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Indeed, as far as historians know, maps always were a political instrument, designed to affirm power upon a territory. Other good examples are the roman itinerarians (Antoninus' is a list of stationes and cities, with indicated distances between them), and of course The Table of Peutinger (https://leg8.fr/empire-romain/table-de-peutinger/). The last could easily be imagined as a Lunar mapping of its empire...

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7 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

 I thought this very interesting, if not exactly portable...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-56648055

I loved this post Ali.  What a great find!  You can just imagine this being part of some bronze age big wig's planning room decor.  It definitely needs a Gloranthan equivalent.

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2 hours ago, Darius West said:

I loved this post Ali.  What a great find!  You can just imagine this being part of some bronze age big wig's planning room decor.  It definitely needs a Gloranthan equivalent.

Troll maps! Carved into smooth stone. Analysed by touch. Disturbingly accurate.

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1 hour ago, Sir_Godspeed said:

Troll maps! Carved into smooth stone. Analysed by touch. Disturbingly accurate.

I quite like the idea that trolls have highly detailed and multilayered maps of underground and the surface world. I also imagine they would guard those quite jealously 

Edited by Ironwall
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33 minutes ago, Ironwall said:

I quite like the idea that trolls have highly detailed and multilayered maps of underground and the surface world. I also imagine they would guard those quite jealously 

I envision troll maps done as "reversals" -- empty space for where the ground is solid, but solid materials for empty tunnels & caves.  Surface-world (with air all above) is incised into a surface...

Different materials (kinds of stone, of metal, of wood), and different textures, could convey all sorts of extra info about places.

A big underground tunnel map might look like a wild wire-frame artwork to ignorant humans...

 

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5 hours ago, Darius West said:

I loved this post Ali.  What a great find!  You can just imagine this being part of some bronze age big wig's planning room decor.  It definitely needs a Gloranthan equivalent.

 

1 hour ago, Ironwall said:

I quite like the idea that trolls have highly detailed and multilayered maps of underground and the surface world. I also imagine they would guard those quite jealously 

Cheers folks!  I have to say that my thoughts went to Balazar and the tombs of his children.  Although having it laid on the bed of one of Gondo Holst's wagons as a map to the Chaotic sites of Balazar and the Elder Wilds also has interesting possibilities....

49 minutes ago, g33k said:

I envision troll maps done as "reversals" -- empty space for where the ground is solid, but solid materials for empty tunnels & caves. 

Interesting idea - have you seen the aluminium casts of insect nests that you can find on Youtube?

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9 minutes ago, Ironwall said:

in this case defiantly would be lead

you know i meant this as a joke but the shear weight of a lead map would be a good way to avoid these maps being taken by none Uz (Plus lead being the metal of Darkness)

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21 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

I thought this very interesting

What I find the most interesting about ancient maps is that the older they are, the more abstract they get. 

In the real world, this mostly means old maps were inaccurate representations of the real world, based on limited data, skills and tools.

As for Glorantha, I am convinced the old mythic maps shown in the Guide are totally accurate representations of what the world was like at that (non)time. They are not abstractions of what Glorantha was like at the time, but accurate representations of how abstract the reality of Glorantha itself as a world must have been before Time was born.

 

Edited by Hijabg
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I think the most interesting factor is that it is topographic, not simply a 2-D representation.  This is partly what led to the realisation that it is a map, since the 'inaccuracy' of the flat depiction had frustrated that earlier.

I also don't know that we can term old maps 'inaccurate' per se, since they encode what was important in the understanding of the cartographer - an importance which may well elude us.  How would a 17th century scholar interpret a modern lidar scan of their locale?

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Having spent half a day musing upon the above post, I would want to go further.  Why would anyone want a scale 2-D representation of an area of ground?

There really isn't any need for it, and particularly in Glorantha I think that there would be far more interest in depicting matters based on myth and religion.  For example from the RW, take the Mappa Mundi.  (Sorry for the size of the image, I can't seem to shrink it!)

See the source imageWhy wouldn't a medieval Christian monk want a map with Jerusalem at the centre?

See the source image

Given that his world view sees Jerusalem as the axis mundi it would be 'inaccurate' for it to be anywhere else.

Loϊc references

peutinger_original_031-800x400.gif

where 'actual' physical relationships are far less relevant than distances between specific points - something some modern wargames imitate.

