Thursday, December 06, 2007

Strange Maps: The ancient geography of Germany



I've mentioned the unique and delightful blog Strange Maps here before; it continues to be excellent. A few days ago it ran this 19th-century reconstruction of the 1st century map of Germania (roughly modern Germany) created by the 1st century Graeco-Egyptian geographer and astronomer. Ptolemy is one of the most important scientists who ever lived. A great many of his analyses and ideas were wrong -- look up "epicycles" -- but he was a careful scholar and people were able to build better because of the foundations he laid down.

Think of this post as an homage to all who make useful mistakes.

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