Marinus of Tyre, Phoenicia, and Phoenicia's Hall of Maps

Phoenician Encyclopedia
Highlight any text; our page(s) will read it. Text-to-speech


Marinus of Tyre was the founder of mathematical geography and assigner of latitude and lontitude in the design of maps. Evolution of cartography & Hall of Maps

      Twitter Logo Join PhoeniciaOrg Twitter
for alerts on new articles
Facebook Logo Visit our Facebook Page
for additional, new studies
Phoenician Mathematical Geography, Maps and Masters of Cartography in the Ancient World

Marinus of Tyre, Phoenicia, (ca. 70-130 A.D.) was a geographer and mathematician, as well as the founder of mathematical geography. His chief merits were that he assigned to each place its proper latitude and longtitude with equal spacing for lines (ca. 100 A.D.), and introduced improvements to the construction of maps and developed a system of nautical charts. His charts used the city of Rhodes as a central point of reference. He also carefully studied the works of his predecessors and the diaries of travellers. His maps were the first in the Roman Empire to show China.

Around 120 A.D., Marinus wrote that the habitable world was bounded on the west by the Fortunate Islands. The status of the Fortunate Islands as the western edge of the known world was more formally established when Claudius Ptolemy (90 - 168 A.D.) adopted the Fortunate Islands as the prime meridian for his Geographia, written ca. 150 A.D. He acknowledged his great obligations to Marinus. Geographia was lost to the west during most of the Medieval period, but was rediscovered during the fifteenth century. It was the most famous classical map of the world, unsurpassed for almost 1500 years. The sources that Ptolemy cited most consistently were the maps and writings of Marinus, as well as adopting his ideas and practices. Ptolemy’s commentaries on Marinus are the only records remaining about the latter’s work, as none of his maps or texts has survived.

1700 years before the modern discovery of the source of the Nile, Marinus wrote an account of a journey to the Ruwenzori ca. 110 A.D. He related the tale of a Greek merchant, Diogenes who claimed a 25 day journey inland from the African East coast to "two great lakes and the snowy range of mountains where the Nile draws it's twin sources." Ptolemy and Marinus were major authorities used by Columbus in determining the circumference of the globe.

Phoenicia's Hall of Maps

The collection of maps in this virtual hall provides a visual tour on the evolution of cartography through centuries, from 6200 B.C. till the Roman era. In addition, maps of Phoenicia Prima, the Phoenician Colonies, Settlements and Trading Posts, and a unique Phoenician coin which is believed to contain a map of the world.

Recognition: This page and the related Phoenicia's Hall of Maps were inspired by Dr. Gavin Francis, a physician and history enthusiast with The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) Research station located Latitude 75°35' S, Longitude 26°34' W, Brunt Ice Shelf, Coats Land, Antartica. I am indebted to Dr. Francis for writing to me about this important subject.

Phoenicia's Hall of Maps
Click on the thumbnails to view detailed, larger images

1ancientmapscombo 2greekhomermap 3greekhecuteusmap
4greekstrabomap 5ptolomeyworldmap 6romanworldmap
Eratpstjemes & Strabo
200 B.C. to 20 A.D.
Ptolomey 150 A.D. Roman
7fallearthworldmap 8phoeniciamaritima 9coloniesmap
Perception of World by the Ancients Phoenicia Prima Phoenician Colonies
9zphoeroutescombo zcoinmapcombo zznatuicalarchmap
Phoenician Sea & Land Voyages Phoenican World Map on a Coin Phoenician Deep Sea and Coastal Archaeological Sites Map
zzzlevantsatiliteview zzzzphoecolontradeposts zzzzzcanaantwns
Satellite View of Phoenicia Phoenician World with Cities Canaanite Phoenician Names of Cities and Village in Lebanon
Phoenician Prima and Coele Syria Phoenician Secunda Hannibal Military Routes & Operations
Hannibal's 16 Years Military Campaign in Italy    

Related link: Prehistoric Globalization, maps that change history by Enrique Garcia Barthe

Sources & Further Reading:

