Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 16.djvu/508

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482
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

and Calypso, and the floating island of Eolus. A little to the north of the Pillars of Hercules was the entrance to the infernal regions; and far out in the Western Ocean, beyond the limits of the known earth, was the happy region called Elysium, a land of perpetual summer, where a gentle zephyr constantly blew, where tempests were unknown, and where the spirits of those whose lives had been approved by the gods dwelt in perpetual felicity. Here, also, were the gardens of the Hesperides, with their golden apples guarded by the singing nymphs, who dwelt on the river Oceanus, which was in the extreme west, and the position of which was constantly shifted as geographical knowledge increased.

When the idea became firmly fixed in the mind of the learned that the earth was a sphere, it naturally followed among an artistic people like the Greeks that some attempt would be made to give a physical

PSM V16 D508 Map of ptolemy 150 ad.jpg
Fig. 4.— Ptolemy's Map, a. d. 150.

representation of it, and accordingly we are told that Crates (b. c. 326) constructed a globe of the inhabited part of the earth, from the Arctic to the Tropic, in the form of a half-circle. The zone about the tropics he represented as an uninhabitable portion, entirely covered by water (a belief which existed for a long time afterward), and the southern half beyond as that of an unknown but inhabited region. Dicearchus the Messinian (b. c. 296), a very accomplished man, and the writer of several geographical works, which are lost, constructed a map of the world in an oval form, which appears to have been highly estimated, and to have been the model upon which subsequent maps were made. It is inferable from passages in the classic writers that the maps in use represented the unknown parts of the world, in conformity to the ideas deeply implanted in the popular mind by the poems of Homer and