The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
The Chera dynasty was one of the principal lineages in the early history of the present day states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu in southern India. Together with the Cholas of Uraiyur and the Pandyas of Madurai, the early Cheras were known as one of the three major powers of ancient Tamilakam in the early centuries of the Common Era; the people of the Chera country owed their importance to exchange of spices black pepper, with Middle Eastern and Graeco-Roman merchants. The age and antiquity of the dynasty is difficult to establish; the Cheras of the early historical period are known to have had their original centre at Karur/Karuvur-Vanchi in interior Tamil Nadu and strategic outlets to their harbours at Muchiri and Thondi on the Indian Ocean coast. The early historic Chera chiefdom is described as a redistributive economy based on kinship, it was shaped by agriculture, of both crops and livestock, "predatory politics". Inscriptions discovered from Karur dated to c. 1st - 2nd century CE, describe Ilam Kadungo, son of Perum Kadungo, the grandson of Ko Athan Cheral of the Irumporai clan.
Inscribed portrait coins with Brahmi legends give a number of names, such as Mak-kotai, Kuttuvan Kotai and Kolli Irumporaii. Reverse of these coins contained the bow and arrow symbol; the anthologies of early Tamil poems mention the names of a number of Cheras, the "court poets" who extolled them. The internal chronology of this collection is still far from settled and a connected account of the history of the period is an area of active research. Chenguttuvan Chera, the most renowned of the early Cheras, is famous for the traditions surrounding Kannaki, the principal female character of the Tamil epic poem Chilapathikaram. Major sources for the early Cheras include Tamil Brahmi cave label inscriptions and coins, classical Sanskrit works and accounts by Graeco-Roman writers. After the end of the early historical period, around the 3rd-5th century CE, there seems to be a period where the Cheras' power declined considerably. The'Kongu' Cheras are known to have controlled Karur-Vanchi in central Tamil Nadu at various points in time.
The Cheras of Makotai/Vanchi known as Kulashekharas, were in power between c. 9th and 12th century in Kerala. The exact nature of the relationships between the various branches of Chera rulers is somewhat unclear, it is known that the Cheras, of both Makotai and Karur, were intermittently subject to the Pandya Kingdom and the Chola Empire among others. The rulers of Venadu, based out of the port of Kollam in southern Kerala, claimed their ancestry from the Kodungallur Cheras. Ravi Varma Kulasekhara, their most ambitious ruler, set out to expand his kingdom by annexing the ruins of the other southern kingdoms. In the modern period the rulers of Cochin and Travancore claimed the title "Chera"; the term Chera - and its variant form "Kerala" - stands for the ruling lineage and the country associated with them. The etymology of "Chera" is still a matter of considerable speculation among historians. One approach proposes that the word is derived from Cheral, a corruption of Charal meaning "declivity of a mountain" in Tamil, suggesting a connection with the mountainous geography of Kerala.
Another theory argues that the "Cheralam" is derived from "cher" and "alam" meaning, "the slushy land". Apart from the speculations mentioned, a number of other theories do appear in historical studies. In ancient non-Tamil sources, the Cheras are referred to by various names; the Cheras are referred as Kedalaputo in the Emperor Ashoka's Pali edicts. While Pliny the Elder and Claudius Ptolemy refer to the Cheras as Kaelobotros and Kerobottros the Graeco-Roman trade map Periplus Maris Erythraei refers to the Cheras as Keprobotras. All these Graeco-Roman names are evidently corruptions of "Kedala Puto/Kerala Putra" received through relations with northern India; the term Cheralamdivu or Cheran Tivu and its cognates, meaning the "island of the Chera kings", is a Classical Tamil name of Sri Lanka that takes root from the term "Chera". Recent theories on ancient south Indian history suggest that the three major rulers – the Pandya, the Chera and the Chola – based in the interior Tamil Nadu, at Madurai, Karur -Vanchi, Uraiyur had established "strategic outlets" to the Indian Ocean namely Korkai and Kaveri Poompattinam respectively.
