The first ‘remarkably accurate’ map of Ireland was drawn in 140 AD by an astronomer who had never visited


The first map of Ireland, created in 140 AD, was drawn by Claudius Ptolemy, a man who had never visited the country.

According to the story, the mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, geographer and music theorist used reports from soldiers, traders and travelers and his own calculations.

Ptolemy lived from around AD 87 to 150 and although he resided in Alexandria in Egypt for most of his life, he was originally from Greece.

The remarkably accurate map is included in the Prima Europe Tabula section of Ptolemy’s Geography.

His map shows two capitals called “Regia” – one in Ulster and the other to the east, and despite the weather his drawings and measurements of Ireland are quite accurate.

The work known as Geography included guidelines on how to “flatten” an image of the Earth when constructing maps, and was widely used as a reference throughout its time.

Ptolemy believed that the earth was a sphere enclosed in another spherical structure – the sky – revolving around the sun.

According to the story, he based his calculations of longitudes and latitudes on this fundamental principle.

The Geography contains the most complex account of Ireland in classical literature and details the latitude and longitude of six headlands, fifteen river mouths, ten settlements, nine islands, sixteen population groups.

READ MORE: Irishman rips ‘Irish American’ for grossly false St. Patrick’s Day historical facts

READ MORE: 10 myths about Ireland that millions around the world still believe

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