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HOW THE EARTH WAS FIRST MAPPED OUT.

What these early maps were we do not know, hut we can form a reasonable conjecture. The earth at that time was supposed to bo a flat circular plain, or disk, the broadest part being from east to west, which was entirely surrounded by an ocean, or great river, that washed it upon all sides. In about the centre of this plain Greece was supposed to be situated. The great central sea of the inhabited region was the Mediterranean. The farthest point known at the west was the Strait of Gibraltar, then called the Pillars of Hercules. The southern part comprised the north of Africa as far as the deserts ; while the region north embraced the countries bordering upon the Mediterranean, and an unknown hyperborean land further to the north, with the Buxine and Caspian seas at the south-east. The farthest eastern point known was about the western limit of India. Tiiis was what would then be contained in a map as a representation of the earth. The sun was supposed to pass under and around this flat plain, which was then the mode of accounting for the changes of day and night. The space beneath was supposed to be a great vault, called Tartarus, the abode of the spirits of the wicked among men, as the region corresponding to it, above the plain, was the heaven or abode of the gods. The unknown regions beyond the Pillars of Hercules was filled up with creations of the fertile imagination of the Greeks. ; To the north-west and north were the Cimmerians, a people living in perpetual darkness ; arid' the Hyperboreans, a race supposed to be exempt from toil, disease, pr war, who enjoyed life for a thousand years in a state of undisturbed serenity. , west of Sicily were the enchanted islanus of Circe and Calypso, and the floating island of Bolus. A little to the north of the Pillars of Hercules was the entrance to the infernal regions; and far out in the western ocean, beyond the limits of the known earth, was the happy region called Elysium, a land of perpetual summer, where a gentle zephyr always blow, where tempests were unknown, and where, the spirits of those whose' lives had been approved by the gods, dwelt in perpetual felicity. Here, also, were the Gardens of the Hesperides, with their golden apples guarded by the singing riymphs, r who dwelt on the river Oceamis, which was in the extreme west, and of which was constantly shifted as geographical knowledge increased.—Chief Justice Daly in Popular Science . Monthly for February. ' , . ■

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18800504.2.13

Bibliographic details

HOW THE EARTH WAS FIRST MAPPED OUT., Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 95, 4 May 1880

Word Count
435

HOW THE EARTH WAS FIRST MAPPED OUT. Ashburton Guardian, Volume 1, Issue 95, 4 May 1880

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