Territory of the Chera polity of the early historical period consisted of the present day central Kerala and western Tamil Nadu. The political structure of the Chera chiefdom was based on communal holding of resources and kinship-based production; the authority was determined by" the range of redistributive social relationships sustained through predatory accumulation of resources". The Cheras are referred to as Kedalaputo in the Emperor Ashoka's Pali edicts; the earliest Graeco-Roman accounts referring to the Cheras are by Pliny the Elder in the 1st century CE, in the Periplus of the 1st century CE, by Claudius Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE. A number of Sanskrit works do mention the land of the Cheras/Keralas. Whether the particular references were present in the earliest oral forms or were added subsequently is a matter of considerable discourse; the Aranyakas are a development of the Brahmanas, which were composed c. 7th-8th century BCE. There are brief references in the present forms of the works by author and commentator
Thiruvanchikulam Siva Temple is a Hindu temple situated in Kodungallur in Thrissur district in the South Indian state of Kerala in India. Constructed in the Kerala style of architecture, the temple is believed to have been built during the Chera period in the 8th century. Shiva is worshipped as his consort Parvathi as Umadevi; the presiding deity is revered in the 7th century Tamil Saiva canonical work, the Tevaram, written by Tamil saint poets known as the Nayanmars and classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the canon. It is the only temple in Kerala in the list; as per Periyapuranam, Sundara Murthi Nayanar,one of the four great saints in Tamil Shivism ascented to heaven from this place. The temple is open from 4 am - 12 pm and 4-8:30 pm on all days except during festival days when it is open the full day. Four daily rituals and three yearly festivals are held at the temple, of which the ten-day Vaikasipournami Brahmotsavam festival celebrated during the Tamil month of Vaikasi being the most prominent.
The temple is maintained and administered by the Thiruvanchikulam Devaswom under the Cochin Devaswom Board. This is the only Thevaram Paadal Petra Shiva sthalam in Kerala. Shiva is the family god of the Cochin Royal Family; the temple has good mural paintings and is a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. The temple has the oldest reference in history in Thevaram Hymns sung by Sundara Murthi Nayanar, one of the four Saiva Acharyas; the images of Sundara Murthi Nayanar, of Cheraman Perumal Nayanar can be seen in the temple premises. It is one of the oldest Shiva temples in South India, where Shiva is said to live along with his whole family, it was from here, Sundara Murthi Nayanar reached Kailash by sitting on an white elephant,sent by Lord Shiva on Adi Swathi day. He was followed on horse back by Seraman Perumal Nayanar. On his way to Kailash, Sundara Murthi Nayanar sang a Padhigam, sent back to Thiruvanchikulam on his request; the temple is associated with Chidambaram temple in Tamil Nadu.
The capital city of the Kulasekharas, was built around the temple. This temple was damaged during Tipu Sultan's invasion of Kerala. Tipu's Muslim soldiers fled the temple complex only after the arrival of the Travancore Army of Dalawa Keshavadas Pillai; the temple was rebuilt by Paliath Achan of Kochi/Perumpadappu Swaroopam. The temple is built in Kerala style of architecture with entrance towers in all four sides; the sanctum occupies the centre portion of the temple, fortified. The sanctum is approached through a flagstaff, axial to the entrance tower and the sanctum; the flagstaff has images of Asthavidyesavara. The presiding deity is in the form of lingam; the image of Narasimha is sculpted on the vimana. The images of Sundarar and Ceramanperuman are maintained at Bhagavathi temple and brought to the temple during Svati festival during July - August. There are two temple tanks in the temple, located in the second precinct, it is believed that it the temple where Parasurama, an avatar of Vishnu worshiped Shiva to expiate his sin killing his mother Renuka.
