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Medieval Geography Development

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2015 at 05:34
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:

The trefoil of the world is the title of the next chapter in my research. Medieval Europeans believed that the world includes three continents: Europe, Asia, and Africa. Each of these continents was attributed to one of the sons of Noah. Their images decorate book illustrations like Jean Mansel's "La fleur des histoires" and maps, such as Hartman Schedel's "Nuremberg Chronicle" and Heinrich Buntig's Clover Leaf Map. The idea that Jesus was crucified for the sake of the humankind was embodied in the Erbstorf Mappa Mundi. 
One question could be if they after all, or more correctly the "learned" or well travelled parts of Europeans knew a relatively large part of this planet for the age, though admittedly the "medieval" period lasted long and so their knowledge may have changed somewhat over time. From even before the "Middle ages" there must have been substantal familiarity with all parts of the Roman Empire, and some knowledge even of the lands to the East to India and Central Asia, that for some centuries were under partial Greek/macedonian influence and even some "colonisation", city Building etcetera. Meditteranean North Africa must have been well known from prehistoric times, though probably the lands further South may have been not so. Then we may ask how much the Russians knew lands to the East before their expansion into Siberia. Some undoubtly knew about the lands in the Northern Atlantic, Iceland, Greenland, since both were for centuries inhabited by people of European(mostly norwegian/Scandinavian/"Celtic") descent, and very likely at least a few must have had some knowledge of what later became known as a part of North America. It is even very possible single individuals from time to time travelled over large parts of the lands mentioned. Plus of course from the later Middle Ages there were those travelling across the European and Asian Continents (or the Eurasian, some would say), the most famous being Marco Polo. At least some believed in the "spherical" Earth. Pilgrims as well as tradesmen and warriors often travelled some distances and Rome was a centre for all of western
/latin christians even from the most remote parts. Royal marriages could be between relatively distant Princes and princesses.
Almost every educated medieval European believed in the spherical earth. The rumour that Columbus or Magellan had to prove it is a scandalous myth. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2015 at 05:37
Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:


Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:


Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

When reading about this topic I have seen ancient philosophers and learned mens opinions stated. But I speculate that those Who initially began to Wonder may have been other peoples, namely ancient seafarers actually making observations, that made them realise that the beliefs of their upbringing had to be revised. Or it could have been people that were both learned and Who travelled widely.

I am sure that speculations don't lead us far away. I try to stick to facts and then offer my explanation in case I have enough evidence. Otherwise, we step into the deep blue and find it difficult to go out. 
Well. We should at least not take for granted that because our primary sources are ancient "intellectuals", then ideas were necessarily theirs from the beginning. Alot of sources from those ages has dissappeared. "Non-intellectuals" may not have written anything but their ides could very well have spread widely anyway (like for Socrates, though he was an "intellectual" that did not write). Thenm also we may ask if the Greeks had much idea of "intellectual property".

This is a lame argument. You know about Socrates from the written source. 
It would surprise me if more than a small fraction of what was written in ancient times, even in the most Lucky cases has been left for us, though probably some important texts may reappear.Then we may add the vast majority did never write anything in the first place. And how much did they care about "intellectual property" far back if at all?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Nov 2015 at 05:42
Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:


Almost every educated medieval European believed in the spherical earth. The rumour that Columbus or Magellan had to prove it is a scandalous myth. 
Well I have a translated icelandic book mentioning the "flat earth disk". I don´t know how well translated/modernised it is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2015 at 02:57
The center of the Christian world lay in Jerusalem. It was the legacy of Judaism. Many Christians dreamed of Jerusalem as the navel of the world and the paradise of delights. Many others traveled to the city of peace or at least heard about someone else's journey. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher was in the center of Christian Jerusalem. Those, who sought a scientific explanation, indicated that a pillar in that church cast no shadow at noon during the summer solstice. 
The critiques of this view, such as Isidore of Seville, figured out that Jerusalem was in the center of the Holy Land or, as the opponents of Felix Fabri, claimed that it was the center of the inhabited world. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15 Nov 2015 at 04:34
Plato was accused of plagiarizing.  Generally, ancient sources cited (in some fashion), their quotations.  Forgeries in general attributed contents to some well known figure.

