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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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.

Rhetoric, 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.

The Vatican manuscript of the “Christian Topography” has explanatory maps and sketches, either made by Cosmas himself or prepared under his direction; they are of value as the first efforts of patristic geography.

These extracts were afterwards published in Thevenot’s Relation de divers Voyages, accompanied with a translation into French. Twenty years laterthe work appeared in its complete form as exhibited in the Florentine Codex, collated with that of the Vatican. Among the Old Believers dissenters from Russian Orthodox reforms in the midth centurythe work remains popular to the present day. The existence of the work, which had been for ages forgotten, and the importance and interest of its contents, were first made known in the latter half of the seventeenth century by Emeric Bigot.

The condemnatory verdict of Photius upon the work of Cosmas has not been endorsed by modern opinion.

The theory that there is an antipodes, says Cosmas, is a doctrine to be rejected. As a group of educational disciplines,…. Manuscripts of the work as a rule were illustrated. 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.

If it be necessary to suppose, as some investigators assert, that Cosmas was at any time a Nestorianit indicopleusres appear from his work, iindicopleustes “Christian Topography”, that, at least towards the close of indicopleusges life, he returned to the orthodox faith. Although he is commonly ranked among the greatest scientists of antiquity, very little is known about his life, and….


He was scornful of Ptolemy and others who held that the world was spherical. Cosmas aimed to prove that pre-Christian geographers had been wrong in asserting that the earth was spherical and that it was in fact modelled on the tabernaclethe house of worship described to Moses by God during the Jewish Exodus from Egypt. It may be, however, that by further study he increased his knowledgesince his notes and observations show more than ordinary training.

The ocean, he further gives us to know, is unnavigable, and, while encompassing this earth of ours, is itself encompassed by another earth, which had been the xvi seat of Paradise and the abode of man until the Ark, floating on the billows of the Flood, wafted Noah and his family over into this earth.

The Pagan theory which Cosmas especially detested, and made most frequently the subject of his scornful and violent invective, was that which maintained that the heavens were spherical and in constant revolution. Please note that our editors may make some formatting changes or correct spelling or grammatical errors, and may also contact you if any clarifications are needed. This comparison, however, we venture to think, does less than justice to the work, for besides the geographical there are many other “fossils” to be found in the mud, of indicopleusfes kinds and generally of more or less interest and value.

Cosmas Indicopleustes – Wikisource, the free online library

Had Cosmas in his monastery relapsed into what was there considered orthodoxy? The loss of the geographical treatise, as Montfaucon well says, is to be deplored with tears. This Book named by us Christian Topography comprehensive of the whole world, Montfaucon entitles it: Discover some of the most interesting and trending topics of Cos,as editor of New Advent is Kevin Knight.

In terms of content, the composition is a medieval encyclopedia of a csmas character. The work also gives much valuable information concerning the extension of Christianity in his day.

The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes

Retrieved from ” https: Listen to this page. The theory, again, by which Cosmas accounts for the vicissitudes of day and night is no less preposterous than his idea of the figure of the world. Cosmas seems to have personally visited the Kingdom of Axum in modern Ethiopiaas well as EritreaIndiaand Ceylon.

But while Cosmas regarded as impious the doctrine that the heavens revolve, he admitted indicopleistes revolution of the celestial luminaries, which, he held, were propelled in their courses by the angels, who do not live in heaven but indicoplejstes restricted to the aerial spaces below the firmament, until the resurrection.


The indicopleusfes with which Cosmas seeks to demolish this theory and to illustrate his own are absurd in the extreme; and were it not for the geographical, historical, and other kinds of ineicopleustes which are here and indicoplejstes incidentally introduced into its pages, his work would chiefly serve for amusement.

Thank You for Your Contribution! He indicoplesutes occasionally cites the work in his celebrated edition of Marco Polo. It seeks to answer the questions of why things are as they are, where they are. Its author stated his position as an article of Christian faith, but even in those times there was anything but a general agreement with his positive conclusions.

It is, however, in relating his travelling experiences that Cosmas is found at his best. 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. Robert Appleton Company, Cosmas ihdicopleustes, 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.

Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and…. By using this site, indicopleystes agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Byzantine geographers Byzantine writers Explorers of Asia 6th-century Byzantine people 6th-century Byzantine writers Greek explorers 6th-century Byzantine scientists. Montfaucon, in his Preface, credits him with the discovery, in the Abyssinian province called Agau, of the true source of the Nile.

It is essentially controversial, its professed design being to refute, from Scripture and common sense, the impious Pagan cosmography, according to which the earth is a sphere; and the centre around which the heaven, which is also a sphere, revolves with all its luminaries.

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