Sundarar, a 7th-century Tamil Saivite poet, venerated Mahadeva in ten verses in Tevaram, compiled as the Seventh Tirumurai. As the temple is revered in Tevaram, it is classified as Paadal Petra Sthalam, one of the 276 temples that find mention in the Saiva canon; the temple is believed to be the place where Sundarar and king Cheraman spent their last days and believed to have ascended to Kailasa in a white elephant. The temple priests perform the puja on a daily basis; the temple rituals are performed four times a day. Uchikalam at 12:00 a.m. and Sayarakshai at 6:00 p.m. There are weekly rituals like somavaram and sukravaram, fortnightly rituals like pradosham, monthly festivals like amavasai, kiruthigai and sathurthi. Brahmotsavam during the Tamil month of Vaikasi is the most important festivals of the temple
Kerala, locally known as Keralam, is a state on the southwestern, Malabar Coast of India. It was formed on 1 November 1956, following passage of the States Reorganisation Act, by combining Malayalam-speaking regions. Spread over 38,863 km2, Kerala is the twenty-second largest Indian state by area, it is bordered by Karnataka to the north and northeast, Tamil Nadu to the east and south, the Lakshadweep Sea and Arabian Sea to the west. With 33,387,677 inhabitants as per the 2011 Census, Kerala is the thirteenth-largest Indian state by population, it is divided into 14 districts with the capital being Thiruvananthapuram. Malayalam is the most spoken language and is the official language of the state; the Chera Dynasty was the first prominent kingdom based in Kerala. The Ay kingdom in the deep south and the Ezhimala kingdom in the north formed the other kingdoms in the early years of the Common Era; the region had been a prominent spice exporter since 3000 BCE. The region's prominence in trade was noted in the works of Pliny as well as the Periplus around 100 CE.
In the 15th century, the spice trade attracted Portuguese traders to Kerala, paved the way for European colonisation of India. At the time of Indian independence movement in the early 20th century, there were two major princely states in Kerala-Travancore State and the Kingdom of Cochin, they united to form the state of Thiru-Kochi in 1949. The Malabar region, in the northern part of Kerala had been a part of the Madras province of British India, which became a part of the Madras State post-independence. After the States Reorganisation Act, 1956, the modern-day state of Kerala was formed by merging the Malabar district of Madras State, the state of Thiru-Kochi, the taluk of Kasaragod in South Canara, a part of Madras State; the economy of Kerala is the 12th-largest state economy in India with ₹7.73 lakh crore in gross domestic product and a per capita GDP of ₹163,000. Kerala has the lowest positive population growth rate in India, 3.44%. The state has witnessed significant emigration to Arab states of the Persian Gulf during the Gulf Boom of the 1970s and early 1980s, its economy depends on remittances from a large Malayali expatriate community.
Hinduism is practised by more than half of the population, followed by Christianity. The culture is a synthesis of Aryan, Dravidian and European cultures, developed over millennia, under influences from other parts of India and abroad; the production of pepper and natural rubber contributes to the total national output. In the agricultural sector, tea, coffee and spices are important; the state's coastline extends for 595 kilometres, around 1.1 million people in the state are dependent on the fishery industry which contributes 3% to the state's income. The state has the highest media exposure in India with newspapers publishing in nine languages English and Malayalam. Kerala is one of the prominent tourist destinations of India, with backwaters, hill stations, Ayurvedic tourism and tropical greenery as its major attractions; the name Kerala has an uncertain etymology. One popular theory derives Kerala from alam; the word Kerala is first recorded as Keralaputra in a 3rd-century BCE rock inscription left by the Maurya emperor Ashoka, one of his edicts pertaining to welfare.
The inscription refers to the local ruler as Keralaputra. This contradicts the theory that Kera is from "coconut tree". At that time, one of three states in the region was called Cheralam in Classical Tamil: Chera and Kera are variants of the same word; the word Cheral refers to the oldest known dynasty of Kerala kings and is derived from the Proto-Tamil-Malayalam word for "lake". The earliest Sanskrit text to mention Kerala is the Aitareya Aranyaka of the Rigveda. Kerala is mentioned in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, the two Hindu epics; the Skanda Purana mentions the ecclesiastical office of the Thachudaya Kaimal, referred to as Manikkam Keralar, synonymous with the deity of the Koodalmanikyam temple. Keralam may stem from the Classical Tamil chera alam; the Greco-Roman trade map. According to Tamil classic Purananuru, Chera king Senkuttuvan conquered the lands between Kanyakumari and the Himalayas. Lacking worthy enemies, he besieged the sea by throwing his spear into it. According to the 17th century Malayalam work Keralolpathi, the lands of Kerala were recovered from the sea by the axe-wielding warrior sage Parasurama, the sixth avatar of Vishnu.
