The Tabula Peutingeriana is a map of the known world, probably first created in the third or fourth century AD and copied at a later date, probably in the thirteenth century.
It was discovered in 1494 by Conradus Celtis, librarian of the emperor Maximilian I, in an unspecified library and bequeathed to Konrad Peutinger in 1508. The map consists of a long, narrow scroll of parchment (6.82m x 0.34 m) made up of eleven sections. The tabula comprises the world as it was known to the Romans, from Britain to the Ganges River, except that the westernmost part of the empire, which was on the twelfth sheet, is missing.
The map is in color, with the sea and rivers green, the mountains yellow or rose-colored and the roads in red and includes vignettes to indicate the presence of major cities, forests, towers, baths, fortifications and so on. Bodies of water, roads and stretches of land are schematically strung out along the horizontal strip of parchment. The method of projection has distorted the relationships between lands, seas, and islands. Furthermore, there are numerous errors in spelling and location.
Though Peutinger obtained permission in 1511 to publish the map, he never succeeded in doing so. The tabula was copied in its entirety and published at Antwerp in 1598 by his descendant, Marcus Weiser. This copy is very valuable, since it was made at a time when the map was far more legible. The work then sank into relative obscurity until the early eighteenth century. In 1737 it was acquired from Prince Eugene of Savoy by the emperor Charles VI and is today in the Austrian National Library (Osterreichische Nationalbibliothek), Vienna.
Various scholars have proposed various dates. In the early twentieth century, K. Miller convincingly argued that the map was created in A.D. 365-66, on the basis of the emphasis given to the depictions of the cities of Rome, Constantinople and Antioch, the three imperial residences at that time. W. Kubitscheck argued that the original was no later than the time of Caracalla. On paleographic grounds, both scholars thought the tabula itself a copy made in the twelfth-thirteenth centuries AD. A. Levi and M. Levi recently noted that it was recorded at the monastery of Colmar that a map of the world was made by a monk there in 1265, and this may be identical with the Tabula Peutingeriana.
Constantinople and the Propontis
Asia Minor and Egypt
Persia and India