H E Christian Topography of Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, or the Indian Navigator, has been preserved in two copies: one a parchment MS. of the tenth. (COSMAS THE INDIAN VOYAGER). A Greek traveller and geographer of the first half of the sixth century, b. at Alexandria, Egypt. Cosmas probably received. 1. TITLE: World Pictures of Cosmas. DATE: A.D.. AUTHOR: Cosmas Indicopleustes of Alexandria. DESCRIPTION: Much of the tone of medieval European.

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Now, as indickpleustes table was twice as long as it was broad, and was placed lengthwise from east to west, and breadthwise from north to south, from this we learn that the earth is a rectangular plane which extends in length from east to west, and in breadth from north to south, and is twice as long as it is broad.

Cosmas Indicopleustes

indicopkeustes It was not, however, published separately, but was included in the second volume of the splendid work Nova Collectio Patrum et Scriptorum Graecorum, edited by Father Montfaucon, a Benedictine monk, celebrated for his profound knowledge of Patristic literature.

Cosmas Indicopleustes, an Alexandrian geographer writing in the 6th century, knew that Tzinitza China could be reached by sailing eastward, but he added: Retrieved 3 November He condemns it as being below mediocrity in style, and faulty in its syntax; and at the same time calls in question the author’s veracity, saying that he makes up stories so incredible that he may fairly be regarded as a writer of fables rather than of facts.

And such it has always been recognisedby some with rapture, by others with consternation, by most with derision. My email address is webmaster at newadvent.

The upper side of the northern wall, at the summit of heaven, curves round and over, till it unites with the upper side of the southern wall, and thus forms, in the shape of an oblong vault, the canopy of heaven, which Cosmas likens to the vaulted roof incicopleustes a bathroom. To the Topography, when first published, Cosmas prefixed two prologues, ineicopleustes the first of which he exhorts his readers to bestow upon his works a diligent and careful perusal; and in the second, which contained the dedication to Pamphilus and apologies for his own shortcomings as a writer, he points out the nature of the contents of each of the five books of which the work then consisted.

Internet URLs are the best. At least it is a monument of infinite, because quite unconscious, humour.

When the ship which carried Cosmas was approaching this dread region of currents and fogs, a storm gathered overhead, and flocks of albatrosses, like birds of ill omen, hovered on the wing high above the mast. It seeks to answer the questions of why things are as they are, where they are. To quote Yule once more: This article uses text taken from the Preface to the Online English translation inficopleustes the Christian Topographywhich is in the public domain.


The subtleties of Cosmas were left to the Greeks, for the most part; the western geographers who pursued his line of thought were usually content to stop short at the merely negative dogmas of the Latin Fathers; and no great support was given to the constructive tabernacle system of the Indian merchant.

In a subsequent passage dealing with the same topic, he says: Cosmas viewed the Tabernacle of Moses as a model of the universe, the Earth being a rectangular plane surmounted by the sky, above which was heaven. Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources. Above the firmament springs a vault which separates the heaven of the blessed indicopldustes the world beneath.

How, he was asked, could the sun, which was many times larger than indicopleusted earth, be hidden behind the mountain in the north, however great its altitude?

It was one of the places which Cosmas, in pursuit of his calling, visited, 7 and from one or two of his statements we may infer that he was well received at Court, and was permitted by the King, who professed the Christian faith and indicopleudtes speak Greek, to travel freely through his dominions. It contains knowledge of both a theological and a natural philosophical or scientific character, and describes, from the perspective of Christian dogma, human understanding of the surrounding world: The “Christian Topography” has been preserved in two manuscript copies, one in the Laurentian Library at Florenceand the other in the Vatican.

Cosmas Indicopleustes – Wikipedia

In the absence of evidence, this must remain an open question. This article was transcribed for New Advent by Ted Rego. From the rise of Islam the geographical knowledge of Christendom is on a par with its practical contraction and apparent decline. It was digitized in the early s as part of the Meeting of Frontiers project of the Library of Congress and partner institutions in the Russian Federation, the United States, and Germany.

So he explains again and again that the division of the Tabernacle into two places, by means of the veil, typified the division of the universe into two worldsan upper and a lower, by means of the firmament. He traversed the Mediterranean, the Red Seaand the Persian Gulf, and gathered information about lands lying far to the East; but it is not certain that he actually visited India. It is, however, in relating his travelling experiences that Cosmas is found at his best.


Your contribution may be further edited by our staff, and its publication is subject to our final approval. While an inmate of the monastery he wrote the “Topography” above mentioned, a work which gives him a position of importance among the geographers of the early Middle Ages. The Testimony of the Rocks. The book was written in the sixth century by the monk Cosmas, whose sobriquet, Indicopleustes, points to an earlier career as a merchant and traveler.

The theory, again, by which Cosmas accounts for the vicissitudes of day and night is no less preposterous than his idea of the figure of the world.

The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes

According to Cosmas the world is a rectangular structure in two sections, their length much greater than their breadth, and corresponding in form and proportions to the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. Around Cosmas wrote the once-copiously illustrated Christian Topographya work partly based on his personal experiences as a merchant on the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in the early 6th century. Humanities, those branches of knowledge that concern themselves with human beings and their culture or with analytic and critical methods of inquiry derived from an appreciation of human values and of the unique ability of the human spirit to express itself.

The Pagan theory that the earth is spherical and placed in the centre of the universe, with the heavenly bodies revolving round it, accounted satisfactorily for the disappearance of the sun during the night; but where could Cosmas, in whose philosophy there was neither a spherical earth nor coxmas under-world, find a place for the great orb of light when no longer visible?

The capital of Ethiopia at that time was Axum, an important centre of commerce, and also of religion and learning. Help us improve indicpoleustes article!

Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography () Introduction.

The arguments with which Cosmas seeks to demolish this theory and to illustrate his own are absurd in the extreme; and were it not for the geographical, historical, and other kinds of notices which are here and there incidentally introduced into its pages, his work would chiefly serve for amusement.

It is one of the earliest important essays in scientific or strictly theoretic geography, within the Christian aera, written by a Christian thinker” p. Author Cosmas Indicopleustes, active 6th century. There was a problem with your submission.