Parasurama threw his axe across the sea, the water receded as far as it reached. According to legend, this new area of land extended from Gokarna to Kanyakumari; the land which rose from sea was filled with unsuitable for habitation. Out of respect and all snakes were appo
The Malabar Coast is a coastline on the southwestern shore line of the mainland Indian subcontinent. Geographically, it comprises the wettest regions of southern India, as the Western Ghats intercept the moisture-laden monsoon rains on their westward-facing mountain slopes; the term "Malabar Coast" is sometimes used to refer to the entire Indian coast from the western coast of Konkan to the tip of the subcontinent at Kanyakumari. The Malabar Coast, in historical contexts, refers to India's southwestern coast, which lies on the narrow coastal plain of Karnataka and Kerala states between the Western Ghats range and the Arabian Sea; the coast runs from south of Goa to Kanyakumari on India's southern tip. India's southeastern coast is called the Coromandel Coast; the Malabar Coast is sometimes used as an all-encompassing term for the entire Indian coast from Konkan to the tip of the subcontinent at Kanyakumari. This coast is over 845 km long and stretches from the coast of southwestern Maharashtra, along the region of Goa, through the entire western coast of Karnataka and Kerala, up to Kanyakumari.
It is flanked by the Arabian Sea on the Western Ghats on the east. The southern part of this narrow coast is referred to as the South Western Ghats moist deciduous forests; the Malabar Coast, throughout recorded history from about 3000 BC, had been a major trading center in commerce with Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome and the Arab world. Its most famous ports were'Naura, Kochi and Mangalore, the most famous of them being Muziris, the Oddeway Torre settlement have served as centers of the Indian Ocean trade, for centuries; because of their orientation to the sea and to maritime commerce, the Malabar coast cities feel cosmopolitan, has been home to some of the first groups of Jews, Syrian Christians and Anglo-Indians in India. During Ming China's treasure voyages in the early 15th century, Admiral Zheng He's fleet landed at the Malabar Coast. Soon after, Vasco da Gama landed near Calicut in 1498, establishing a sea route between India and Europe. Portugal became the first of several European maritime empires to grow rich from the spice trade with this area.
The Malabar Coast is referenced in George Orwell's political novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, as the site of a perpetual war between the military forces of Ingsoc and their Eastasian opponents. Coromandel Coast Dutch Malabar Malabar Portuguese Empire Portuguese India Panikkar, K. M.. Malabar and the Portuguese: being a history of the relations of the Portuguese with Malabar from 1500 to 1663. Panikkar, K. M.. Malabar and the Dutch. Panikkar, K. M.. Asia and Western dominance, 1498-1945. London: G. Allen and Unwin
Ponnani is a Municipality in Ponnani Taluk, Malappuram District, in the state of Kerala. It serves as the administrative center of the Block Panchayat of the same name, it is situated at the estuary of Bharatappuzha, on its southern bank, is bounded by the Arabian Sea on the west and a series of brackish lagoons in the south. National Highway 66, from to Panvel to Kanyakumari, passes through Ponnani Municipality. River Tirur joins River Ponnani at its mouth at Patinjarekkara Beach from the north bank, opposite to Ponnani; the Colonial era Cannoly Canal bisects Ponnani town. In the Middle Ages, under the ambitious Hindu chiefs of Kozhikode, Ponnani developed as one of the most important the centers of Muslim trade - both overseas and domestic - on the Arabian Sea; the port served as the military headquarters of the Kozhikode rulers. With arrival of the Portuguese explorers in late - 15th century, the city witnessed several battles between the Admirals of Kozhikode and the Portuguese for the monopoly in the Spice Trade.
