SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ptolemy's world map. This copy is based on the first printed edition of 1472. The original map was constructed by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy more than thirteen centuries earlier, around 150 AD. Ptolemy's original instructions in his book Geography. The map shows parts of the three continents (Europe, Asia and Africa) that surround the Mediterranean Sea (blue, upper left). Earlier medieval maps had relied on an inaccurate and mythological geography. The heads surrounding the map represent the winds of the world.
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