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The first map of the world

January 5, 2021 7:13 am

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The first person that we know of to make a map of the world is that of Anaximander. He was a Greek philosopher and historian who decided that the Ancient Greeks needed a map to mark their position in the world. Although no records remain of it we can be pretty certain that Greece and the Mediterran featured highly on it. It would probably be better to say that it was more a map of the world that Anaximander knew at the time rather than a general map. It’s unlikely that he included the North and South Pole on it, for example.

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Sadly today, little of his life and work is known. He is the first philosopher known to have written down his works, according to available historical records, even though only one fragment of his study remains. An image of the man is provided by fragmentary testimonials contained in records after his death. Basically his students notes, however as one of them was Pythagoras he certainly taught some prestigious people.

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Just the fact that he bothered to develop a map at all was an indication of how he believed that the world was governed by laws, both for humans and nature. This is still true today and is why we have Planning Maps like those from https://www.themapshop.co.uk/planning_maps_online.htm,  to help us. As ever a Greek got there first and Western civilisation really does owe them a huge debt of honour.

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