Whenever a formal war was broke out between the Portuguese and the Kozhikode rulers, the Portuguese attacked and plundered, as the opportunity offered, the port of Ponnani. The relentless battles lead to the eventual decline of the settlement, with exodus of Middle Eastern merchants, the rulers who protected it. Presently, Ponnani is one of the major fishing centers in Kerala; the city of Ponnani provided ideological support for the battles against the Estado da Índia. It was the home of the revered Makhdum family. Prominent members of this Yemeni family of Islamic theologians included Zain-ud-Din Makhdum I and his grandson Zain-ud-Din Makhdum II. Makhdum II is known for his formidable historical chronicle Tuhfat al-Mujahidin, first printed and published in Lisbon. A copy of this edition has been preserved in the library of Cairo; the Ponnani Jum'ah Masjid known as Valiya Jum'ah Palli/Makhdum Mosque, was built in the 16th century AD. Ponnani, once known as the "Little Mecca of Malabar" and the "Jami'at al-Azhar of Malabar", was a prominent center of Islamic learning.
It is known that students from as far as Sumatra and Sri Lanka traveled to Ponnani for their spiritual education. The town was described in many sources as "the Land of 23½ Mosques", it has around 50 mosques, spread around the town. During the months of February and March, large number of migratory birds flock at Ponnani. Arabi-Malayalam, a script used to write Malayalam, was originated at Ponnani; the script was known as "the Ponnani Script". Ponnani is described different authors, all the way from Europe to Arabia to China, in different names; some of the names are given below. Ponani/Paniyani: British/East India Company Ponam: the Chinese Sailors Funan: the Arab merchants Pananee/Pananie/Pananx: the Portuguese and Spanish Writers and Sailors Panane/Panany: the Dutch East India Company Pagnany/Pagniany: the French Sailors Pre-historical and Early Historical nature of this settlement is shrouded in mystery, its location at estuary of the Bharatappuzha amidst the fertile plains suitable for rice cultivation might have attracted early settlers.
It is known that the river mouth - situated opposite to the plains of Coimbatore across the Ghat mountains - was accessed by the rulers of central Tamil Nadu through the Palghat Gap. It is assumed that the archaic Tamil chiefs came into contact with Greco-Roman navigators at the mouth of the Bharatappuzha. In the times, Ponnani served as the major rice supplier to the Portuguese outposts in India. Throughout the Colonial rule, the Ponnani rice cargoes were shipped across the West Coast. Tobacco was the other major commodity exported from Ponnani to Goa. Ponnani used to be under the control of the Brahmins of "Tirumanasseri Natu", with protection from the Vellattiri chief, in medieval times; the Tirumanasseri Namputiri handed over the port Ponnani to the Samutiri of Kozhikode. An arrangement was reached between the Brahmin and the Samutiri, as a result of which, the former was obliged to protect the interests of the latter against the neighboring chiefs of Valluvanatu and Perumpatappu; as Kozhikode's political authority extended to South Malabar and Cochin, the Samutiri came to reside more and more at Ponnani.
The port town became the second home of the Kozhikotu chiefs. By the 15th century, we know that Ponnani served as the military capital of the Samutiris of Kozhikode; the city hosted the largest arsenal of the Kozhikotu rulers. The port at Ponnani was defended by fortifications on either bank of the river. At the time of the arrival of Vasco da Gama and his Portuguese fleet at Kozhikode, the Samutiri of Kozhikode was residing at Ponnani; when the Samutiri Kovilakam at Kozhikode was besieged by the Mysore Sultan Haidar'Ali, the Samutiri sent his family members to safe heavens at Ponnani. It is believed that Malik ibn Dinar, the first Islamic missionary to Kerala, visited Ponnani and established a mosque. In the 16th century, Ponnani witnessed several battles between Kozhikode naval chiefs, known as the Kunhali Marakkars, the Portuguese colonizers. Whenever a formal war was broke out between the Portuguese and the Kozhikode rulers, the Portuguese attacked and plundered, as the opportunity offered, the port of Ponnani.
