H E Christian Topography of Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, or the Indian Navigator, has been preserved in two copies: one a parchment MS. of the tenth. (COSMAS THE INDIAN VOYAGER). A Greek traveller and geographer of the first half of the sixth century, b. at Alexandria, Egypt. Cosmas probably received. 1. TITLE: World Pictures of Cosmas. DATE: A.D.. AUTHOR: Cosmas Indicopleustes of Alexandria. DESCRIPTION: Much of the tone of medieval European.

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There was a problem with your submission. Montfaucon answers this question satisfactorily. 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 and almost one hundred percent of educated Byzantinesas well as sailors and travelers, believed in the earth’s sphericity.

He condemns it as being below mediocrity in style, and faulty in its syntax; and at the same time calls in question the author’s veracity, saying that he makes up stories so incredible that he may fairly be regarded as a writer of fables rather than of facts.

It contains in ijdicopleustes probability the oldest Christian maps that have survived. He described and sketched some of what he saw in his Topography. Christopher Columbus, master navigator and admiral whose four transatlantic voyages —93, —96,…. Listen to this page.

Cosmas Indicopleustes

Retrieved 3 November On the question of the magnitude of the great luminary Cosmas differed widely from the Pagan philosophers, and wrote his sixth book indicopleustfs to prove that, instead of its being, as they thought, many times larger than the earth, it was no more than the size of two only of the earth’s climates or zones, those between the latitudes of Alexandria and Rhodes, and Rhodes and Constantinople, an extent cosmzs about geographical miles.

How, then, is this earlier date to be reconciled with the later? Four other writings of Cosmas are unfortunately lost: Also frequently included are social and economic…. On request of the Axumite king indicoplustes in preparation for this campaign, he recorded now-vanished inscriptions such as the Monumentum Adulitanum which he mistakenly attributed to Ptolemy III Euergetes. The capital of Ethiopia at that time was Axum, an important centre of commerce, and also of religion and learning.

The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes – World Digital Library

This learned French scholar, while visiting Italy, extracted from the Florentine Codex a copy of the ii Adulitic Inscriptions, 1 and of passages relating to Ethiopia and India. When the ship which carried Cosmas was approaching this dread region of currents and fogs, a storm gathered overhead, and flocks of albatrosses, like birds of ill omen, hovered on the wing high above the mast.

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Thank You for Your Contribution! It was one of the places which Cosmas, in pursuit of his calling, visited, 7 and from one or two of his statements we may infer that he was well received at Court, and was permitted by the King, who professed the Christian faith and could speak Greek, to travel freely through his dominions. Mahatma Gandhi, Indian lawyer, politician, social activist, and writer who became the leader of the nationalist….

Clearly, therefore, the place of the earth was at the bottom of the universe a position coamas which it must have naturally sunk as he shows in a very indico;leustes passage at the very instant of its creation. To this point Photius makes no reference, and it has been equally overlooked by Montfaucon.

His education was confined to cosmws more elementary branches of knowledge, such as would fit him for the career he pursued in the earlier part of his lifethat of a merchant. Among other parts of Ethiopia which our traveller visited we may include the Aromatic countrythat great projection on the east of the African Continent which terminates in Cape Guardafui. Among the Old Believers dissenters from Russian Orthodox reforms in the midth centurythe work remains popular to the present day.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The earth, he tells us, gradually rising up from the south, extends westward, until it culminates at last in a huge conical mountain situated somewhere in the far-away frozen north.

Cosmasalso called Indicopleustesflourished 6th century adAlexandriaEgyptmerchant, traveler, theologian, and geographer whose treatise Topographia Christiana c. From the rise of Islam the geographical knowledge of Christendom is on a par with its practical contraction and apparent decline.

In the tenth book Cosmas cites a number of the Fathers to show that his doctrines were in closest harmony with the teachings of the Church. This page was last edited on indicopleustfs Decemberat Raymond Beazley, in the admirable work we have already referred to, “another interest about the Topography.

How, he was asked, could the sun, which was many times larger than the earth, be hidden behind the mountain in the north, however great its altitude?

Indicoplustes, moreover would, he thought, be out of place in his books, since “he wrote for xii Christians, who had more need of correct notions than of fine phrases. But though he was not instructed, as he tells us himself, 2 v in the “learning of the schools,” yet so inquisitive was his turn of mind and so sharp his intellect that he eventually acquired such a knowledge of literature and science as raised him to the level of the culture of his time, and to his being accepted as a capable exponent and defender of the Christian faith.


Manuscripts of the work as a rule were illustrated. Beazley concludes his long xxvii notice of the great Christian Cosmographer in these terms: Cosmas viewed the Tabernacle of Moses as a model of the universe, the Earth being a rectangular plane surmounted by the sky, above which was heaven.

If it be necessary to suppose, as some ineicopleustes assert, that Cosmas was at any time a Nestorianit would appear from his work, the “Christian Topography”, that, at least towards the close of his life, he returned to the orthodox faith.

The latter, referring to the absurd theory of the world held by Cosmas, remarks that “the nonsense of the Monk was, nevertheless, mingled with the practical knowledge of the traveller”. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity. The tenth book must therefore have been written in the year preceding.

He later became a monk and wrote several geographical treatisesindicopleustea only the Topographia and fragments of his commentaries on the Psalms and Gospels have survived.

His work is not, as it has been called in the earlier years of this centurythe chief authority of the Middle Ages in geography. So he explains again and again that the division of the Tabernacle into two places, by means of the veil, typified the division of the universe into two worldsan upper and a lower, by means of the firmament.

Montfaucon, in his Preface, credits him with the discovery, in the Abyssinian province called Agau, of the true source of the Nile. One of the most interesting and instructive parts of the Topography is that in which Cosmas relates what he had heard and seen in the course of his travels in Ethiopia.