The Bantu expansion is a major series of migrations of the original proto-Bantu language speaking group, who spread from an original nucleus around West Africa-Central Africa across much of sub-Saharan Africa. In the process, the Proto-Bantu-speaking settlers displaced or absorbed pre-existing hunter-gatherer and pastoralist groups that they encountered; the primary evidence for this expansion is linguistic - a great many of the languages spoken across Sub-Equatorial Africa are remarkably similar to each other, suggesting the common cultural origin of their original speakers. The linguistic core of the Bantu languages, which comprise a branch of the Niger–Congo family, was located in the adjoining regions of Cameroon and Nigeria. However, attempts to trace the exact route of the expansion, to correlate it with archaeological evidence and genetic evidence, have not been conclusive; the expansion is believed to have taken place in at least two waves, between about 3,000 and 2,000 years ago. Linguistic analysis suggests that the expansion proceeded in two directions: the first went across the Congo forest region, the second - and others - went south along the African coast into Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Angola, or inland along the many south-to-north flowing rivers of the Congo River system.
The expansion reached South Africa as early as 300 AD. Archaeologists believed that they could find archaeological similarities in the ancient cultures of the region that the Bantu-speakers were held to have traversed, they believed that the expansion was caused by the development of agriculture, the making of ceramics, the use of iron, which permitted new ecological zones to be exploited. In 1966 Roland Oliver published an article presenting these correlations as a reasonable hypothesis; the hypothesized Bantu expansion pushed out or assimilated the hunter-forager proto-Khoisan, who had inhabited Southern Africa. In Eastern and Southern Africa, Bantu speakers may have adopted livestock husbandry from other unrelated Cushitic- and Nilotic-speaking peoples they encountered. Herding practices reached the far south several centuries. Archaeological, linguistic and environmental evidence all support the conclusion that the Bantu expansion was a significant human migration; the Niger–Congo family comprises a huge group of languages spread throughout Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Benue–Congo branch includes the Bantu languages, which are found throughout Central and Eastern Africa. A characteristic feature of most Niger–Congo languages, including the Bantu languages, is their use of tone, they lack case inflection, but grammatical gender is characteristic, with some languages having two dozen genders. The root of the verb tends to remain unchanged, with either particles or auxiliary verbs expressing tenses and moods. For example, in a number of languages the infinitival is the auxiliary designating the future. Before the expansion of Bantu-speaking farmers, Central and Southeast Africa were populated by Pygmy foragers, Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherers, Nilo-Saharan-speaking herders, Cushitic-speaking pastoralists, it is thought that Central African Pygmies and Bantus branched out from a common ancestral population c. 70,000 years ago. Many Batwa groups speak Bantu languages. Much of this vocabulary is botanical, deals with honey collecting, or is otherwise specialised for the forest and is shared between western Batwa groups.
It has been proposed. Before the Bantu expansion, Khoisan-speaking peoples inhabited Southern Africa, their descendants have mixed with other peoples and adopted other languages. A few still live by foraging supplemented by working for neighbouring farmers in the arid regions around the Kalahari desert, while a larger number of Nama continue their traditional subsistence by raising livestock in Namibia and adjacent South Africa. Prior to the arrival of Bantus in Southeast Africa, Cushitic-speaking peoples had migrated into the region from the Ethiopian Highlands and other more northerly areas; the first waves consisted of Southern Cushitic speakers, who settled around Lake Turkana and parts of Tanzania beginning around 5,000 years ago. Many centuries around 1,000 AD, some Eastern Cushitic speakers settled in northern and coastal Kenya. In addition, Khoisan-speaking hunter-gatherers inhabited Southeast Africa before the Bantu expansion. Nilo-Saharan-speaking herder populations comprised a third group of the area's pre-Bantu expansion inhabitants.