Delphi was the center of the world for the Greeks, Zeus released two eagles from the edges of the earth
and they crossed at Delphi, the omphalos (navel) of the world was at Delphi, the omphalos of the Peloponnese was located at Phlius (Delphi wasn't the only omphalos).  The center of the world for Islam is Mecca, although Islam kind of appropriated Jerusalem, the former center of the world, through a dream journey of Muhhammad.  Rome and the Vatican are in another way the center of the world, "all roads lead to Rome."
On the other hand, Japan has had three capitals, Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo (Edo).  Instead of allowing the aristocrats to settle in, the Shogun moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (which becomes Tokyo), and required the aristocrats to sponsor expensive mansions, and expensive processions in order sap their strength.  Kind of the opposite of an omphalos.
Anaximander, about 150 years before Socrates' death believed in a disc world (and cosmos).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 06:22
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:


Almost every educated medieval European believed in the spherical earth. The rumour that Columbus or Magellan had to prove it is a scandalous myth. 
Well I have a translated icelandic book mentioning the "flat earth disk". I don´t know how well translated/modernised it is.
Can you give more details: who says this to whom? Is it fiction or non-fiction? This remark seems to me very untypical. Even Greek and Roman thinkers perceived the earch as the sphere. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote mikebis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 06:25
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Plato was accused of plagiarizing.  Generally, ancient sources cited (in some fashion), their quotations.  Forgeries in general attributed contents to some well known figure.

Delphi was the center of the world for the Greeks, Zeus released two eagles from the edges of the earth
and they crossed at Delphi, the omphalos (navel) of the world was at Delphi, the omphalos of the Peloponnese was located at Phlius (Delphi wasn't the only omphalos).  The center of the world for Islam is Mecca, although Islam kind of appropriated Jerusalem, the former center of the world, through a dream journey of Muhhammad.  Rome and the Vatican are in another way the center of the world, "all roads lead to Rome."
On the other hand, Japan has had three capitals, Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo (Edo).  Instead of allowing the aristocrats to settle in, the Shogun moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (which becomes Tokyo), and required the aristocrats to sponsor expensive mansions, and expensive processions in order sap their strength.  Kind of the opposite of an omphalos.
Anaximander, about 150 years before Socrates' death believed in a disc world (and cosmos).
So what? My research deals with the world view of the western Europeans in the Middle Ages. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 09:08
fantasus asked about intellectual property, so the question about ancient views of plagarism, quotation and forgeries is relevant, and it is probably also relevant to some extent, to the medieval world as well.  If for no other reason than it was relevant in antiquity, but probably not as relevant for the medieval world (chronicles probably don't site sources as much?), and then becomes more relevant in modernity again.
One way we learn is by compare and contrast, you talked about Jerusalem being the center, I talked about Delphi, Mecca and Rome being the center.  Not everybody can be right, except in a subjective, "we all are the center of our own world."  So maybe (some) Christians waxed poetic about Jerusalem being the center of the world, so what?  (Some) Crusaders in trying to make a paradise on Earth for Christians, made it a little bit of hell, especially for Jews and Muslims.  I am sure that ISIL is trying to make their territory (terror-tory?) into their own little bit of heaven as well.  In a monotheistic system, that seems to mean killing off the other religionists, like the Jews of Medina, a polytheistic system seems to accommodate others somewhat better. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 16:59
Originally posted by mikebis mikebis wrote:



Can you give more details: who says this to whom? Is it fiction or non-fiction? This remark seems to me very untypical. Even Greek and Roman thinkers perceived the earch as the sphere. 
It is from old norse to "modern" norwegian, sagas of norwegian kongs(Norske Kongesagaer translated by Anne Holtsmark and Didrik arup Seip. Oslo 1959). It is from the start of "Ynglinge Saga" where he states that humans lives on three continents in the World ocean upon the "round earth disk"("den runde jordskiven").
It is a translation from a 13.th Century writer, Snorri (I thik the most famous icelandic writer, at least before recent times). I would put it in the category "non-fiction" or even "history" since it probably was as good a historical Work as existed that time.