I think that there will be a vast variety of mapping styles, based on the assumptions and purposes of the cartographer, and that each is likely to be perfectly 'accurate'.

 

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1 hour ago, Ali the Helering said:

(Sorry for the size of the image, I can't seem to shrink it!)

Shit, I was looking to increase it in size, this puppy needs a thorough examination. Vey cool Ali. I am curious 'bout what @Joerg, who is currently upgrading his skills relevant mapping, would think of it.
Brilliant topic and maps!

ETA, where might I find a unscalable version of the map?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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2 hours ago, Ali the Helering said:

where 'actual' physical relationships are far less relevant than distances between specific points - something some modern wargames imitate.

 

Or subway maps, for that matter. 

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This old map of Babylonian origin is a good example of an older map being more abstract than modern maps.

Map of the World, Babylonian, c. 700-500 B.C.E., probably from Sippar, southern Iraq, clay, 12.2 x 8.2 cm (The British Museum) 

 

Here is what I read about it when I was following the ancient art history course on Khan Academy. This was part of the chapter on Cuneiform writing.

Quote

The central area is ringed by a circular waterway labelled "Salt-Sea." The outer rim of the sea is surrounded by what were probably originally eight regions, each indicated by a triangle, labelled "Region" or "Island," and marked with the distance in between. The cuneiform text describes these regions, and it seems that strange and mythical beasts as well as great heroes lived there, although the text is far from complete. The regions are shown as triangles since that was how it was visualized that they first would look when approached by water.
The map is sometimes taken as a serious example of ancient geography, but although the places are shown in their approximately correct positions, the real purpose of the map is to explain the Babylonian view of the mythological world.

Taken from : https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/ancient-art-civilizations/ancient-near-east1/the-ancient-near-east-an-introduction/a/cuneiform

More information about the map on wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonian_Map_of_the_World

Quote

 

Objects on the Babylonian map of the world[4]
BabylonianWorldMap2.jpg
1. "Mountain" (Akkadian: šá-du-ú)
2. "City" (Akkadian: uru)
3. Urartu (Akkadian: ú-ra-áš-tu)
4. Assyria (Akkadian: kuraš+šurki)
5. Der (Akkadian: dēr)
6. ?
7. Swamp (Akkadian: ap-pa-ru)
8. Susa (capital of Elam) (Akkadian: šuša)
9. Canal/"outflow" (Akkadian: bit-qu)
10. Bit Yakin (Akkadian: bῑt-ia-᾿-ki-nu)
11. "City" (Akkadian: uru)
12. Habban (Akkadian: ha-ab-ban)
13. Babylon (Akkadian: tin.tirki), divided by Euphrates

14 – 17. Ocean (salt water, Akkadian: idmar-ra-tum)

18 – 22. outer "regions" (nagu)

23 – 25. No description.

Carlo Zaccagnini has argued that the design of the Babylonian map of the world may have lived on in the T and O map of the European Middle Ages.

 

By the way, some of the maps shows in the posts above mine are examples of "T and O maps" of Europe which share a similar design.

Some examples taken from the wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T_and_O_map

World_map_intermediate_between_T-O_and_mappa_mundi.jpg

 

800px-T_and_O_map_Guntherus_Ziner_1472.jpg

 

 

 

 

 
 
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2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Shit, I was looking to increase it in size, this puppy needs a thorough examination. Vey cool Ali. I am curious 'bout what @Joerg, who is currently upgrading his skills relevant mapping, would think of it.
Brilliant topic and maps!

ETA, where might I find a unscalable version of the map?

Try Wikimedia Commons "Hereford Mapp Mundi", it has a Zoom feature!

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On a related note, if you check out the maps in Revealed Mythologies, and The Fortunate Succession, they function on roughly similar logic. Less about geographic realism and more about denoting relative importance and relevance.

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Who needs topographic maps? Thematic maps were what started map making. Stuff like treasure charts or irrigation systems. Or land marks you need to pass in a certain way on a journey.

Answer: Even military planning was able to do without much of the topographical information. For strategy, topological maps of marching routes and supply lines work just as well. For well scouted battlefields, literal sandboxes had the advantage of offering the 3D terrain effects.

