National Geographic : 1940 Mar
MAP LINKS CLASSIC WORLD WITH 1940 RESENT-DAY geography and its eventful background are combined in a noteworthy map, "Classical Lands of the Mediterranean,"* sent to more than 1,100,000 member homes of the National Geographic Society with this issue of their NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. This 10-color map, 35'4 by 26 inches, shows modern Italy and Greece with their adjacent lands and waters on a larger scale than in any previous Geographic production -35 miles to the inch-and it contains a remarkable amount of varied information. Here are shown old Roman roads, and routes of today's streamlined Italian trains; the pass where Hannibal crossed the Alps with his tank corps of elephants, and places where railroad tunnels now run deep under Alpine crags; the world of Homer which Odysseus wandered, and the Mediterranean area now crisscrossed by oil-burning battle ships and fast airplanes. The map is up-to-date to the latest boundary change or place name; yet through it shines the glory of Greece and Rome. Printed in red ink are 338 histori cal notes-some 4,500 words in notes alone -highlighting classical history and my thology back to 4,000 years ago. VAST ROMAN EMPIRE SURPASSED IN SIZE BY MODERN REALMS Largest of four insets is a map of the Roman Empire at its greatest extent under the Emperor Trajan in the years 98 to 117, when it reached from the Atlantic Ocean to the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf, and from Britain deep into Africa. Its area of 1,996,000 square miles was marvelous in an era of slow transportation, but it is surpassed by more than a million square miles by even the smallest of to day's "big six," Great Britain, Soviet Rus sia, France, China, the United States, and Brazil. Other insets show Homer's world and ancient Rome and Athens. Anaximander, "father of maps," who lived some 2,500 years ago, would be inter ested in this latest Geographic contribution. It shows his home town, the Greek city of Miletus in Asia Minor, and, like his great work, the first known "map of the world," it centers around the Mediterranean. Markers of the past help mightily in understanding the present. The island of Malta today is a British naval base; it also was the isle where St. Paul was shipwrecked, and the probable birthplace of Hannibal. The Limes Line, as Germany's Siegfried Position is sometimes called, takes its name from the Limes Germanicus, fortified fron tier built by the Romans, not for defense of the Germans but to keep them out. It is shown on the inset of the Roman Empire. MAP TELLS OF MANY WARS The number of times that the crossed swords symbol of battle appears makes the map reader realize that war in Europe is not new. The ancient world also knew democracy (Greeks invented the very word), and it had dictatorships, too. Through the area included in the south east corner of this map, civilization first filtered into Europe. Here the alphabet was introduced by Phoenician traders in bills of goods. Its first two letters were aleph and beth. The Greeks made them alpha and beta; hence our word "alphabet." Up to that time the Greeks, lacking writing, had employed in some communities a "remem berer" to keep records in his head. "Sardonic laughter" is a familiar phrase. A note traces the adjective's origin to the island of Sardinia where grew an herb be lieved to make those who ate it die of laughing. The city of Sybaris, near modern Sibari in Italy, was so wealthy that "sybarite" came to mean a person devoted to luxury and pleasure. Why is the inlet at istanbul called the Golden Horn? The map gives one an swer-unromantic fish. The waters were "golden" in the sense that here was one of the world's richest fisheries. The new supplement forms an ideal com panion to The Society's noteworthy map of Bible Lands (December, 1938), since to gether they embrace the entire world of the ancients. Students who read this map with imagi nation will find it comprises on one compact sheet a historic serial of romantic deeds and dates, a newsreel of high adventure, hal lowed places, and an engrossing compen dium of "Believe-it-or-not" wonders and "Information-Please" answers. * Members wishing additional copies of the map "Classical Lands of the Mediterranean" may ob tain them by writing the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. Prices, in the United States and Possessions, 50o on paper (unfolded); 75(' mounted on linen; index, 250. Outside of U. S . and Possessions, 75 on paper; $1 on linen; index, 50. Postage prepaid.