It seems that the expansion of the Bantu-speaking people from their core region in West Africa began around 1000 BC. Although early models posited that the early speakers were both iron-using and agricultural, archaeology has shown that they did not use iron until as late as 400 BC, though they were agricultural; the western branch, not linguistically distinct, according to Christopher Ehret, followed the coast and the major rivers of the Congo system southward, reaching central Angola by around 500 BC. It is clear that there were human populations in the region at the time of the expansion, pygmies are their closest living relatives. However, mtDNA genetic research from Cabinda suggests that only haplogroups that originated in West Africa are found
Africa is the world's second largest and second most-populous continent, being behind Asia in both categories. At about 30.3 million km2 including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of its land area. With 1.2 billion people as of 2016, it accounts for about 16% of the world's human population. The continent is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, the Isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea to the northeast, the Indian Ocean to the southeast and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; the continent includes various archipelagos. It contains 54 recognised sovereign states, nine territories and two de facto independent states with limited or no recognition; the majority of the continent and its countries are in the Northern Hemisphere, with a substantial portion and number of countries in the Southern Hemisphere. Africa's average population is the youngest amongst all the continents. Algeria is Africa's largest country by area, Nigeria is its largest by population. Africa central Eastern Africa, is accepted as the place of origin of humans and the Hominidae clade, as evidenced by the discovery of the earliest hominids and their ancestors as well as ones that have been dated to around 7 million years ago, including Sahelanthropus tchadensis, Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis, Homo erectus, H. habilis and H. ergaster—the earliest Homo sapiens, found in Ethiopia, date to circa 200,000 years ago.
Africa encompasses numerous climate areas. Africa hosts a large diversity of ethnicities and languages. In the late 19th century, European countries colonised all of Africa. African nations cooperate through the establishment of the African Union, headquartered in Addis Ababa. Afri was a Latin name used to refer to the inhabitants of then-known northern Africa to the west of the Nile river, in its widest sense referred to all lands south of the Mediterranean; this name seems to have referred to a native Libyan tribe, an ancestor of modern Berbers. The name had been connected with the Phoenician word ʿafar meaning "dust", but a 1981 hypothesis has asserted that it stems from the Berber word ifri meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers; the same word may be found in the name of the Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania, a Berber tribe from Yafran in northwestern Libya. Under Roman rule, Carthage became the capital of the province it named Africa Proconsularis, following its defeat of the Carthaginians in the Third Punic War in 146 BC, which included the coastal part of modern Libya.
The Latin suffix -ica can sometimes be used to denote a land. The Muslim region of Ifriqiya, following its conquest of the Byzantine Empire's Exarchatus Africae preserved a form of the name. According to the Romans, Africa lay to the west of Egypt, while "Asia" was used to refer to Anatolia and lands to the east. A definite line was drawn between the two continents by the geographer Ptolemy, indicating Alexandria along the Prime Meridian and making the isthmus of Suez and the Red Sea the boundary between Asia and Africa; as Europeans came to understand the real extent of the continent, the idea of "Africa" expanded with their knowledge. Other etymological hypotheses have been postulated for the ancient name "Africa": The 1st-century Jewish historian Flavius Josephus asserted that it was named for Epher, grandson of Abraham according to Gen. 25:4, whose descendants, he claimed, had invaded Libya. Isidore of Seville in his 7th-century Etymologiae XIV.5.2. Suggests "Africa comes from the Latin aprica, meaning "sunny".
Massey, in 1881, stated that Africa is derived from the Egyptian af-rui-ka, meaning "to turn toward the opening of the Ka." The Ka is the energetic double of every person and the "opening of the Ka" refers to a womb or birthplace. Africa would be, for the Egyptians, "the birthplace." Michèle Fruyt in 1976 proposed linking the Latin word with africus "south wind", which would be of Umbrian origin and mean "rainy wind". Robert R. Stieglitz of Rutgers University in 1984 proposed: "The name Africa, derived from the Latin *Aphir-ic-a, is cognate to Hebrew Ophir." Ibn Khallikan and some other historians claim that the name of Africa came from a Himyarite king called Afrikin ibn Kais ibn Saifi called "Afrikus son of Abrahah" who subdued Ifriqiya. Africa is considered by most paleoanthropologists to be the oldest inhabited territory on Earth, with the human species originating from the continent. During the mid-20th century, anthropologists discovered many fossils and evidence of human occupation as early as 7 million years ago.
