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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He wrote, “In the Island of Taprobane Ceylonthere is a church of the Christians, and clerks and faithful.

Retrieved from ” https: It was left to Cosmas to develop the conception and work it out into all its details. A French translation of the most important parts is found in Charton, “Voyageurs anciens et modernes” Paris, ; a complete English translation, with notes and kndicopleustes critical introduction, was issued for the Hakluyt Society by J.

Cosmas | Egyptian geographer |

The style of the Topography has no doubt the shortcomings which the Patriarch pointed out; but Cosmas, it is proper to remember, indicopleusges disclaims all pretensions to the learning of the schools. If you prefer to suggest your own revision of the article, you can go to edit mode requires login.

He pleads that from his early years he had been so engrossed in business, and had been besides so much abroad, that he had found no spare time for studying rules of grammar and the art of composition; he could, therefore, only write in a homely style, without attempting any flights of rhetoric.

Now, as the table was twice as long as it was broad, and was placed lengthwise from east to west, and breadthwise from north inricopleustes south, from this we learn that the earth is a rectangular plane which extends in length from east to west, and in breadth from north to south, and is twice as long as it is broad. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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.

Farley, Archbishop of New York.

The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes

This vast rectangular hall is divided at the middle into two stories by the firmament, which thus serves as a ceiling for the lower story and a floor for indicopleustrs upper. In this respect modern opinion is entirely at variance with that of Photius.


Montfaucon, in his Preface, credits him with the discovery, in the Abyssinian province called Agau, of the true source of the Nile.

Clearly, therefore, the place of the earth was at the bottom of the universe a position to which it must have naturally sunk as he shows in a very curious passage at the very instant of its creation. It is a specimen of a once prevalent and not yet quite extinct mode of Scriptural exegesis; it reveals what were some of the main currents of thought which permeated the Christian world at the beginning of the Middle Ages; it discloses to what a lamentable degree, as Monotheistic Christianity rose to the ascendant, triumphant alike over the Persian Dualism of the Manichceans, and the Greek Pantheism of the Neo-Platonists, the light of Hellenic learning and science had faded from Christendom before as yet Islam, which was destined to receive and preserve that light, had appeared in the world; and while it exhibits the attitude in which Theology and Science in those days stood to each other, it illustrates the signal danger of regarding Scripture as a store-house of divine communications which may be turned to account in defending or in oppugning scientific speculations.

Here then the Pagans are at war with divine Scripture; but, not content with this, they are at war also with common sense itself and the very laws of nature, declaring, as they do, that the earth is a central sphere, and that there are Antipodes, who must be standing head-downward and on whom the rain must fall up. The work was widely disseminated in translation in Russia, where it had a long manuscript tradition and was read and transcribed for centuries.

You may find it helpful to search within the site to see how similar or related subjects are covered. The work is divided into twelve books and contains a description of the universeas Cosmas constructed it in his imaginationand an account of those regions which he had visited, or concerning which he had gathered information.

In the second book p. In the eleventh, which is entirely geographical, he describes indicop,eustes animals and plants which he had seen or heard of in the course of his travels, and gives an account also of the island of Ceylon, and of its extensive commerce with India, Persia, China, and the countries of the west.

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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. Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and…. The exposition is given, and Cosmas then proceeds to show how the minds of the Babylonians had been impressed by the miraculous indicopleustew of the retrogression of the shadow upon the sun-dialand how Cyrus had been led to favour the Jews and dismiss them from indicoplejstes Babylonian captivity by his reading the prophecies of Isaiah which referred to himself even by name.


Among others may be specified the indication of Clysma as the place of the passage of the Red Sea; the wares brought by merchants to the Israelites when they sojourned in the wilderness; the seat of the terrestrial Paradise; the worship of Mithras by the Persians; the rite of baptism; the indicoplehstes of the Nativity; the question of the canonicity of the Catholic Epistles; the exposition indicopleustfs the prayer of Hezekiah; the inscriptions on the rocks found in the coskas of Sinai; the state of Christianity in Socotra, Ceylon and India; the extent to which Christianity had spread over the heathen world; the interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel; extracts from Pagan writers and Fathers of the Church preserved only by Cosmas; and his views on the destiny of children xxi who die in the womb or in infancy.

He also occasionally cites the work in his celebrated edition of Marco Polo. Like Herodotus of old, he was ever athirst after knowledge, and when he was unable to visit places which lay in ijdicopleustes vicinity of his route, he made inquiries about them from such persons as knew them and could be trusted to report things truly.

Cosmas Indicopleustes

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 indicoppleustes patristic geography. Listen to this page.

Keep Exploring Britannica Mahatma Gandhi. Please try again later. Internet URLs are the best. It was one of the places which Cosmas, in pursuit of his calling, visited, 7 and from one or two of his statements we may infer that he was well received at Court, and was permitted by the King, who professed the Christian faith and could speak Greek, to travel freely through his dominions.