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What Columbus Didn’t Know

Peter Green: The history of cartography, 21 February 2002

The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek, the Man who Discovered Britain 
by Barry Cunliffe.
Allen Lane, 182 pp., £12.99, October 2001, 0 7139 9509 2
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Ptolemy’s Geography: An Annotated Translation of the Theoretical Chapters 
edited by J. Lennart Berggren and Alexander Jones.
Princeton, 232 pp., £17.95, January 2002, 0 691 09259 1
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Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World: Atlas and Map-By-Map Directory 
by Richard J.A. Talbert.
Princeton, three volumes, £300, September 2000, 9780691031699
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... Ptolemy’s first projection, preserved in a famous MS of about 1300, and reproduced as one of Berggren and Jones’s splendid full-colour plates. The basic outline of the Mediterranean is now recognisable; so is the Arabian peninsula. Eastward we see a foreshortened India, and a hugely exaggerated Taprobane (Sri Lanka). The further from Alexandria, the ...

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