Fossil remains of several species of early apelike humans thought to have evolved into modern man, such as Australopithecus afarensis (radiometrically dated to 3.9–3.0 million years BP, Paranthropus boisei and Homo ergaster have been discovered. After the evolution of Homo sapiens sapiens 150,000 to 100,000 years BP in Africa, the continent was populated by groups of hunter-gatherers; these first modern humans left Africa and populated the rest of the globe during the Out of Africa II migration dated to 50,000 years BP, exiting the continent eith
The Geography known by its Latin names as the Geographia and the Cosmographia, is a gazetteer, an atlas, a treatise on cartography, compiling the geographical knowledge of the 2nd-century Roman Empire. Written by Claudius Ptolemy in Greek at Alexandria around AD 150, the work was a revision of a now-lost atlas by Marinus of Tyre using additional Roman and Persian gazetteers and new principles, its translation into Arabic in the 9th century and Latin in 1406 was influential on the geographical knowledge and cartographic traditions of the medieval Caliphate and Renaissance Europe. Versions of Ptolemy's work in antiquity were proper atlases with attached maps, although some scholars believe that the references to maps in the text were additions. No Greek manuscript of the Geography survives from earlier than the 13th century. A letter written by the Byzantine monk Maximus Planudes records that he searched for one for Chora Monastery in the summer of 1295. In Europe, maps were sometimes redrawn using the coordinates provided by the text, as Planudes was forced to do.
Scribes and publishers could copy these new maps, as Athanasius did for the emperor Andronicus II Palaeologus. The three earliest surviving texts with maps are those from Constantinople based on Planudes's work; the first Latin translation of these texts was made in 1406 or 1407 by Jacobus Angelus in Florence, under the name Geographia Claudii Ptolemaei. It is not thought that his edition had maps, although Manuel Chrysoloras had given Palla Strozzi a Greek copy of Planudes's maps in Florence in 1397; the Geography consists of three sections, divided among 8 books. Book I is a treatise on cartography, describing the methods used to assemble and arrange Ptolemy's data. From Book II through the beginning of Book VII, a gazetteer provides longitude and latitude values for the world known to the ancient Romans; the rest of Book VII provides details on three projections to be used for the construction of a map of the world, varying in complexity and fidelity. Book VIII constitutes an atlas of regional maps.
The maps include a recapitulation of some of the values given earlier in the work, which were intended to be used as captions to clarify the map's contents and maintain their accuracy during copying. Maps based on scientific principles had been made in Europe since the time of Eratosthenes in the 3rd century BC. Ptolemy improved the treatment of map projections, he provided instructions on. The gazetteer section of Ptolemy's work provided latitude and longitude coordinates for all the places and geographical features in the work. Latitude was expressed in degrees of arc from the equator, the same system, used now, though Ptolemy used fractions of a degree rather than minutes of arc, his Prime Meridian ran through the Fortunate Isles, the westernmost land recorded, at around the position of El Hierro in the Canary Islands. The maps spanned 180 degrees of longitude from the Fortunate Isles in the Atlantic to China. Ptolemy was aware. Ptolemy's work included a single large and less detailed world map and separate and more detailed regional maps.
The first Greek manuscripts compiled after Maximus Planudes's rediscovery of the text had as many as 64 regional maps. The standard set in Western Europe came to be 26: 10 European maps, 4 African maps, 12 Asian maps; as early as the 1420s, these canonical maps were complemented by extra-Ptolemaic regional maps depicting, e.g. Scandinavia; the original treatise by Marinus of Tyre that formed the basis of Ptolemy's Geography has been lost. A world map based on Ptolemy was displayed in Augustodunum in late Roman times. Pappus, writing at Alexandria in the 4th century, produced a commentary on Ptolemy's Geography and used it as the basis of his Chorography of the Ecumene. Imperial writers and mathematicians, seem to have restricted themselves to commenting on Ptolemy's text, rather than improving upon it. Byzantine scholars continued these geographical traditions throughout the Medieval period. Whereas previous Greco-Roman geographers such as Strabo and Pliny the Elder demonstrated a reluctance to rely on the contemporary accounts of sailors and merchants who plied distant areas of the Indian Ocean and Ptolemy betray a much greater receptiveness to incorporating information received from them.
