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Bill Thayer
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This webpage reproduces a section of
The Geography

of
Claudius Ptolemy

published in English translation by Dover Publications, 1991

The text is in the public domain.

This text has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Book II, Chapter 1

Location of Hibernia island of Britannia
(from the First Map of Europe)

Thayer's Note: Stevenson's "translation" of Ptolemy, to which this page belongs, is abysmally bad. It should not be used for any serious purpose. For details and correctives, see my Ptolemy homepage.

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A schematic map, described in the text of this webpage.
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My notes on the map:

No information has been added to Ptolemy's text as I have it: there is no topographic data and the courses of the rivers remain unmapped.

Considering that in outlying areas Ptolemy seems to have got most of his information from seafarers, it's interesting to note that most of the towns on his map are inland. Sure enough, this corresponds to reality: the coasts of Ireland are desolate, and the kingdoms that shared the island thru the Middle Ages had inland capitals. Two towns are in fact marked Regia = king's town; one is Dunum — Celtic for hillfort.

A description of the north coast, beyond which is located the Hyperborean ocean:

Boreum promontory 11*00 61°00
Vennicnium promontory 12*50 61°20
mouth of the Vidua river 13*00 61°00
mouth of the Argita river 14*30 61°30
Rhobogdium promontory 16*20 61°30

The Vennicni inhabit the west coast; next to them and toward the east are the Rhobogdi

A description of the west side, which borders on the Western ocean

from the Boreum promontory which is in 11*00 61°00
mouth of the Ravius river 11*20 60°40
Magnata city 11*15 60°15
mouth of the Libnius river 10*30 60°00
mouth of the Ausoba river 10*30 59°30
mouth of the Senus river 9*30 59°30
mouth of the Duris river 9*40 58°40
mouth of the Iernus river 8*00 58°00
Southern promontory 7*40 57°45a1

The Erdini inhabit the coast next to the Vennicni, and between these are the Magnatae; then the Autini; and the Gangani; below whom are the Vellabori.

Description of the south coast, which adjoins the Vergionius ocean,

from the southern promontory which is in 7*40 57°40a2
mouth of the Dabrona river 11*15 57°00
mouth of the Birgus river 12*30 57°30
Sacrum promontory 14*00 57°50

A description of the east side touching the ocean which is called Hibernian,

beginning at the Sacrum promontory which is in 14*00 57°50
mouth of the Modonnus river 13*40 58°40
Manapia town 13*30 58°40
mouth of the Oboca river 13*10 59°00
Eblana town 14*00 59°30
mouth of the Bubindas river 14*40 59°40
Isamnium promontory 15*00 60°00
mouth of the Vinderis river 15*00 60°15
mouth of the Logia river 15*20 60°40

Next to this is the Robogdium promontory.

On the side next to the Robogdi dwell the Darini, below whom are the Volunti; then the Eblani; then the Cauci; below whom are the Manapi; then the Coriondi who dwell above the Brigantes.

The following are the inland towns:

Regia 13*00 60°20
Rhaeba 12*00 59°45
Laberus 13*00 59°15b
Macolicum 11*30 58°40
another Regia 11*00 59°15
Dunum 12*30 58°45
Hibernis 11*00 58°10

Above Hibernia are the Ebuda islands five in number,

the largest of which toward the west is called Ebuda 15*00 62°00
next to this toward the east likewise is Ebuda island 15*40 62°00
then Rhicina 17*00 62°00
then Malaeus 17*30 62°30
then Epidium 18*30 62°00

Toward the east of Hibernia are these islands:

Monaoeda island 17*40 61°30
Mona island 15*00 57°40
Adru which is barren 15*00 59°30
Limnu which is barren 15*00 59°00

Thayer's Notes:

a1 a2 The Stephenson edition lists this promontory twice at slightly different latitudes: 57°45 and 57°40. Not knowing the source of the error, I did the reasonable thing and gave the peninsula a bit of width. . . . Still, that's no way to run an atlas.

b Here, the 1932 edition has 13*59  15°, clearly a modern error for 13*—  59°15, i.e., probably 13*00  59°15. 
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