No Canon In Historiography?

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,745
Dispargum
Yes, form follows the function, but especially on the internet I found maps pushing certain agenda or showing biases. If the premise of the map is biased, can we really say that the cartographer is not driven by anything?
I can only tell you how cartographers are trained. We are all human and have human failings. But if the purpose of the map is to push a certain agenda, then that's how the map will be drawn. Assuming the cartographer was hired to draw the map, then the map is not coming from inside of the cartographer, it's bias' are coming from the employer.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,653
Benin City, Nigeria
The parts which were near sources of water, right. But the larger point was valid, correct?
The larger point was basically valid, yes. Though it wasn't actually always the case that states simply used natural barriers (like deserts or rivers) in the past.

They sometimes would just have an agreed upon border at a certain area without needing a natural barrier of some sort.

I merely meant to point out that significant swathes of the Sahara were under the control of specific groups and even some states for centuries. Not the whole of it of course.
 

Tsar

Ad Honorem
Apr 2015
2,010
Serbia
The larger point was basically valid, yes. Though it wasn't actually always the case that states simply used natural barriers (like deserts or rivers) in the past.

They sometimes would just have an agreed upon border at a certain area without needing a natural barrier of some sort.

I merely meant to point out that significant swathes of the Sahara were under the control of specific groups and even some states for centuries. Not the whole of it of course.
I am not saying that the states used natural barriers, but that the cartographers use them.
 

Ighayere

Ad Honorem
Jul 2012
2,653
Benin City, Nigeria
I am not saying that the states used natural barriers, but that the cartographers use them.
Okay. However, the example of the (entirety of the) Sahara being claimed by no one would still be incorrect so if a cartographer was drawing a map that way, he would be wrong. But I can understand why he would make that assumption since it's not an unreasonable assumption to make.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,380
Italy, Lago Maggiore
So , the moral is that anyone can do as he likes?
Almost so ...

Near my home, at Novara, there is the most important and reliable geographic institute in Italy [I would say in Europe], the Deagostini.

When someone wants from them a historical atlas they usually put on the table dozens of notes and remarks about what they can do.

The most beloved ancient civilization by Deagostini institute is just the Roman one. Why? Because they realized street networks and they made their own maps with those street networks as a backbone.

Fantastic, if you have to draw a map of the Roman Empire.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
Almost so ...

Near my home, at Novara, there is the most important and reliable geographic institute in Italy [I would say in Europe], the Deagostini.

When someone wants from them a historical atlas they usually put on the table dozens of notes and remarks about what they can do.

The most beloved ancient civilization by Deagostini institute is just the Roman one. Why? Because they realized street networks and they made their own maps with those street networks as a backbone.

Fantastic, if you have to draw a map of the Roman Empire.
Here lies the problem , the Roman empire is just limited to where Romans built roads? Or also where they had control like beyond the canonic borders? Because when instead you go to draw a map of mongols u don't have any colony or road but draw only a possible projection of force control , if you had to apply the same concepts to Roman empire portray then theempire would stretch way beyond what is nowday considered the usual borders.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,380
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Here lies the problem , the Roman empire is just limited to where Romans built roads? Or also where they had control like beyond the canonic borders? Because when instead you go to draw a map of mongols u don't have any colony or road but draw only a possible projection of force control , if you had to apply the same concepts to Roman empire portray then theempire would stretch way beyond what is nowday considered the usual borders.
Ancient Romans hadn't "canonic" [canonical?] borders ... they had physical borders.

They delimited the empire with a vallo or a limes or streets.

In Europe the Roman Empire was limited by valloes and limes [like in South Germany], in northern Africa and Asia streets were a good reference for the extension of the Roman domain.
 

Naima

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
2,323
Venice
Ancient Romans hadn't "canonic" [canonical?] borders ... they had physical borders.

They delimited the empire with a vallo or a limes or streets.

In Europe the Roman Empire was limited by valloes and limes [like in South Germany], in northern Africa and Asia streets were a good reference for the extension of the Roman domain.
The walls were not just borders but more junction points to canalize the flux of people toward certain centers ... also were not present everywhere . An example is the conquest of Caledonia ... when Caledonia was considered conquered and that Agricola subdued all tribes of Britannia... yet Roman empire maps usually stop at those walls rather than considering the control area that Romans considered . This is instead applied for Mongols ... where they have no borders but exercitate a control over an area like Romans did more or less... so looks like there are two weights and two measures when deyermining empire maps.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,380
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The walls were not just borders but more junction points to canalize the flux of people toward certain centers ... also were not present everywhere . An example is the conquest of Caledonia ... when Caledonia was considered conquered and that Agricola subdued all tribes of Britannia... yet Roman empire maps usually stop at those walls rather than considering the control area that Romans considered . This is instead applied for Mongols ... where they have no borders but exercitate a control over an area like Romans did more or less... so looks like there are two weights and two measures when deyermining empire maps.
In the past they didn't reason like us ...

we love lines, we need lines on a map!

No, ancient Romans [and generally ancient people] reasoned about which power controlled that city. Since once you controlled a city you controlled all its countryside.

The walls [vallo] and the limes were there to protect the controlled cities.

If you take a look at a Roman map of their own Empire you could be quite confused. A Roman map had no geographical sense. It was based on a projection of the street network.

In other words, it was functional to the Empire: how many days will it take to move a legion from city A to city B along an imperial street?