By Charles W. Hedrick Jr.
This ebook introduces scholars to the executive disciplines, tools and resources hired in 'doing' historical historical past, in preference to 'reading' it. The book:
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Extra resources for Ancient History: Monuments and Documents
At the same time climate, food supply, and geography also determine physical and mental qualities of people. The text emphasizes this point throughout. In one particularly dense section (24), the author contrasts various cultures of Europeans: people living in temperate mountainous regions will tend to be large, persistent, and courageous; those living in hot meadows will not have this persistence and courage, though these qualities can be produced by the force of law (or custom, nomos); those inhabiting temperate but infertile lands will usually be stubborn and independent; those who dwell in fertile and temperate regions will tend to be “fleshy, ill-articulated, moist, lazy, and generally cowardly in character.
An objective understanding, an understanding that controls subjectivity, is systematic; only by viewing things in a context can one understand them in themselves. The system of the modern map is the grid marked out by the lines of longitude and latitude. The view of the world depicted corresponds to nothing that could ever be seen in reality, because there is no perspective: each place is drawn as though seen from above; the point of perspective of the subject is dissolved into innumerable vantage points.
This map was preserved in medieval copy that eventually came into the hands of a collector named Konrad Peutinger. It is, by scholarly consensus, a more or less faithful copy of a late antique Roman map. The map is a parchment strip, more than seven yards long and about a foot and a half tall. Roads are drawn in straight lines, with distances between significant points noted. Towns and villas are drawn in perspective. Distortions can be conveniently evaluated by examining its representation of the Mediterranean.