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 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.

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 style of the Topography has no doubt the shortcomings which the Patriarch pointed out; but Cosmas, it is proper to remember, expressly disclaims all pretensions to the learning of the schools.

When the ship which carried Cosmas was approaching this dread region of currents and fogs, a storm gathered overhead, and flocks of albatrosses, like birds of ill omen, hovered on the wing high above the mast. Twenty years later nidicopleustes, the work appeared in its complete form as exhibited in the Florentine Codex, collated with that cosmzs the Vatican.

According, moreover, as he is high or low during his nocturnal revolution, the nights vary in their length; while, owing to a slight obliquity in his motion, eclipses are produced. 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 cosmax the sun during 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 orb of light when no longer visible?

This vast rectangular hall is divided at the middle into two stories by the firmament, which cosmaa serves as a ceiling for the lower story and a floor for the upper. The table of shew-bread, again, with its waved border, represented the earth surrounded by the ocean, while its other parts and the things upon it symbolized each some object or other in the natural world. The exposition is given, and Cosmas then proceeds to show how the minds of the Babylonians had been impressed by the miraculous sign of the retrogression of the shadow upon the sun-dialand how Cyrus had been led to favour the Jews and dismiss them from their Babylonian captivity by his reading the prophecies of Isaiah which referred to himself even by name.

Help us improve this article! The earlier date thus probably imdicopleustes the time when he began to make such additions, and the later when he was making the last, or one of the last, recensions of his work. 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. 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.


comas Of these, the Christian Topography alone is extant. 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 cosjas the first efforts of patristic geography. The arguments 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 notices which are here and there incidentally introduced into its pages, his work would chiefly serve for amusement.

He then gives a very concise summary of the iv contents of the Topography, and concludes with a reference ihdicopleustes the last four books, which had from time to time been added to defend the doctrines set forth in those which had preceded. The heavens come downward to us in four walls, which, at their lower sides, are jndicopleustes to the four sides of the earth beyond ocean, each to each.

Among the Old Believers dissenters from Russian Orthodox reforms in the midth centurythe work remains popular to the present day.

The Christian Topography of Cosmas Indicopleustes

He knew that his work was unique. The Topography was republished at Venice in in Gallandi’s Bibliotheca veterum Patrum, and its most valuable sections were, printed, along with a French translation, at Paris inin Charton’s Voyageurs Anciens et Indkcopleustes. For, on the whole, its influence is only slightly, and occasionally, traceable. Cosmas viewed the Tabernacle of Moses as a model of the universe, the Earth being a rectangular plane surmounted by the sky, above which was heaven.

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Objections were urgeddirected especially against his views regarding ihdicopleustes figure of the world. The first who called in question the orthodoxy of our Monk was De La Croze, who, in his Histoire du Christianisme des Indes, adduced the following arguments to prove his Nestorian proclivities: They would have sunk, therefore, into despair, had they not seen that, even after the Fall, God was merciful and kind to man, on whose destinies their own depended.

Listen to this page. Manuscripts of the work as a rule were illustrated.

CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Cosmas Indicopleustes

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To this point Photius makes no reference, and it has been equally overlooked by Montfaucon. 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 different kinds and generally of more or codmas interest and value. A list of thesebut not pretending to be completehas been given by Montfaucon in his Introduction.

The work was widely disseminated in translation in Russia, where it had a long manuscript tradition and was read and transcribed for centuries. As a group of educational disciplines,…. Any text you add should be original, not copied from other sources. The modern academic discipline of geography is rooted in ancient practice, concerned with the….

In The Catholic Encyclopedia. The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity. 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. In the days of Cosmas ecclesiastical controversies were rife, and professing Christians were divided ix into numerous sects.

Views Read Edit View history. 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. How, then, is this earlier date to be reconciled with the later?

His variant name is Latin, meaning the Indian Navigator. His business took him to the regions lying south of Egyptthe farthest point of his travels in this direction being Cape Guardafui. Calling to his aid the words of Solomon, which declared that inicopleustes sun on rising turned first towards the south and then xviii towards the north, where indicopkeustes went down, and thence hastened to the place in which he indicopleuustes, he made them the basis of the following extraordinary theory.

In the eleventh, which is entirely geographical, he describes some 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 indicoppleustes the west.

Place Central and South Asia Kazakhstan. The eighth book is addressed by Cosmas to another of his friends, called Peter, who had asked him to expound the Prayer of Hezekiah.

The Sun, much smaller than the Earth, revolved around a conical mountain to the north. This learned French scholar, while visiting Italy, extracted from the Florentine Codex a copy of the ii Adulitic Inscriptions, 1 and of passages relating to Ethiopia and India.