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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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”. Behind this immense cone, the sun at the close of day disappears from view, and leaves the world which we inhabit in darkness, until, having circled round the cone, he reappears in the east to give birth to a new day.
He does not give the author’s name, but states that he flourished in the reign of the Roman Emperor Justinus, and dedicated his work to a certain Pamphilus. The Topography fortunately contains passages which throw light on the personal indicopleustess of its author, and enable us also to fix with kndicopleustes the date at which he wrote. Around Cosmas wrote the once-copiously illustrated Christian Topographya work partly based on his personal experiences as a merchant on the Red Sea and Indicoppeustes Ocean in the early 6th century.
On request of the Axumite king and in preparation for this campaign, he recorded now-vanished inscriptions such as the Monumentum Adulitanum which he mistakenly attributed to Ptolemy III Euergetes. The Vatican manuscript of the “Christian Topography” has explanatory maps and sketches, either made by Cosmas himself or indicopleustfs under his direction; they are of value as the first efforts of patristic geography.
Cosmas probably received only an elementary educationas he was intended for a mercantile life, and in his earlier years was engaged in business pursuits. He later became a monk and wrote several geographical treatisesundicopleustes only the Topographia and fragments of his commentaries on the Psalms and Gospels have survived. That to which Cosmas most probably belonged was the Nestorian. Cosmas mentions it in Book 1.
While it is known from classical literatureespecially the Periplus Maris Erythraei that indicopleeustes had been trade between the Roman Empire and India from the 1st century BC onwards, Cosmas’s report is one of the few from individuals who had actually made the journey. The heavens come indkcopleustes to us in four walls, which, at indicopldustes lower sides, are welded to the four sides of the earth beyond ocean, each to each.
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.
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The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes – World Digital Library
The subtleties of Cosmas were left to the Greeks, for the most part; the western geographers who pursued his line of thought were usually content to stop short at the merely negative dogmas of the Latin Fathers; and no great support was given to the constructive tabernacle system of the Indian merchant.
He is the first traveller to mention Syrian Christians cosas present-day Kerala in India. It was left to Cosmas to develop the conception and work it out into all its cosmae.
Like Herodotus of old, he was ever athirst after knowledge, and when he was unable to visit places which lay in the vicinity of his route, he made inquiries about them from such persons as knew them and could be trusted to report things truly.
Objections were urgeddirected especially against his views regarding the figure of the world. It may be, however, that by further study he increased his knowledgesince his notes and observations show more than ordinary training. For, on the whole, its influence is only slightly, and occasionally, traceable.
The ninth book, treating of the heavenly bodies, ascribes their motions to the angels, who groan under this hard and incessant toil which they perform for the benefit of man, and not for their own. This article uses text taken from the Preface to the Online English indicopleudtes of the Christian Topographywhich is in the public domain.
Some of these have been copied into the existing manuscripts, the oldest dating to the 9th century. He heaps text upon text to confute the advocates of this most pestilent doctrine, which, if admitted, would, he contended, abolish the future state and make the resurrection of Christ of no account.
The book was written in the sixth century by the monk Cosmas, whose sobriquet, Indicopleustes, points to an earlier career as a merchant and traveler. It was digitized in the early s as part of the Meeting of Frontiers project of the Library of Congress and partner institutions in the Russian Federation, the United States, and Germany. The best-known and most celebrated part of the “Topography” is the description, in the ninth book, of Ceylon and of the plants and animals of India.
Author Cosmas Indicopleustes, active 6th century. Manuscripts of the work as a rule were illustrated.
The base is formed by the surface of the earth, around which flows the ocean; on the other side of the ocean lies another — unknown — continent, from which rise the walls that support the firmament above. Yet, after all, the Christian Topography. The portion, moreover, of the Topography which is cosams “mud bank” of the comparison is not without some value. Cathay and the Way Thither.
Views Read Edit View history. Of these, the Christian Topography alone is extant. He then gives a very concise summary of the iv coskas of the Topography, and concludes with a reference to the last four books, which had from time to time been added to defend the doctrines set forth in those which had preceded.
The lower story is this world, where men and angels have their abode until indcopleustes Resurrection, and the story above is heaven the place of the future state.
Of equal importance is the information he collected concerning Zanzibar and the Indian Ocean, and what he learned as to the trade of Abyssinia with the interior of Africa and of Egypt with the East. The Pagan theory that the earth is spherical and placed in the centre of the universe, with the heavenly bodies revolving round it, accounted satisfactorily for the disappearance of the sun ihdicopleustes the night; but where could Cosmas, in whose philosophy there was neither a spherical earth nor any under-world, find a place for the great indicoplesutes of indicppleustes when no longer visible?
This curious attempt to harmonize a childish Biblical exegesis with ordinary phenomena and the current opinions of the time is at least superior to the extraordinary geographical hypotheses of that day. The modern academic discipline of geography is rooted in ancient practice, concerned with the…. At least it is a monument of infinite, because quite unconscious, humour. Since the Topography had for indicopleusttes main design the exposition of these views, it has been compared by Yule to “a mere bank of mud, but remarkable on account of certain geographical fossils which are found imbedded in it”.