For instance, Grant Parker argues that it would be implausible for them to have constructed the Bay of Bengal as as they did without the accounts of sailors. When it comes to the account of the Golden Chersonese and the Magnus Sinus and Ptolemy relied on the testimony of a Greek sailor named Alexandros, who claimed to have visited a far eastern site called "Cattigara". Muslim cartographers were using Geography by the 9th century. At that time, in the court of the caliph al-Maʾmūm, al-Khwārazmī compiled his Book of the Depiction of the Earth which mimicked the Geography in providing the coordinates for 545 cities and regional maps of the Nile, the Island of the Jewel, the Sea of Darkness, the Sea of Azov. A 1037 copy of these are the
Adulis or Aduli is an archeological site in the Northern Red Sea of Eritrea, situated about 30 miles south of Massawa in the Gulf of Zula. It was the port considered part of the Kingdom of Aksum, located on the coast of the Red Sea; however recent excavation uncovers artifacts. These civilization is now known as Adulitarian. Adulis Bay is named after the site, it is thought that the modern town of Zula may be the Adulis of the Aksumite epoch, as Zula may reflect the local name for the Ancient Greek Adulis. Pliny the Elder is the earliest writer, he misunderstood the name of the place, thinking the toponym meant that it had been founded by escaped Egyptian slaves. Pliny further stated that it was the'principal mart for the Troglodytae and the people of Aethiopia'. Adulis is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, a guide of the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean; the latter guide describes the settlement as an emporium for the ivory, hides and other exports of the interior. It may have been known as Berenice Panchrysos of the Ptolemies.
Roman merchants used the port in the second and third century AD. Cosmas Indicopleustes records two inscriptions he found here in the 6th century: the first records how Ptolemy Euergetes used war elephants captured in the region to gain victories in his wars abroad. A fourth century work traditionally ascribed to the writer Palladius of Galatia, relates the journey of an anonymous Egyptian lawyer to India in order to investigate Brahmin philosophy, he was accompanied part of the way by Moses, the Bishop of Adulis. Control of Adulis allowed Axum to be the major power on the Red Sea; this port was the principal staging area for Kaleb's invasion of the Himyarite kingdom of Dhu Nuwas around 520. While the scholar Yuri Kobishchanov detailed a number of raids Aksumites made on the Arabian coast, argued that Adulis was captured by the Muslims, which brought to an end Axum's naval ability and contributed to the Aksumite Kingdom's isolation from the Byzantine Empire and other traditional allies, the last years of Adulis are a mystery.
Muslim writers mention both Adulis and the nearby Dahlak Archipelago as places of exile. The evidence suggests that Axum maintained its access to the Red Sea, yet experienced a clear decline in its fortunes from the seventh century onwards. In any case, the sea power of Axum waned and security for the Red Sea fell on other shoulders. Adulis was one of the first Axumite sites to undergo excavation, when a French mission to Eritrea under Vignaud and Petit performed an initial survey in 1840, prepared a map which marked the location of three structures they believed were temples. In 1868, workers attached to Napier's campaign against Tewodros II visited Adulis and exposed several buildings, including the foundations of a Byzantine-like church; the first scientific excavations at Adulis were undertaken by a German expedition in 1906, under the supervision of R. Sundström. Sundström worked in the northern sector of the site, exposing a large structure, which he dubbed the "palace of Adulis", as well as recovering Axumite coinage.
The expedition's results were published in four volumes in 1913. The Italian Roberto Paribeni excavated in Adulis the following year, discovering many structures similar to what Sundström had found earlier, as well as a number of ordinary dwellings, he found a lot of pottery: wine amphorae imported from the area of modern Aqaba were found here during the decades of existence of the colony of Italian Eritrea. These types now called Ayla-Axum Amphoras have since been found at other sites in Eritrea including on Black Assarca Island. Over 50 years passed until the next series of excavations, when in 1961 and 1962 the Ethiopian Institute of Archeology sponsored an expedition led by Francis Anfray; this excavation not only recovered materials showing a strong affinities with the late Axumite kingdom, but a destruction layer. This in turn prompted Kobishchanov to argue that Adulis had been destroyed by an Arab raid in the mid-7th century, a view that has since been rejected. A pair of fragments of glass vessels were found in the lowest layers at Adulis, which are similar to specimens from the 18th Dynasty of Egypt.
