TABULA PEUTINGERIANA (Latin for "The Peutinger Map"), also referred
to as PEUTINGER\'S TABULA or PEUTINGER TABLE, is an illustrated
itinerarium (an ancient Roman road map) showing the layout of cursus
publicus , the road network in the
Roman Empire .
The map is a 13th-century parchment copy of the Roman original, and
Europe (without the
Iberian Peninsula and the
British Isles ),
North Africa , and parts of
Asia (including the Middle East,
India ). The original map which the surviving copy is based on is
thought to date to the 4th or 5th century and was itself based on a
map prepared by Agrippa during the reign of the emperor
BC – AD 14).
Named after the 16th-century German antiquarian
Konrad Peutinger ,
the map is today kept at the
Austrian National Library in Vienna.
* 1 Archetype
* 2 Map description
* 3 History
* 4 Printed editions
* 5 Map
* 6 Notes
* 7 References
* 8 External links
The Tabula is thought to be a distant descendant of the map prepared
under the direction of
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa , a Roman general and
architect, and friend and ally of emperor
Augustus whose rule
coincided with the beginning of the first millennium. After Agrippa's
death in 12 BC, that map was engraved in marble and put on display in
the Porticus Vipsania in the
Campus Agrippae area in Rome, close to
Ara Pacis building.
The early imperial dating for the archetype of the map is supported
by American historian
Glen Bowersock , and is based on numerous
Roman Arabia that look entirely anachronistic for a
4th-century map. Bowersock concluded that the original source is
likely the map made by Vipsanius Agrippa. This dating is also
consistent with the map's inclusion of the Roman town of
Naples , which was never rebuilt after it had been
destroyed in an eruption of
Mount Vesuvius in AD 79.
The original Roman map, of which this is the only surviving copy, was
last revised in the 4th or early 5th century. It shows the city of
Constantinople , founded in 328, and the prominence of
Ravenna , seat
of the Western
Roman Empire from 402 to 476, which suggests a
fifth-century revision according to Levi and Levi. The presence of
certain cities of
Germania Inferior that were destroyed in the
mid-fifth century also provides a terminus ante quem , i.e. the map's
latest creation date.
Tabula Peutingeriana is the only known surviving map of the Roman
cursus publicus , the state-run road network. The map itself was
created by a monk in
Colmar in modern-day eastern France in 1265. It
is a parchment scroll , 0.34 metres (1 foot 1 inch) high and 6.75
metres (22.1 feet) long, assembled from eleven sections, a medieval
reproduction of the original scroll.
It is a very schematic map, designed to give a practical overview of
the road network, as opposed to an accurate representation of
geographic features: the land masses shown are distorted, especially
in the east-west direction. The map shows many Roman settlements and
the roads connecting them, as well as other features such as rivers,
mountains, forests and seas. The distances between settlements are
also given. In total no less than 555 cities and 3,500 other place
names are shown on the map. The three most important cities of the
Roman Empire at the time –
Antioch – are
represented with special iconic decoration.
Besides the totality of the empire, the map also shows areas in the
Near East ,
India and the Ganges,
Sri Lanka (Insula Taprobane), and
even an indication of China. It even shows a "Temple to
Augustus " at
Muziris on the modern-day
Malabar Coast , one of the main ports for
trade with the
Roman Empire on the southwest coast of India. On the
western end of the scroll, the absence of
Morocco , the Iberian
Peninsula , and the
British Islands indicates that a twelfth original
section has been lost in the surviving copy; the missing section was
reconstructed in 1898 by Konrad Miller .
