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The Oronteus Finaeus Map

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Author Topic: The Oronteus Finaeus Map  (Read 1811 times)
Bianca
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« on: July 11, 2007, 11:40:32 am »








Classical geographers, it is true, had hypothesized the existence of just such a southern land, but in doing so they appear to have been led by esthetic - or logical - considerations. Since they knew the earth was a globe and that the land mass to the north was frozen, it was logical that there should be a land to the far south, balancing that to the north. But it is a long way from a general hypothesis such as this to the delineation of a continent.


This is not to deny that there are differences - important differences - between Finé's "southern land." and Antarctica as we know it. The most obvious of these is the distance between the southern tip of South America and Antarctica. In Finé's map the two continents are virtually touching, when in fact they are separated by some 600 miles. He appears to have thought that the "southern land" lay immediately south of the Strait of Magellan and that it was much bigger than it really is.


Furthermore, there is nothing on the Finé map that could correspond to the Palmer Peninsula. If a charitable critic should say that this is because it is partially obscured by sheet ice, and its true outline could not have been visible, then why is the Ross Sea shown - as it apparently is—without ice? And there are smaller differences as well, such as the slightly mistaken orientation of Byrd Land.


On the other hand there is no denying that Tine's "southern land" closely resembles Antarctica - nor the fact that Finaeus had added a Latin inscription that reads: "The recently discovered southern land; it is not yet fully known".
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