One specialised imported vessel discovered at the site was a Menas flask. It was stamped with a design showing the Egyptian St. Menas between two kneeling camels; such vessels are supposed to have held water from a spring near the saint's tomb in Egypt, this particular one may have been brought to Adulis by a pilgrim. Since Eritrean Independence, the National Museum of Eritrea has petitioned the Government of Ethiopia to return artifacts of these excavations. To date they have been denied. Previous colonial researches were underpinned by an old Ethiopian narrative. Most of these chronicles puts Adulis smack-dab at the middle of the Axumite kingdom and subsumes it as an integral part of this kingdom; as a result, Adulis has been studied as part and parcel of the Axumite kingdom by most, if not all, scholars of the region. However, recent historical/archaeological sources challenge the Abyssinian paradigm in the sense that Adulis was the center of a kingdom, not a constituent part of the Axumite kingdom, on the earlier period prior to the emergence of Aksum.
Keskese Matara Nakfa Qohaito Sembel G W Bowersock. The Throne of Adulis: Red Sea wars on the eve of Islam. Oxford: University
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo
Rhapta was a marketplace said to be on the coast of Southeast Africa, first described in the 1st century CE. Its location has not yet been identified, although there are a number of plausible candidate sites; the ancient Periplus of the Erythraean Sea described Rhapta as "the last marketplace of Azania", two days' travel south of the Menouthias islands. According to Claudius Ptolemy, Diogenes, a merchant in the Indian trade, was blown off course from his usual route from India, after travelling 25 days south along the coast of Africa arrived at Rhapta, located where the river of the same name enters the Indian Ocean opposite the island of Menouthias. Diogenes further describes this river as having its source near the Mountains of the Moon, near the swamp whence the Nile was said to have its source. Rhapta is mentioned by the 6th-century author Cosmas Indicopleustes. G. W. B. Huntingford lists five proposed locations for Rhapta: Tanga, at the mouth of the Mkulumuzi and Sigi Rivers Pangani, at the mouth of the Ruvu river Msasani, three miles north of Dar es Salaam—or Dar es Salaam itself Kisuyu Somewhere in the Rufiji River delta, opposite Mafia Island.
Huntingford dismisses the first two as being too close to Pemba islands. He observes that there is no river at Msasani, thus concludes Kisuyu or the Rufiji delta are the most candidates. However, J. Innes Miller points out. In recent years, professor Felix Chami has found archaeological evidence for extensive Roman trade on Mafia Island and, not far away, on the mainland, near the mouth of the Rufiji River, which he dated to the first few centuries CE. Which goods were traded at Rhapta is disputed; the Periplus only states that it was a source of tortoise shell. J. Innes Miller argues that Rhapta formed an important link in the trade route between what is now modern Indonesia and consumers in the Mediterranean region. Miller notes that ancient authorities state that cinnamon and cassia bark were harvested in Africa, yet these species until were found only in Southeast Asia. Miller points to the well-documented cultural links between East Africa, he posits that the use of monsoons began far earlier than thought, allowing traders to bring their spices westward as early as the 2nd millennium BC.
It is possible that both the account of the Periplus and at least part of Miller's theory are correct, for the Periplus focuses on the availability of tortoise shell, its silence about other goods should not be taken as evidence that other goods were not traded. Azania Menouthias Casson, Lionel. 1989. The Periplus Maris Erythraei.. Princeton, Princeton University Press. Chami, F. A. 1999. "The Early Iron Age on Mafia island and its relationship with the mainland." Azania, 34, pp. 1–10. Chami, Felix A. 2002. "The Graeco-Romans and Paanchea/Azania: sailing in the Erythraean Sea" in Red Sea Trade and Travel. Presented Sunday 6 October 2002 at the British Museum. Organised by The Society for Arabian Studies. Hill, John E. 2004. The Peoples of the West from the Weilue 魏略 by Yu Huan 魚豢: A Third Century Chinese Account Composed between 239 and 265 CE. Draft annotated English translation. See Section 15 on Zesan = Azania and notes. Huntingford, G. W. B. 1980. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea. London: the Hakluyt Society.
