Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 41.djvu/470

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dence that this had become precious truth to them, both in theology and geography.[1]

Nor was this the only misconception which forced its way from our sacred writings into mediæval map-making; two others were almost as marked.

First of these was the vague terror inspired by Gog and Magog. Few passages in the Old Testament are more sublime than the denunciation of these great enemies by Ezekiel; and the well-known statement in the Apocalypse fastened the Hebrew feeling regarding them with a new meaning into the mind of the early Church: hence it was that the mediæval map-makers took great pains to delineate these monsters and their habitations on the maps. For centuries no map was considered orthodox which did not show them.

The second conception was derived from the frequent mention in our sacred books of the "four winds." Hence came a vivid belief in their real existence and their delineation on the maps, generally as colossal heads with distended cheeks, blowing vigorously toward Jerusalem.

Even at a period after these conceptions had mainly disappeared we find here and there evidences of the difficulty men found in giving up the scriptural idea of direct personal interference by agents of Heaven in the ordinary phenomena of Nature: thus in a noted map of the sixteenth century representing the earth as a sphere, there is at each pole a crank, with an angel laboriously turning the earth by means of it.[2]

  1. For the site of the cross on Calvary, as the point where stood "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" in Eden, at the center of the earth, see various Eastern travelers cited in Tobler; but especially the travels of Bishop Arculf in the Holy Land in Wright's Early Travels in Palestine, p. 8; also, Travels of Saewulf, ibid., p. 38; also, Sir John Maundeville, ibid., pp. 166, 167; and for one narrative in which the idea was developed into an amazing mass of pious myths, see Pilgrimage of the Russian Abbot Daniel, edited by Sir C. W. Wilson, London, 1885, p. 14. (The passage deserves to be quoted as an example of myth-making; it is as follows: "At the time of our Lord's crucifixion, when he gave up the ghost on the cross, the veil of the temple was rent, and the rock above Adam's skull opened, and the blood and water which flowed from Christ's side ran down through the fissure upon the skull, thus washing away the sins of men.")
  2. For Gog and Magog, see Ezekiel, chaps, xxxviii and xxxix, and Rev. xx, 8; and for the general subject, Toy, Judaism and Christianity, Boston, 1891, pp. 373, 374. For maps showing these two great terrors, and for geographical discussion regarding them, see Lelewel, Geog. du Moyen Age, Bruxelles, 1850, Atlas; also Ruge, Gesch. des Zeitalters der Entdeckungen, Berlin, 1881, pp. 78, 79; also Peschel's Abhandlungen, pp. 28-35, and Gesch. der Erdkunde, p. 210. For representations on maps of the "Four Winds," see Charton, Voyageurs, tome ii, p. 11; also Ruge as above, pp. 324, 325; also, for a curious mixture of the scriptural four winds with the classical winds issuing from the bags of Æolus, see a map of the twelfth century in Leon Gautier, La Chevalerie, p. 153; and for maps showing additional winds, see various editions of Ptolemy. For a map with angels turning the earth by means of cranks at the poles, see Grynæus, Novus Orbis, Basileæ, 1537.