201.3


World map from an 11th century, probably German, manuscript of Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio, Book II, Ch.


Zonal map, oriented to the North with 'septentrio' above, this diagram map shows the two frigid zones ('inhabitabilis') and the two temperate zones, while a colored band indicates the middle torrid zone. The two temperate zones are labeled 'temperata nostra' [our temperate zone] and 'temperata antetorum' [the opposite temperate zone], though antetorum appears to be a contrived word. The northern temperate zone contains several geographical features, including the Orkney Islands, the Caspian Sea, Italy, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean.  North is at the top. The map shows the Red and Indian seas emanating from the equatorial ocean and the Caspian Sea from the encircling ocean in the northeast. An umbrella-shaped body of water without toponym (presumably the Tanais joining the Palus Maeotis) is connected to the (unmarked) Mediterranean. The Orcades appear in the far west and Italia is located between the Mediterranean and what may be a representation of the Adriatic. Zonal divisions are marked and (except for the central zone) labeled temperate (temperata) or uninhabitable (inhabitabilis). The temperate southern zone is marked Temperata antetorum: the word antetorum is most likely the result of a misreading of antecorum (i.e. ‘of the antoikoi’, inhabitants beneath the oikoumene).

British Library, Harley MS 2772, fol. 70v. Appendix 1, no. 22.

(Reproduced with permission from The British Library.)




World image illustrating a 9th or 10th century French manuscript of Macrobius, Commentary on the Dream of Scipio.

This visually simple map is essentially a zonal diagram with two topographical features (Italia and the Orcades) and the Red, Indian, and Caspian Seas sketched in. The unusual position of the Red Sea extending inwards from the far west of the outer ocean, and the thin strip of the zona perusta (usually a prominent feature), supports the impression that this image may be a rather cursory attempt to elaborate a zonal diagram.

Brussels, Bibliotheque royale, MS 10146, fol. 109v. Appendix 1, no. 2.

(Reproduced with permission of the Bibliotheque royale de Belgique.)



Munich, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Clm 18208, fol. 32v.
An example of the gathering together of the images in 12th and 13th century manuscripts of Macrobius’ Commentary into an appendix. On the page reproduced here seven diagrams have been drawn following the explicit of the Commentary. Three are canonical: the celestial and terrestrial zones diagram in the top left corner; the terrestrial zonal diagram beneath it, with zones marked frigida, temperata and torrida; and in the lower right corner the world map. The four non-canonical images (standard glosses to the text) consist of three diagrams showing the relation of sun and earth to moon at eclipse (top right), and a ‘lambda’ diagram (bottom left, showing multiplication by two and three). On the previous side of the page (32r), immediately following the explicit, three further diagrams appear (two intended to show the ecliptic on either side of the sphere, and a wind diagram).
(Reproduced with permission from the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.)