Edited by fantasus - 16 Nov 2015 at 17:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 19:58
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We should not forget that though we would find Medieval Europe difficult to travel with the Means available

Wasn't difficult at all. There was plenty of hospitality for those on the road as travel was part and parcel of medieval life, such as trade and pilgramages.... And lets not forget the incessant warring.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Nov 2015 at 21:11
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Quote
   
   <div ="msg">
   We should not forget that though we would find Medieval Europe difficult to travel with the Means available

Wasn't difficult at all. There was plenty of hospitality for those on the road as travel was part and parcel of medieval life, such as trade and pilgramages.... And lets not forget the incessant warring.


Wjhat was meant: For most people living in Europe in the 21.th Century usually travelling by either car, train or plane for longer distances it would appear very slow and demanding physically and even often dangerous. Of course people then had no idea of our ways.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 12:08
Reading about Anaximander lately (Hahn), the disc world (cosmos) makes sense, especially if you look at the planets (in a wide sense, including moon, sun, stars) in their orbits and _then_ look as Earth as an extension of the planets, forming a drum like is in a temple column, or the rings of a tree.  My point is, that the old norse tale of a disc world makes a certain amount of sense, if one starts looking at the Earth as an extension of the planetary orbits which are like rings of a tree.  Of course, the Norse gods have the cosmic tree and so does Pherecydes of Syros.
This is a bit of tangent, only touching obliquely on medieval geography, but I think it is important to give credit to our ancestors for not being so shabby in the smarts department, even though we don't see their views eye-to-eye.  The most important thing to realize about ancients understanding of the cosmos, is that they knew about parallax and didn't see any between the Earth and the stars, so therefore concluded that the Earth was the center.  The Pythagoreans, on the other hand, did not think the Earth was the center, basically because things are too screwed up here. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 Nov 2015 at 15:30
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

Plato was accused of plagiarizing.  Generally, ancient sources cited (in some fashion), their quotations.  Forgeries in general attributed contents to some well known figure.

Delphi was the center of the world for the Greeks, Zeus released two eagles from the edges of the earth
and they crossed at Delphi, the omphalos (navel) of the world was at Delphi, the omphalos of the Peloponnese was located at Phlius (Delphi wasn't the only omphalos).  The center of the world for Islam is Mecca, although Islam kind of appropriated Jerusalem, the former center of the world, through a dream journey of Muhhammad.  Rome and the Vatican are in another way the center of the world, "all roads lead to Rome."
On the other hand, Japan has had three capitals, Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo (Edo).  Instead of allowing the aristocrats to settle in, the Shogun moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (which becomes Tokyo), and required the aristocrats to sponsor expensive mansions, and expensive processions in order sap their strength.  Kind of the opposite of an omphalos.
Anaximander, about 150 years before Socrates' death believed in a disc world (and cosmos).

You know you could give us the english version of the point your are trying to make, just saying Confused 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 09:29
Which words did you not understand? btw omphalos means navel or belly button which is why I said omphalos (navel).  Look, I am just giving variants on a theme, places said to be the center of the world.  If you tested out a new drug, and you tested it only on one person, well that wouldn't be much of a drug test, would it?  One way to understand is examples, (Plato "plagiarizing," ancient use of quotations, forgeries, so forth), another way is compare and contrast, Delphi, Mecca, Rome, Jerusalem, all "centers of the world," I could add the Middle Kingdom, and I am sure there are others.

With Jerusalem you have only one example of a 'center of the world.'  I thought adding others would give more colors for the picture. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 09:34
On the other hand, they can't all be centers of the world, after all, 
I am the center of the world, 
and I am not there.
;)

But seriously, I do think that people can't imagine the world without them, and so in some fashion think of themselves as the center of world.  Intellectually, we may know better, but emotionally, it is often another story.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 10:58
Originally posted by franciscosan franciscosan wrote:

On the other hand, they can't all be centers of the world, after all, 
I am the center of the world, 
and I am not there.
;)

But seriously, I do think that people can't imagine the world without them, and so in some fashion think of themselves as the center of world.  Intellectually, we may know better, but emotionally, it is often another story.

When you reach my age it's pretty easy to imagine the world without me Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote wolfhnd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 11:36
Well I think fransiscosan has pointed out a fundamental epistemological truth.  We cannot know the thing itself, we see only it's effects and those only clearly in relationship to other things.  While I don't have any great love for philosophy sometimes I listen to philosophers.

  

  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caldrail Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 20:43
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Wjhat was meant: For most people living in Europe in the 21.th Century usually travelling by either car, train or plane for longer distances it would appear very slow and demanding physically and even often dangerous. Of course people then had no idea of our ways.

