Marcus Agrippa directed a mapping
project in the first century that surveyed the highways of the Roman
Empire from Britain to the Middle East. The completed map was carved
into marble and set up near the Forum in Rome. Over the years copies
of Agrippa’s map were made and improved. The Peutinger Table may be a
copy from the eleventh or twelfth century of a third century, or
possibly a fourth century map by Castorius based on Agrippa’s map.
It is drawn and painted on parchment seven meters long
and one third of a meter wide. It depicts the world from Britain to
the Ganges. No attempt has been made to show direction or scale.
Distances are written in. Towns are shown as collections of houses,
while great cities are pictured as medallions. Temples, lighthouses,
fortresses, significant building, and forests are also pictured.
The map was discovered by Konrad Celtes, Maximillian
I’s librarian in a monastery library. Maximillian gave it to Konrad
Peutinger, the town clerk of Augsburg. Peutinger was an antiquarian
and noted coin collector. He was a retainer of the Emperor Charles V,
and attempted to persuade Luther to accept the authority of the
Emperor in religious matters. He was also a map collector, and the
Tabula Peutingeriana took its name from its new owner. It is
preserved in the State Library of Vienna. The map is the subject of a
detailed study by Konrad Miller, Itineraria Romana, Stuttgart:
Striker und Schröder, 1916.
A computer facsimile of
the map is available in Bibliotheca Augustana at
At the beginning of the
second century A.D. the Roman Emperor, Trajan, led his legions across
the Danube River to fight the Dacians and the Getians. One of his
camps was called Castra Nova. The town of Pelendava grew
up around the camp; the Romanian stamp commemorates the first
documentary mention of the town’s name, Craiova, which had
replaced Pelendava before the end of the fifteenth century. The
name Craiova is Slavic for “royal city.”
Italian stamp shows the Via Francigena, the main road of communication
between central Europe and Italy. Thousands of pilgrims traveled this
road in order to reach Rome, the center of the Christian world.