Linear maps are how people experience the world. Slime molds are about the only organisms I can think of that actually experience their surroundings two-dimensionally.

Fliers are very much aware of the third dimension. Their two-dimensional experience is mostly similar to that of a missile user - a tableau of possible targets. But flying or looking around from tall peaks or towers gives you at least a perspective view of areas.

Few fliers look directly down - most check for targets and obstacles in their predictable area of flight paths or check for dangers from above. When you need forward motion to stay aloft, you don't look directly down for targets. If you want to scan an area, you grab a nice thermal updrift and circle around, or you do long sweeping runs in rows with as much and as little overlap as necessary.

 

If you are limited to ground movement, coming up with a bird's view map is a lot more work as you will encounter obstacles and occlusions. People still created bird's view city plans of cities with no suitable elevations to observe these from, but perspective drawing was discovered only rather lately, in the Renaissance. Like the perspective map of Caernarfon, which was the basis for Raymond Feist's City of Carse. (That map doesn't convey the quite significant changes in elevation that you have to deal with when walking through the city - I doubt that Mr. Feist had visited the place in Wales when he created the supplement.)

Mapping elevation other than as terraces or significant slopes or cliffs is hard, as you need to introduce new symbology to the already somewhat confusing concept of a map.

 

When creating a map, you have to decide what information you want to show directly, what references you need to include so that the reader of the map can relate between your map and reality, and more importantly, what information to ignore. While I like maps with a serious information overload so I can make my own correlations from as many data sets as possible, that's for armchair analysis of a map. If I want to get from a to b, all I need are the road features ahead of me once I have decided on a route. Planning a route takes more of a 2-dimensional approach, but usually works with a topological network of routes rather than with cross-country considerations. Subway maps work fine, as long as you have an idea what subway stations are within walking distance from your destination. You don't want the topographical city map while deciding on where to change trains.

 

Whichever symbology you use in a map needs to be familiar with the reader. Map legends, scale, orientation arrows and grid explanations are important. In case of non-planar trigonometry, information on projections and how they alter the perception of distance, area and angles are essential, too.

The latter doesn't apply to most of surface world Glorantha (outside Magasta's maelstrom or the Outer World, but applies to the surface of the Red Moon, and possibly some of the planets).

Distances and sizes get weird at some distance from the center of the world. The farther out you get (including up and down), the less definite size and distance get. The cartoon use of a telescope or a binocular to overcome distances or sizes may apply in the Outer World, or in the God World.

Few Gloranthan cultures don't have the advantage of bird's eye views to map their surroundings. This availability of elevated observations may even push the discovery of 3D projections back into its Bronze Agey technology.

The absence of Mindlink from the RQG rulesbook takes one good source of birds' eye views away from the players' arsenal.

 

Edit: @Pentallion reminded me of the Malkioni patrons of map-making: The Vyimorni and their Vadeli descendants.

Maps are the works of the devil. Seriously.

Edited by Joerg
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Here's a 3rd century BC Roman itinerary engraved on silver cups (and a modern, flat re-creation to get a sense of the whole thing). I always envisoned the Lunars using something like this (though usually on a papyrus or linen scroll).

 

itinerarium1.JPG

itinerarium2.JPG

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I found an old article published by the Penn Museum that talks about ancient maps in general: https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/ancient-cartography/

Check out the Egyptian map of gold mines especially.

 

I also found a doctoral thesis: Terrestrial Cartography in Ancient Mesopotamia

It contains (inter alia) numerous plans of canals, city quarters, houses, and temples, so it's perfect for your next foray into Pavis and/or the Big Rubble. There's also a chapter on the Babylonian world map that @Hijabg mentioned above, including complete translations of the text, front and back.

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1 hour ago, Nerval said:

I found an old article published by the Penn Museum that talks about ancient maps in general: https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/ancient-cartography/

Check out the Egyptian map of gold mines especially.

 

I also found a doctoral thesis: Terrestrial Cartography in Ancient Mesopotamia

It contains (inter alia) numerous plans of canals, city quarters, houses, and temples, so it's perfect for your next foray into Pavis and/or the Big Rubble. There's also a chapter on the Babylonian world map that @Hijabg mentioned above, including complete translations of the text, front and back.

Thanks for this.  I hadn't come across the thesis before, and it is purest truestone!

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