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Why did the Romans create a massive, entirely impractical map of their empire?


The Tabula Peutingeriana, or the Peutinger Map, is understood for each its peculiar dimensions and unsure origins. A parchment scroll a foot tall and 22 toes lengthy, the map depicts the Roman Empire at the peak of its energy, spanning from Spain to India. While its emphasis on roads and inhabitants centres appears to suggest it’s a transit map, it options cities that by no means existed concurrently, and it locations little concentrate on waterways, which have been usually the empire’s best journey routes. Further complicating issues, the solely model of the map remaining is a Thirteenth-century copy of the seemingly 4th-century Roman unique. In this light-hearted video essay, the US graphic designer and video producer Jeremy Shuback explores the many historic controversies and uncertainties surrounding the Tabula Peutingeriana. For the job, he enlists the assist of Richard J A Talbert, a analysis professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who spent a decade learning the map. Reasoning his method by its many idiosyncrasies, Talbert presents his view that the unique was seemingly a method for Romans to reveal, above all, the scope and energy of their empire.

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