The first real map of the world.

January 5, 2021 7:59 am


Whilst it is generally thought that Anaximander first developed and drew the original “map of the world” we do not have any copies of it. We only have the written testaments of his students to illustrate his work. However what we do have is the work of one of his most prized students Hecataeus of Miletus. As he was a student it’s believed that his map is an extension of Anaximander’s. The best thing is that we actually have a copy of Hecataeus’s map.

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It is a pretty good attempt at some cartography considering that they did not have all the main advantages that we have when it comes to exploration. This information was gathered by the naked eye from out to sea or walking the coastline. There was no way they could track the area from an aerial perspective! However, Hecataeus’s map is a pretty good match to the Mediterranean and over to the near and middle East. The increased trading network they established from the Phoiencians before them also helped.

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Whilst it may not be as detailed as the Planning Maps you can get from it is still a good general view. Hecataeus believed the world to be a flat plate shape, so he got the round bit right, with Earth set in one place and the Sun moving around it.

Hecataeus was also able to provide us with the first information on the Celts plus all of the Mediterranean people including Egypt and African Civilisations.