Sunday, March 16, 2008

Maps of the City

There are various representations of the city that have been published. Here we show a few of these and make comments upon them and their accuracy and relevance.

Below is first of the scholarly attempts to digram the city's layout in "modern" times. This was the work of the great Karl Ottfried Mueller, a German scholar who published this map in his Antiquitates Antiochenae in 1836.

The example below is notated in Hungarian and appears based upon the Downey map.We are not sure which source it originally comes from though. It is interesting because it has some landmarks marked upon it. These include the Regia (the old Royal Palace), the Seleucid Agora and the Golden Octagon.The interesting thing for us is that the Regia and the old Agora are shown outside the Justinian walls. We are intrigued as to why he should have redrawn the city walls to exclude part of the "Old" town, which presumably was its most densely inhabited quarter and if this map is correct, also rich in civic buildings, as the Agora would have had the usual quota of civil architecture and functions.

The next example is the famous Peutinger map. This aimed to show all the known world at the time of its execution. It is rather useless as a guide to anything as its consists of a representation of the spirit of the city astride some battlements.

The map below is by Wolfram Hoepfner. Its is an improvement on Mueller but not very much. The view of the island is better related to the reality of the situation. It shows way too many city blocks and then has a large "no-man's land" around the Parmenios. The Orontes "canal" is stylised into two straight lines.

But as one scholar pointed out to me, he had long been disoriented by the fact that most of the maps show the city with the river on the north side and the mountain on the south which is just not accurate.

The best map is Downey's shown below. This was prepared in the light of the Princeton excavations of the 1930's.

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