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.
My notes on the Map: No information has been added to Ptolemy's text as I have it; there is little topographic information, and the courses of the rivers remain unmapped.
The relative congestion of towns in the North remains a feature of modern Morocco: the south is desert. Madeira and the Canary Islands are more or less in the right places.
The really interesting trait of this map, however, is that the N coast is substantially accurate in its orientation while the W coast appears rotated by about 50° counterclockwise, although accurate enough with respect to itself. The active traffic in the Mediterranean provided cross-checks, as did the nearby coast of Spain, that were lacking for the Atlantic coast.
The western side of Mauritania Tingitana is bounded by a part of the Outer sea, which we call the Western Ocean; it extends from the Hercules strait to the Greater Atlas mountains, and is thus described:
|mouth of the Zilias river||6*00||35°40|
|mouth of the Lix river||6*20||35°15|
|mouth of the Subur river||6*20||34°20|
|mouth of the Sala river||6*10||33°50|
|mouth of the Duas river||6*10||33°20|
|Lesser Atlas mountains||6*00||33°10|
|mouth of the Cusa river||6*40||32°45|
|mouth of the Asana river||7*00||32°00|
|mouth of the Diur river||7*20||31°20|
|mouth of the Phuth river||7*30||30°30|
|mouth of the Una river||8*00||28°30|
|mouth of the Agna river||8*30||27°50|
|mouth of the Sala river||8*40||27°20|
|Greater Atlas mountains||8*00||26°30|
The northern side is terminated by the strait, on which, after the promontory are the following:
|mouth of the Valon river||7*00||35°50|
|Septem Fratres mountains||7*40||35°50|
and by the Iberic sea coast on which are the following:
|mouth of the Thaluda river||8*30||35°00|
|Taenia Longa||9*30||35°45 a|
|mouth of the Molochath river||10*45||34°45|
|mouth of the Malva river||11*10||34°50|
The eastern side is bordered by Mauritania Caesariensis which extends southward from the mouth of the Malva river to
The south side moreover is terminated by the bordering races of Interior Libya along the line joining the termini, which we have mentioned.
The Metagonitae inhabit the parts of this province which extend along the strait; the Socossi the parts which extend along the Iberic sea, and below these are the Verves; then below the Metagonites region are the Mazices; then the Verbices, below whom are the Salinsae and the Cauni; then the Bacuatae; below whom are the Macanitae; below the Verves are the Volubiliani; then the Iangaucani; below whom are the Nectiberes; and next is
Below these are the Zegrenses; then the Baniubae and the Vacuatae. Moreover the Maurenses and a part of the Herpeditani inhabit the entire east side.
The noted mountains in this land are those which are called the Diur,
then the Phocra mountains which extend from the Lesser Atlas to the Ussadium promontory along the coast, and
The following towns are in the interior region of Mauritania Tingitana:
The islands adjacent to this province toward the west in the Outer ocean are
a 35*45 in the 1932 edition, a modern typo; for what, is not easy to determine. 34*45 and 34*55 seemed the most likely possibilities. Since the Mediterranean coast is quite substantially accurate, but the medieval map shows a deep inlet (where there is none, in fact), I've opted for the simple emendation to 34*45, providing a bit of an inlet and bringing out the promontory E of Taenia Longa.
2d Climate, § 1
in 380 AD
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Page updated: 31 Jan 10