woven from the drawing. Here however he makes his hero confess that he is wholly out of his bearings, and cannot well say where the sun is to set or to rise (Od.



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