Well this brings up an interesting point. Is modern travel really that convenient? It's neither cheap nor unrestricted.  In fact, the hassles of travelling these days are well known and although piracy and banditry less of a problem, our modern regulations, licensing, mechanical reliability, security, and simply bloody-minded red tape mean that travel of any appreciable distance is never as simple as it seems.

Back in the medival period, assuming you had the right or permission to go on your journey (which most people seem to have arranged without too much problem even with the restrictions of serf-dom), they only needed to set out. Planning was largely impossible for the average traveller so they sought food and shelter as they went, and the infrastructure of the day allowed for that sort of ad-hoc travel. Perhaps that's over simplifying things a bit because I'm sure there were niggling issues they had to contend with (life is never so simple). For instance, under Ine's Law in anglo-saxon Wessex, a traveller off the road had to announce his presence in forests by shouting or blowing horns. If he didn't, he was automatically guilty of nefarious activity. Nonetheless, the middle ages seem spectacularly amenable to long distance travel. After all, when the word went out that Jerusalem was to be freed from the heathen turks, entire villages simply packed their bags and went east. The point to be recognised is that their troubles magnified by an order of magnitude when they passed into Asia Minor. Before that, despite a lot of unwelcome adventures caused by the sizes of their groups and no shortage of anti-semitism, they seem to have coped with mass migration rather easily.
http://www.unrv.com/forum/blog/31-caldrails-blog/
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Nov 2015 at 23:25
Originally posted by caldrail caldrail wrote:

Quote

Wjhat was meant: For most people living in Europe in the 21.th Century
usually travelling by either car, train or plane for longer distances it
would appear very slow and demanding physically and even often
dangerous. Of course people then had no idea of our ways.

Well this brings up an interesting point. Is modern travel really that convenient? It's neither cheap nor unrestricted.  In fact, the hassles of travelling these days are well known and although piracy and banditry less of a problem, our modern regulations, licensing, mechanical reliability, security, and simply bloody-minded red tape mean that travel of any appreciable distance is never as simple as it seems.

Back in the medival period, assuming you had the right or permission to go on your journey (which most people seem to have arranged without too much problem even with the restrictions of serf-dom), they only needed to set out. Planning was largely impossible for the average traveller so they sought food and shelter as they went, and the infrastructure of the day allowed for that sort of ad-hoc travel. Perhaps that's over simplifying things a bit because I'm sure there were niggling issues they had to contend with (life is never so simple). For instance, under Ine's Law in anglo-saxon Wessex, a traveller off the road had to announce his presence in forests by shouting or blowing horns. If he didn't, he was automatically guilty of nefarious activity. Nonetheless, the middle ages seem spectacularly amenable to long distance travel. After all, when the word went out that Jerusalem was to be freed from the heathen turks, entire villages simply packed their bags and went east. The point to be recognised is that their troubles magnified by an order of magnitude when they passed into Asia Minor. Before that, despite a lot of unwelcome adventures caused by the sizes of their groups and no shortage of anti-semitism, they seem to have coped with mass migration rather easily.


There is still time, Money, and sweat for travellers to pay. That said it seems to me travellers before the later decades are not teasily to be compared to modern counterparts, except perhaps in very Little "developed" Places. People has always travelled I think, even long before they could be called "humans" in our sense. On the other hand most people most of the time probably walked over land to get anywhere, though it was different for nomads or people with some income.
They most likely used days for the same distance a car makes in one hour. Not only bandits but also wild animals and unfamiliar diseases and accidents were problems, that could even mean death. And in the Waters of Europe there are countless of wrecks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2015 at 16:32
And what about all the "kind ladies" on the way? ;)

(you might see if you can find CS Lewis' comments on the word "kind," Lewis was a Medieval scholar).
no, I can't find that book right now, plus, it is at least a few pages long.)

The dangers were not all from bandits, see the ladies in the castle in "the Holy Grail"  There is a bit of truth, in this wondrous comedy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote franciscosan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Nov 2015 at 16:34
okay, this post is just to add a point to my score of 666, which I normally would not have noticed.  
I am not superstitious, I am not superstitious, I am not superstitious...  :P


Edited by franciscosan - 19 Nov 2015 at 16:35
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