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MAPPING THE SOUTHERN EDGES OF THE OIKUMENE: CARTOGRAPHIC REPRESENTATIONS OF ANCIENT ETHIOPIA AND EAST AFRICA [Abstract ID: 0518-06]
My talk focuses on the depiction of East Africa and Ethiopia on the Tabula Peutingeriana. It will be seen that the representation of these regions in the Horn of Africa does not correspond to the cartographic design onother medieval maps made around the same time, for example the Hereford and Ebstorf maps showing fabulous worlds with collections of monstrous creatures at the southern fringe of the oikoumene. The starting hypothsis is that the Tabula Peutingeriana respecting the Greek and Latin geographic knowledge offers information from different epochs being tied together; whereas the Hellenistic basic map remained unchanged in the process of copying and new information (e.g. toponyms, streets) was selectively added to the maplabelling process up until the 5th century, without the old ones being removed at the same time. Placing the Tabula Peutingeriana in a broader cartographic context I would like to raise the question as to whether and to what degree this map is based on antique or medieval pagan, Christian or perhaps even Islamic cosmology and tradition.