worldmap of Ptolemy XVth century
Claudius Ptolemy: The Geography (d165) in Alexandria
Taken from: de RES HISTORIAE ANTIQUA A Website of 3 Parts by Lou. Francis
Book I Section 23
Taken from: Youssouf Kamal: Monumenta Cartographica Africae et Aegypti
The meridians and parallels traced in a graphic representation. One talks about at the south of the equator of another parallel with a difference of half an hour, which passes by cape Rapta and by Cattigara, at a distance from the equator like the distance to the places situated at the other side of the equator and who are 8.5 deg. Distance of it..
Correcting the Earth's total latitude, as given by Marinus, from proper observation of distance.
2. Then the region of the Ethiopians, called Agisymba and the Prasum promontory, terminating the most southerly land known, as exhibiting the same parallel and this he places below the winter tropical zone. So that all the latitudes of the known world add up to the distance of the space contained between eighty-seven degrees, forty-three thousand, five hundred stadia.
6. Thereafter, he speaks in addition, of certain observed phenomena all of which he does not seem wholly certain. For he says, "and they who sail from India to Limyrica as, he says, did Samian Diodorus in the third (commentary), hold that Taurus is in the middle of the heavens when the Pleiades are in the middle of the yardarm. To Azania from Arabia they sail directly south and towards the star Canopus, which is further south and is there called Hippos. For the stars observed there have no name from us and the Dog Star rises before Procyon and Orion before the summer solstice."
Correction of observations by computing journeys by land
1. On counting and taking account of the days on a journey by land from Leptis Magna to the country of Agisymba, he infers this last to be twenty-four thousand six hundred and eighty stadia south of the equator. By the number of days sailing at sea he infers that from Ptolemais in the Trogloditics to the promontory of Prasum is twenty-seven thousand eight hundred stadia south of the equator. With the result that the promontory of Prasum and the country of Agisymba, belonging to Ethiopia, (thus he says himself), is not marking out the southern limit to Ethiopia but against the cool zone extending opposite the habitable world.
Correction of observations by computing journeys by sea.
1. Then, in relation to a voyage between Aromata and Rhapta, a certain Diogenes, he says, returning from the second voyage to India, happened around Aramata, to be driven off course away from the north, and having the Trogloditics on his right arrived after twenty-five days at the swamp from whence the Nile flows, being a little south of the promontory of Rhapta. A certain Theophilus on a voyage to Azania from Rhapta was driven back from the south and on the twentieth day came to Aromata.
2. In neither of these is the actual days of sailing given, but that Theophilus took twenty days and Diogenes twenty five days by sailing around the Trogloditics, only the days on the voyage, not the actual days sailing, or to take account of irregular and alternating winds over so great a span of time - certainly not whether it happened that the voyage was altogether towards the north or towards the south.
3. Just that Diogenes was driven by the north wind while Theophilus was made to give way to the south wind. The remainder of the voyage is understood to have proceeded smoothly, neither of the two has he related in detail. It is incredible that for so many days the wind should have carried so.
4. The voyage of Diogenes from Aramata to the swamps, south of which is the promontory of Rhapta, required twenty-five days and Theophilus from Rhapta to Aramata, a greater distance, took twenty. Theophilus lays down that a day and a night, sailing steadily, amasses about one thousand stadia, (and Marinus follows this reasoning). Nevertheless, Diogenes says that the voyage from Rhapta to Prasum, taking many days and, as calculated, is only five thousand stadia. At the equator the winds being more intractable, because of the sun, change easily and are more treacherous.
Ethiopia should not have been placed more southerly that the parallel opposite Meros.
1. Apropos the above, it is agreed that the people described are Ethiopians, as confirmed by travellers, and the region of Agisymba and the promontory of Prasum and those are on the same parallel opposite to that of Meroe, giving a reading from the equator of sixteen degree and twenty-five minutes or about eight thousand two hundred stadia. By the same calculation the whole of the habitable earth extends to seventy-nine degrees and twenty-five minutes, almost eighty degrees, or about forty thousand stadia.
Concerning the voyage from the Golden Cheronese to Cattigara
3. For since a the number of 'some days' will be indeterminate, and might have accomplished the circuit of the whole earth, what would have caused Alexander the Great to say 'some', if meaning the opposite, 'many'? Indeed he said that Dioscourus described 'many days' sailing from Rhapta to Prasum. Most probably for 'some', the opposite, 'a few', would thus be taken for granted, for so accustomed are we to this manner of speech.
4. But lest we might appear to be laying down a number of hypothetical barriers to suit ourselves, we will undertake to compute the voyage from the Golden Cheronese to Cattigara, having agreed twenty days to Zaba and some for the rest to Cattigara, with that from Aromata to the promontory of Prasum, and having agreed the same twenty days as to Rhapta, according to Theophilus, and many more to Prasum, according to Dioscorus. And in order to do as Marinus we will determine 'some days' and 'many days' as being the same thing.
5. When therefore we ourselves have brought to light reasonable observations placing Prasum upon the parallel south of the equator at sixteen degrees and fifteen minutes. (It is separated from the equator by the parallel through Aramata, towards the north, of four and a quarter degrees, with the result that the assembled distance from Aramata to Prasum is twenty degrees and forty minutes.) It would be fairly reasonable to assign the same to the distance from Golden Cheronese to Zaba, and from there to Cattigara.
Concerning disagreement with some of the claims of Marinus.