As per some historians, the ancestral home of the Kunhali Marakkar family was at Ponnani. In course of time they spread to other settlements of the west coast, it seems that the Kunhalis shifted their
Tabula Peutingeriana referred to as Peutinger's Tabula or Peutinger Table, is an illustrated itinerarium showing the layout of the cursus publicus, the road network of the Roman Empire. The map is a 13th-century parchment copy of a possible Roman original, it covers Europe, North Africa, parts of Asia, including the Middle East and India. According to one hypothesis, the existing map is based on a document of the 4th or 5th century that contained a copy of the world map prepared by Agrippa during the reign of the emperor Augustus. However, Emily Albu has suggested that the existing map could instead be based on an original from the Carolingian period. Named after the 16th-century German antiquarian Konrad Peutinger, the map is now conserved at the Austrian National Library in Vienna; the Tabula is thought to be a distant descendant of the map prepared under the direction of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, a Roman general and friend of emperor Augustus. After Agrippa's death in 12 BC, that map was engraved in marble and put on display in the Porticus Vipsania in the Campus Agrippae area in Rome, close to the Ara Pacis building.
The early imperial dating for the archetype of the map is supported by American historian Glen Bowersock, is based on numerous details of Roman Arabia that look anachronistic for a 4th-century map. Bowersock concluded that the original source is the map made by Vipsanius Agrippa; this dating is consistent with the map's inclusion of the Roman town of Pompeii near modern-day Naples, never rebuilt after it had been destroyed in an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. The original Roman map, of which this may be the only surviving copy, was last revised in the 4th or early 5th century, it shows the city of Constantinople, founded in 328, the prominence of Ravenna, seat of the Western Roman Empire from 402 to 476, which suggests a fifth-century revision according to Levi and Levi. The presence of certain cities of Germania Inferior that were destroyed in the mid-fifth century provides a terminus ante quem, i.e. the map's latest creation date, though Emily Albu suggests that this information could have been preserved in textual, not cartographic, form.
The Tabula Peutingeriana is thought to be the only known surviving map of the Roman cursus publicus, the state-run road network. The surviving map itself was created by a monk in Colmar in modern-day eastern France in 1265, it is a parchment scroll, 0.34 metres high and 6.75 metres long, assembled from eleven sections, a medieval reproduction of the original scroll. It is a schematic map, designed to give a practical overview of the road network, as opposed to an accurate representation of geographic features: the land masses shown are distorted in the east-west direction; the map shows many Roman settlements and the roads connecting them, as well as other features such as rivers, mountains and seas. The distances between settlements are given. In total no fewer than 555 cities and 3,500 other place names are shown on the map; the three most important cities of the Roman Empire at the time – Rome and Antioch – are represented with special iconic decoration. Besides the totality of the empire, the map shows areas in the Near East and the Ganges, Sri Lanka, an indication of China.
It shows a "Temple to Augustus" at Muziris on the modern-day Malabar Coast, one of the main ports for trade with the Roman Empire on the southwest coast of India. On the western end of the scroll, the absence of Morocco, the Iberian Peninsula, the British Isles indicates that a twelfth original section has been lost in the surviving copy; the map appears to be based on "itineraries", lists of destinations along Roman roads, as the distances between points along the routes are indicated. Travelers would not have possessed anything so sophisticated as a modern map, but they needed to know what lay ahead of them on the road and how far; the Peutinger Table represents these roads as a series of stepped lines along which destinations have been marked in order of travel. The shape of the parchment pages accounts for the conventional rectangular layout. However, a rough similarity to the coordinates of Ptolemy's earth-mapping gives some writers hope that some terrestrial representation was intended by the unknown original compilers.
The stages and cities are represented by hundreds of functional place symbols, used with discrimination from the simplest icon of a building with two towers to the elaborate individualized "portraits" of the three great cities. The editors Annalina and Mario Levi concluded that the semi-schematic, semi-pictorial symbols reproduce Roman cartographic conventions of the itineraria picta described by 4th-century writer Vegetius, of which this is the sole known testimony; the map was discovered in a library in the city of Worms by German scholar Conrad Celtes in 1494, unable to publish his find before his death and bequeathed the map in 1508 to Konrad Peutinger, a German humanist and antiquarian in Augsburg, after whom the map is named. The Peutinger family kept possession of the map for more than two hundred years until it was sold in 1714, it bounced between several royal and elite families until it was purchased by Prince Eugene of Savoy for 100 ducats. It is today conserved at the Austrian National Library at the Hofburg palace in Vienna.
In 2007, the map was placed on the UNESCO's Memory of the World Register, in reco