The map appears to be based on "itineraries" , lists of destinations
along Roman roads, as the distances between points along the routes
are indicated. Travelers would not have possessed anything so
sophisticated as a modern map, but they needed to know what lay ahead
of them on the road and how far. The Peutinger Table represents these
roads as a series of stepped lines along which destinations have been
marked in order of travel. The shape of the parchment pages accounts
for the conventional rectangular layout. However, a rough similarity
to the coordinates of
Ptolemy 's earth-mapping gives some writers hope
that some terrestrial representation was intended by the unknown
The stages and cities are represented by hundreds of functional place
symbols, used with discrimination from the simplest icon of a building
with two towers to the elaborate individualized "portraits" of the
three great cities. The editors Annalina and Mario Levi concluded that
the semi-schematic, semi-pictorial symbols reproduce Roman
cartographic conventions of the itineraria picta described by
Vegetius , of which this is the sole known
The map was discovered in a library in the city of Worms by German
Conrad Celtes in 1494, who was unable to publish his find
before his death and bequeathed the map in 1508 to
Konrad Peutinger ,
a German humanist and antiquarian in
Augsburg , after whom the map is
named. The Peutinger family kept possession of the map for more than
two hundred years until it was sold in 1714. It then bounced between
several royal and elite families until it was purchased by Prince
Eugene of Savoy for 100 ducats ; upon his death in 1737, it was
purchased for the
Habsburg Imperial Court Library in Vienna
(Hofbibliothek). It is today conserved at the Austrian National
Library at the
Hofburg palace in Vienna.
In 2007, the map was placed on the UNESCO's Memory of the World
Register , and in recognition of this, it was displayed to the public
for a single day on 26 November 2007. Because of its fragile
condition, it is not usually on public display.
The map was copied for Dutch cartographer
Abraham Ortelius and
published shortly after his death in 1598. A partial first edition was
Antwerp in 1591 (titled Fragmenta tabulæ antiquæ) by
Johannes Moretus , who would print the full Tabula in December 1598,
also at Antwerp.
Johannes Janssonius published another version in
Amsterdam, c. 1652.
In 1753 Franz Christoph von Scheyb published a copy, and in 1872
Konrad Miller, a German professor, was allowed to copy the map.
Several publishing houses in
Europe then made copies. In 1892
Williams and Norgate published a copy in London, and in
1911 a sheet was added showing the reconstructed sections of the
British Isles and the Iberian peninsula missing in the original.
The Tabula Peutingeriana, from the reconstructed British and
Iberian panel in the west to
India in the east.
* ^ A B Ravenstein 1911 , p. 637.
* ^ Bowersock 1994 , pp. 169–170,175,177,178–179,181,182,184.
* ^ Bowersock 1994 , p. 185.
* ^ A B Levi ">
* ^ Bagrow 2010 , p. 37
* ^ A B Nussli
* ^ Lendering 2016
* ^ Ball 2000 , p. 123.
* ^ Talbert 2010 , p. 189
* ^ Not all the stages are between towns: sometimes a crossroads
marks the staging point.
* ^ Vegetius' "...viarum qualitas, compendia, diverticula, montes,
flumina ad fidem descripta suggest a more detailed "pictorial
itinerary" than either the
Antonine Itinerary or the Tabula
* ^ Accession number: Codex 324.
* ^ Bell 2007 .
* Levi, Annalina; Levi, Mario (1967), Itineraria picta: Contributo
allo studio della
Tabula Peutingeriana (in Italian), Rome:
Bretschneider — Includes the best easily available reproduction of
the Tabula Peutingeriana, at 2:3 scale.
* Levi, Annalina; Levi, Mario (1978), La
Tabula Peutingeriana (in
Italian), Bologna: Edizioni Edison — Includes a reproduction of the
Tabula Peutingeriana, at 1:1 scale.
* Ball, Warwick (2000),
Rome in the East: The transformation of an
empire, London and New York: Routledge, ISBN 0-415-11376-8
* Bagrow, Leo (2010), History of Cartography, Transaction
Publishers, p. 37, ISBN 978-1-4128-2518-4
* Bell, Bethany (26 November 2007), Ancient Roman road map unveiled,
* Bowersock, Glen (1994), Roman Arabia, Harvard University Press,
* Lendering, Jona (24 July 2016) , "Peutinger Map", Livius,
retrieved 27 December 2016
* Nussli, Christos, "The Tabula Peutingeriana, a Roman Road Map",
Euratlas.net, retrieved 15 August 2016
* Ravenstein, Ernest George (1911), "Map", in Chisholm, Hugh,
Encyclopædia Britannica , 17 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press,
* Talbert, Richard (2010), Rome\'s World: The Peutinger Map
Reconsidered, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 9780521764803