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Ancient Atlas - Maps and Geography of the Ancient World


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Map of the Ancient World
World View of Herodotus

World View of Herodotus, from The Atlas of Ancient and Classical Geography by Samuel Butler, Ernest Rhys, editor (Suffolk, 1907, repr. 1908).

Africa |America |Asia |Europe |Underworld/Atlantis |World

Maps of the Ancient World


Europe, Asia, and Libya

Geographic entities mentioned in ancient history do not correspond well with those in a modern atlas: A map of Rome (or the Roman Empire) includes much of what we think of as Europe, parts of Asia, and Northern Africa; the geographic borders of Asia fluctuated with the dominant empires; Sudan and Egypt belong in both the Neareast and Africa.

The map above shows how the 5th Century B.C. "father of history" Herodotus viewed the world. He describes it in the 4th book of his histories. However odd his map may look, it was an improvement. The following passage explains his advances on earlier maps showing 3 continents, Europe, Asia, and Libya:

"I wonder then at those who have parted off and divided the world into Libya, Asia, and Europe, since the difference between these is not small; for in length Europe extends along by both, while in breadth it is clear to me that it is beyond comparison larger; for Libya furnishes proofs about itself that it is surrounded by sea, except so much of it as borders upon Asia...."

Ancient Atlas A to Z

On the following pages, you will find maps of general areas of the ancient world, like continents, with links to maps of areas within the continent. Remember, these geographic entities may be based on what people in the ancient world thought, not what modern geographers and politicians tell us is there.

  1. About Ancient Maps
  2. Africa
  3. America
  4. Asia
  5. Europe
  6. Underworld/Atlantis
  7. World

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