10. Indeed he says the river Nile will be described in accordance with the truth, so that it might be seen for the first time from its equatorial beginning to Meroe in the north, similarly that from Aromata to the lakes, out of which the Nile flows, it allows sailing to be accomplished, Aromata being very much to the east of the Nile.
11. For Ptolemais of Theron is towards the east of Meroe and of the Nile, a journey of ten to twelve days, and from the bay of Adulikos between the Okelin Peninsula and Diren, Ptolemais is three thousand five hundred stadia and this is towards the east and from this strait to the promontory of Great Aromata is a further five thousand stadia.
Concerning matters he himself discourses upon relating to those having been enquired into today.
6. Indeed concerning the distance from Arabia Felix to Aromata, merchants are voyaging across, to Azania and to Rhapta, called amongst themselves 'Barbary', we understand the voyage not precisely to be towards the south but to the south and west, from Rhapta to Prasum voyaging across is towards the south and east. And also the lakes, in which the Nile rises, are not to be found by the sea but further inland.
7. In order to reach the promontory of Rhapta from the shore line of Aromata and Apocopa, one of the two, according to Marinus, is not to be counted as so many stadia in a day and night voyage, because of quickly changing equatorial winds, but on the average four or five hundred stadia.
8.And, at first, a continuous bay from Aromata in which, after one days journey from Aromata, the town Panone, and the trading place Opanone, separated from the town by one days journey.
9. To continue from this trading place is a bay heralding the approach of Azania, at the beginning of this bay the peak of Zingis is exposed and the mountain of Phalangis with its eight heads, this part of the bay is named Apocopa and the sailing distance is two nights and days.
10. In three days sailing we are brought alongside a little beach and in five days sailing next to a large beach. Of the four distances these last two have day and night sailing times.
11. A further two days and nights sailing needs to be undertaken across this bay to a trading place named Essins; after one more day and nights sailing the harbour of Serapionis.
12. From there begins the bay bearing to Rhapta, three days and nights distant; at the entrance there happens to be a trading place named Nicum. Beside the peak of Rhapta there is the Rhapta river and a metropolis named the same nor far from the sea. From Rhapta to the promontory of Prasum the bay being large, is not deep, and the barbarians who dwell there are cannibals.
Location of Aethiopia below Egypt
(from the Fourth Map of Libya)
Aethiopia, which is below Egypt, is terminated, as we have indicated, on the north by Libya and Egypt; on the west by a part of Interior Libya along the meridian extending from Darnis to the southern terminus of Libya, which is located in 51deg15min and 3deg10min S
on the south by the line leading from this terminus along the remaining part of the Aethiopian interior to: the Rhaptum promontory, which is located in 73deg50min and 8deg25min S
It is terminated on the east by a part of the Bay of Arabia and the Red Sea, and the Barbarian Sea to the Rhaptum promontory, the description of which is the following:
In the Barbarian Bay,
Pano village: 82deg 00min and 5deg 00min
Opone market place: 81deg 00min and 4deg15min
Zingis promontory: 81deg 00min and 3deg 30min
Phalangis mountains: 80deg 00min and 3deg 30min
Apocopa: 70deg 00min and 3deg 00min
Austri Cornu promontory: 79deg 00min and 1deg 00min
a small coast: 78deg 00min and 1deg 00min S
a large coast: 76deg 00min and 2deg 00min S
Essina: 73deg 30min and 3deg 30min S
Sarapionis station and emporium: 74deg 00min and 3deg00min S
Tonice market place: 73deg 00min and 4deg 15min S
mouth of the Rhaptus river: 72deg 30min and 7deg 00min S
Rhapta, metropolis of Barbaria, a short distance from the sea: 71deg 00min and 7deg 00min S
Rhaptum promontory: 73deg 50min and 8deg 25min S
The junction of the river Nile and the river Astapus: 61deg 00min and 12deg 00min
Then the junction of the river Astaboras and the Astapus: 62deg 30min and 11deg 30min
Where the Nile river becomes one thru the union of rivers which flow from two lakes: 60deg 00min and 2deg 00min
Western lake: 57deg 00min and 6deg 00min S
Eastern lake: 65deg 00min and 7deg 00min
The land which is near the Arabian Bay and the Avalites gulf, along the sea is called Troglodytica as far as the Elephas mountains, in which region are the Adulitae, and the Avalitae near a bay of this name, and the Mosyli above the promontory with a market place of this name. The entire seacoast to the Rhaptum promontory is called Azania; the interior region is called Barbaria, in which there are many elephants
Location of Interior Aethiopia
(from the Fourth Map of Libya)
Aethiopia, which is below this land and all of Libya, is terminated toward the north by the indicated southern boundary lines of the land which we have treated, which extends from the Great Bay of the Outer Sea to Rhaptum promontory as we have said, and is located in: 73deg 50min and 8deg 25min S then by a part of the Western Ocean which is near the Great Bay; by the unknown land toward the west and the south; toward the east by the Barbarian Bay, which near the shallow sea is called Breve, from the Rhaptum promontory even to the Prasum promontory and the unknown land.
Prasum promontory moreover is located in: 80deg 00min and 12deg 30min S
Around this bay the Aethiopian Anthropophagi dwell, and from these toward the west are the Mountains of the Moon, from which the lakes of the Nile receive snow water; they are located at : (the extreme limits of the Mountains of the Moon.are) 57deg 00min and 12deg 30min S stretching up to: 67deg 00min and 12deg 30min S .............