Miller, J. Innes. 1969. Chapter 8: "The Cinnamon Route". In: The Spice Trade of the Roman Empire. Oxford: University Press. ISBN 0-19-814264-1 Ray, Himanshu Prabha, ed. 1999. Archaeology of Seafaring: The Indian Ocean in the Ancient Period. Pragati Publications, Delhi. Schoff, Wilfred H. 1912. The Periplus of the Erythræan Sea. New York, Green, Co. Second Edition. Reprint, New Delhi, Oriental Books Reprint Corporation. 1974
Cosmas Indicopleustes was a Greek merchant and hermit from Alexandria of Egypt. He was a 6th-century traveller, who made several voyages to India during the reign of emperor Justinian, his work Christian Topography contained some of most famous world maps. Cosmas was a pupil of the East Syriac Patriarch Aba I and was himself a follower of the Church of the East. Around 550 Cosmas wrote the once-copiously illustrated Christian Topography, a work based on his personal experiences as a merchant on the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in the early 6th century, his description of India and Ceylon during the 6th century is invaluable to historians. Cosmas seems to have visited the Kingdom of Axum in modern Ethiopia, as well as Eritrea and Ceylon. "Indicopleustes" means "Indian voyager". While it is known from classical literature the Periplus Maris Erythraei, that there had been trade between the Roman Empire and India from the first century BC onwards, Cosmas's report is one of the few from individuals who had made the journey.
He sketched some of what he saw in his Topography. Some of these have been copied into the oldest dating to the 9th century. In 522 AD, he visited the Malabar Coast, he is the first traveller to mention Syrian Christians in present-day Kerala in India. He wrote, "In the Island of Taprobane, there is a church of the Christians, clerks and faithful. At Malé where the pepper grows. A major feature of his Topographia is Cosmas' worldview that the world is flat, that the heavens form the shape of a box with a curved lid, he was others who held that the world was spherical. Cosmas aimed to prove that pre-Christian geographers had been wrong in asserting that the earth was spherical and that it was in fact modelled on the tabernacle, the house of worship described to Moses by God during the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. However, his idea that the earth is flat had been a minority view among educated Western opinion since the 3rd century BC. Cosmas's view was never influential in religious circles. David C. Lindberg asserts: "Cosmas was not influential in Byzantium, but he is important for us because he has been used to buttress the claim that all medieval people believed they lived on a flat earth.
This claim...is false. Cosmas is, in fact, the only medieval European known to have defended a flat earth cosmology, whereas it is safe to assume that all educated Western Europeans, as well as sailors and travelers, believed in the earth's sphericity."Cosmology aside, Cosmas proves to be an interesting and reliable guide, providing a window into a world that has since disappeared. He happened to be in Adulis on the Red Sea Coast of modern Eritrea at the time when the King of Axum was preparing a military expedition to attack the Jewish king Dhu Nuwas in Yemen, persecuting Christians. On request of the Axumite king and in preparation for this campaign, he recorded now-vanished inscriptions such as the Monumentum Adulitanum. Chronology of European exploration of Asia Kenneth Willis Clark collection of Greek Manuscripts: Cosmas Indicopleustes, Topographia. Cosmas Indicopleustes, ed. J. W. McCrindle; the Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes. Hakluyt Society. Cosmas Indicopleustes, Eric Otto Winstedt.
The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes. The University Press Jeffrey Burton Russell. Inventing the Flat Earth. Praeger Press Dr. Jerry H Bentley. Traditions and Encounters. McGraw Hill. Wanda Wolska-Conus. La topographie chrétienne de Cosmas Indicopleustes: théologie et sciences au VIe siècle Vol. 3, Bibliothèque Byzantine. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1962. Cosmas Indicopleustes. Cosmas Indicopleustès, Topographie chrétienne. Translated by Wanda Wolska-Conus. 2 vols. Paris: Les Editions du Cerf, 1968. Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Cosmas". Encyclopædia Britannica. Cambridge University Press; the Christian Topography by Cosmas Indicopleustes The Christian Topography by Cosmas Indicopleustes Greek Opera Omnia by Migne Patrologia Graeca with analytical indexes Scan of the entire Codex Vat.gr.699 on Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana websiteThis article uses text taken from the Preface to the Online English translation of the Christian Topography, in the public domain