Home > Education, International, Museums/Galleries > The World as They New It

The World as They New It

The Greeks and Romans laid the foundations of modern mapmaking, as a new exhibit in New York deftly shows.

By John Noble Wilford
The New York Times | Science Times | Printed October 1, 2013

 New York University/Institute for the Study of the Ancient World


If you have been fascinated by maps and studied them like history you will like this exhibit. I remember returning from Asia one day many years ago and  stopping in London to visit Jonathan Potter’s  shop and falling in love with Southeast Asia all over again after seeing his maps.  While I did some research I came across this website  by the University of Texas Perry – Castaneda Library Map Collection right here  in Austin where I live,  listing  dealers  worldwide for new and antique maps. 


Long before people could look upon Earth from afar, completing a full orbit every 90 minutes, the Greeks and the Romans of antiquity had to struggle to understand their world’s size and shape. Their approaches differed: the philosophical Greeks, it has been said, measured the world by the stars; the practical, road-building Romans by milestones.

Strabo’s words will greet visitors to a new exhibition, “Measuring and Mapping Space: Geographic Knowledge in Greco-Roman Antiquity,” is showing now at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at 15 East 84th Street in Manhattan. The show runs through Jan. 5.

Roger S. Bagnall, director of the institute, an affiliate of New York University, said the exhibition would not only cross ancient borders and cultures but also modern disciplines. “Our exhibitions and digital teams,” he said, “present a 21st-century approach to the ancient mentality concerning geographic space and how it is represented.”

The show brings together more than 40 objects that provide an overview of Greco-Roman geographical thinking — art and pottery, as well as maps based on classical texts. (Hardly any original maps survive; the ones in the exhibition were created in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance from Greek and Roman descriptions.)


Read the full article in The New York Times.


Elisabeth and  Natalie

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: