H E Christian Topography of Cosmas, surnamed Indicopleustes, or the Indian Navigator, has been preserved in two copies: one a parchment MS. of the tenth. (COSMAS THE INDIAN VOYAGER). A Greek traveller and geographer of the first half of the sixth century, b. at Alexandria, Egypt. Cosmas probably received. 1. TITLE: World Pictures of Cosmas. DATE: A.D.. AUTHOR: Cosmas Indicopleustes of Alexandria. DESCRIPTION: Much of the tone of medieval European.

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The Plates found in the Appendix have been reproduced by photography from those which accompany Montfaucon’s edition of the Topography.

Cosmas Indicopleustes – Wikisource, the free online library

Internet URLs are the best. According to Cosmas the world is a rectangular structure in two sections, their length much greater than their breadth, and corresponding in form and proportions to the Tabernacle of the Old Testament. The indidopleustes pursuits of Cosmas carried him into seas and countries far remote from his home.

As soon as the Topography, in its complete edition by Montfaucon, made its appearance, it excited great interest in the circles of learning, and at once took rank as a work which contained more accurate and more valuable information on geographical subjects than any other document that had come down from the early mediaeval age.

Cosmas Indicopleustes

In this respect modern opinion is entirely at variance with that of Photius. Social science, any discipline or branch of science that deals with human behaviour in its social and cultural aspects. A list of thesebut not pretending to be completehas been given by Montfaucon in his Introduction.

To the Topography, when first published, Cosmas prefixed two prologues, in the first of which he exhorts his readers to bestow upon his works a diligent and careful perusal; and in the second, which contained the dedication to Pamphilus and apologies for his own shortcomings as a writer, he points out the nature of the contents of each of the five books of which the work then consisted. The language he uses is simple, and his descriptions are not only remarkably vivid, but are, above all things, truthful.

Probably a Nestorian Christian, Cosmas sailed around the shores of the Indian Ocean and for some time was engaged in trade in Ethiopia and Asia. Among others may be specified the indication of Clysma as the place of the passage of the Red Sea; the wares brought by merchants to the Israelites when they sojourned in the wilderness; the seat of the terrestrial Paradise; the worship of Mithras by the Persians; the rite of baptism; the date of the Nativity; the question of the canonicity of the Catholic Epistles; the exposition of the prayer of Hezekiah; the inscriptions on the rocks found in the desert of Sinai; the state of Christianity in Socotra, Ceylon and India; the extent to which Christianity had spread over the heathen world; the interpretation of the prophecies of Daniel; extracts from Pagan writers and Fathers of the Church preserved only by Cosmas; and his views on the destiny of children xxi who die in the womb or in infancy.


Around Cosmas wrote the once-copiously illustrated Christian Topographya work partly based on his personal experiences as a merchant on the Red Sea and Indian Ocean in the early 6th century.

He was scornful of Ptolemy and others who held that the world was spherical. His description of India and Ceylon during the 6th century is invaluable to historians.

Cosmas Indicopleustes – Wikipedia

Behind this immense cone, the sun at the close of day disappears from view, and leaves the world which we inhabit in darkness, until, having circled round the cone, he reappears in the east to give birth to a new day. Albert Einstein, German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and….

It contains knowledge of both a theological and a natural philosophical or scientific character, and describes, from the perspective of Christian dogma, human understanding of the surrounding world: The Oxford Handbook of Late Antiquity.

Thank you for your feedback. In the first book he attacks, and to his own satisfaction demolishes, the pernicious anti-Christian doctrines of the Pagan philosophy, that the world is spherical and that there are Antipodes.

Though Cosmas was scornful of Ptolemy and others who believed in a spherical Earth, his idiosyncratic work is not representative of the general state of cosmographic theory among Christian philosophers of his day and had small influence on later writers. Had Cosmas in his monastery relapsed into what was there considered orthodoxy? There was still another interesting locality which the traveller tells us he visited, and this lay on the other side of the Red Seathe Desert, namely, of Sinai, where he found, strewn among the sands, fragments of rock covered with inscriptions which he took to have been carved by the Israelites when they were wandering in that wilderness.

Author:Cosmas Indicopleustes

It seeks to answer the questions of why things are as they are, where they are. They indicopleustee have sunk, therefore, into despair, had they not seen that, even after the Fall, God was merciful and kind to man, on whose destinies their own depended. He then gives a very concise summary of the iv contents of the Topography, and concludes with a reference to the last four books, which had from time to time been added to defend the doctrines set forth in those which had preceded.


With regard to the place which Cosmas holds in history, we cannot do better than cite the estimate expressed by the same writer, indiccopleustes wide and accurate knowledge of mediaeval literature enables him to speak ex cathedra on the subject. If it be necessary to suppose, as some investigators assert, that Cosmas was at any time a Nestoriancosmws would appear from his work, the “Christian Topography”, that, at least towards the close of cosmaw life, he returned to the orthodox faith.

Retrieved 3 November He traversed the Mediterranean, the Red Seaand the Persian Gulf, and gathered information about ccosmas lying far to the East; but it is not certain that he actually visited India. So he explains again and again that the division of the Tabernacle into two places, by means of the veil, typified the division of the universe into two worldsan upper and a lower, by means of the firmament.

Discover coosmas of the most interesting and trending topics of Calling to his aid the words of Solomon, which declared that the sun on rising turned first towards the south and then xviii towards the north, where he went down, and thence hastened to the place in which he arose, he made them the basis of the following extraordinary theory.

The problem did not baffle his ingenuity. Subject Date Around – From the rise of Islam the geographical knowledge of Christendom is on a par with its practical contraction and apparent decline.

It was left to Cosmas to develop the conception and cosmmas it out into all its details. The work also gives much valuable information concerning the extension of Christianity in his day. In his later years he entered the monastery of Raithu on the Peninsula of Sinai. The earth, he tells us, gradually rising up from the south, extends westward, until it culminates at last in a huge conical mountain situated somewhere in the far-away frozen north.

How, he was asked, could the sun, which was many times larger than the earth, be hidden behind the mountain in the north, however great its altitude? The existence of the work, which had been for ages forgotten, and the importance and interest of its contents, were first made known in the cosmmas half of the seventeenth century by Emeric Bigot.