Från myt till Ptolemaios
Geografin under antiken
This paper deals with the development of scientific geography during Antiquity from its mythical background before the seventh century BC to Claudius Ptolemy during the second century AD. The main focus is on questions concerning the shape of the earth, its place in the universe, size and mapping of the earth. Already before 400 BC, the idea of the earth as a globe was firmly estabished. During classical time, Aristotle used empirical and rational arguments to prove that the earth was a sphere and that it was situated motionless in the center of the universe. In the third century BC, the first reasonably correct measurements of the circumference of the earth was carried out by Eratosthenes. Later, a lower, incorrect measurement of the circumference of the earth was made by Poseidonius. His measurement was for some reason accepted by later geographers.The first map of the earth that we know of is on a clay tablet from Mesopotamia from c. 600 BC. The first useful maps were constructed during the Roman era.