  1. J. Siebold; Ancient Maps, April 1998.
  2. Faul, Stephanie; MappoMundi, 2000.
  3. J.J. O'Connor, E.F. Robertson,; The history of cartography, August 2002.
  4. J L Berggren and A Jones, Ptolemy's Geography : An annotated translation of the theoretical chapters (Princeton, 2000).
  5. T Campbell, Early maps (New York, 1981).
  6. T Campbell, The earliest printed maps, 1442-1500 (London, 1987).
  7. N Crane, Mercator : The Man who mapped the Planet (London, 2002).
  8. G R Crone, Maps and their makers (London, 1953).
  9. I J Curnow, The world mapped (London, 1930).
  10. J. Méndez; The History of La Palma, July 2003.
  11. R W Karrow, Mapmakers of the sixteenth century and their maps (Chicago, 1993).
  12. F Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums X : Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Historische Darstellung. Teil 1 (Frankfurt am Main, 2000).
  13. F Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums XI : Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Historische Darstellung. Teil 2 (Frankfurt am Main, 2000).
  14. F Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums XII : Mathematische Geographie und Kartographie im Islam und ihr Fortleben im Abendland. Kartenband (Frankfurt am Main, 2000).
  15. H Stevens, Ptolemy's Geography : A brief account of all the printed editions down to 1730 (London, 1908).
  16. F J Swetz, The Sea Island mathematical manual : surveying and mathematics in ancient China (Pennsylvania, PA, 1992).
  17. R V Tooley, Maps and Mapmakers (London, 1949).
  18. R Vermij (ed.), Gerhard Mercator und seine Welt (Duisburg, 1997).
  19. M Watelet (ed.), Gérard Mercator cosmographe : le temps et l'espace (Antwerp, 1994).
  20. J N Wilford, The mapmakers : the story of the great pioneers in cartography from antiquity to the space age (New York, 1981).
  21. Additional references


  1. A Ahmedov and B A Rozenfel'd, "Cartography" - one of Biruni's first essays to have reached us (Russian), in Mathematics in the East in the Middle Ages (Russian) (Tashkent, 1978), 127-153.
  2. K Andersen, The central projection in one of Ptolemy's map constructions, Centaurus 30 (2) (1987), 106-113.
  3. L Bendefy, Regiomontanus und Ungarn, in Regiomontanus studies, Vienna, 1976 (Vienna, 1980), 243-253.
  4. A V Dorofeeva, From the history of the discovery of the Mercator projection (Russian), Mat. v Shkole (3) (1988), i; 81.
  5. N S Ermolaeva, Mathematical cartography and D A Grave's method for solving the Dirichlet problem (Russian), Istor.-Mat. Issled. No. 32-33, (1990), 95-120.
  6. H Kautzleben, Carl Friedrich Gauss und die Astronomie, Geodäsie und Geophysik seiner Zeit, in Festakt und Tagung aus Anlass des 200 Geburtstages von Carl Friedrich Gauss, Berlin, 1977 (Berlin, 1978), 123-136.
  7. C Lardicci, Geometric aspects of cartography (Italian), Archimede 34 (1-2) (1982), 23-42.
  8. R P Lorch, Ptolemy and Maslama on the transformation of circles into circles in stereographic projection, Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 49 (3) (1995), 271-284.
  9. O Neugebauer, Ptolemy's Geography, book VII, chapters 6 and 7, Isis 50 (1959), 22-29.
  10. D B Quinn, Thomas Harriot and the new world, in Thomas Harriot : Renaissance scientist (Oxford, 1974), 36-53.
  11. M Schramm, Verfahren arabischer Nautiker zur Messung von Distanzen im Indischen Ozean, Z. Gesch. Arab.-Islam. Wiss. 13 (1999/00), 1-55.
  12. M A Tolmacheva, Ptolemy's East Africa in early medieval Arab geography, J. Hist. Arabic Sci. 9 (1-2) (1991), 31-43, 131-129.

DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed in this site do not necessarily represent nor do they necessarily reflect those of the various authors, editors, and owner of this site. Consequently, parties mentioned or implied cannot be held liable or responsible for such opinions.

This is to certify that this website, is NOT in any way related to, associated with or supports the Phoenician International Research Center,, the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) or any other website or organization foreign or domestic. Consequently, any claims of association with this website are null.


Additional references, sources and bibliography (Please don't write and ask me for references. You can find them at the end of article or in Bibliography)

Phoenicia, A Bequest Unearthed -- Phoenician Encyclopedia

© Copyright, All rights reserved by holders of original referenced materials and compiler on all pages linked to this site of: © Phoenician Canaanite Encyclopedia -- © Phoenician Encyclopedia -- © Punic Encyclopedia -- © Canaanite Encyclopedia -- © Encyclopedia Phoeniciana, Encyclopedia Punica, Encyclopedia Canaanitica.  

The material in this website was researched, compiled, & designed by Salim George Khalaf as owner, author & editor.
Declared and implied copyright laws must be observed at all time for all text or graphics in compliance with international and domestic legislation.

Contact: Salim George Khalaf, Byzantine Phoenician Descendent
Salim is from Shalim, Phoenician god of dusk, whose place was Urushalim/Jerusalem
"A Bequest Unearthed, Phoenicia" — Encyclopedia Phoeniciana

This site has been online for more than 22 years.
We have more than 420,000 words.
The equivalent of this website is about 2,200 printed pages.

Trade Mark
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20