The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy

Commentary
The Geography of Claudius Ptolemy

The most important work of mathematical geography to survive from antiquity is the Geography of Claudius Ptolemy, written in the mid-second century AD. It consisted of instructions on how to draw maps of the known world using various projection methods. For this purpose, Ptolemy included extensive lists of localities with their geographic coordinates and descriptions of their topographic characteristics. The Geography remained largely unknown in the Christian West until 1397, when the Greek text was brought to Florence by the Byzantine scholar Manuel Chrysoloras. A Latin translation of the text was completed c.1406/9 by Jacobus Angelus. The work was popular with fifteenth-century humanists and received several early printed editions (starting in 1477).