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Copyright 1917 by Gudmund Schiitte.



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IN 191 1, the Carlsberg Fund granted to the author of the present
work a subsidy for the elaboration of a work dealing with Danish
geography from an ethnic point of view, to be published by the Danish
Society for Teutonic Philology (Selskab for germansk Filologi). In 19 1 2,
however, this Society ceased to exist, the Royal Danish Geographical
Society taking its place as editor of the work. At the same time, the
subject was altered so as to embrace the Ptolemaic geography of northern
Europe, while the subsidy granted for the elaboration was employed
for the publication.

The author's studies have also been subsidised by the Royal Danish
Academy of Sciences,

The blocks of most of the accompanying figures have been kindly
lent by the Editor of the Scottish Geographical Magazine.







§ I. A Brief Survey of the Manuscript Problem - i

§ 2. Ptolemy's Predecessors in the First Century A. D - 12

§ 3. Marinus, Ptolemy's Immediate Predecessor - 13

§ 4. Ptolemy's Lifetime, Importance, and Principles - 14

§ 5. Ptolemy's Successors » - 18

§ 6. Misreadings of Latin Words - 20

§ 7. Misreadings of Barbarian Names - 23

§ 8. The "Milieu" as Key to Interpreting Distorted Barbarian Forms - 25

§ 9. The Case of Metathesis - 27

§ 10. The Case of Apocope - 28

§ II. The Case of Parasitical Additions - 29

§ 1 2. The Case of Onomatic Disguise - 30

§13. The Case of Making Fictitious Repetitions - 32

§ 1 4. The Case of False Identification - 37

§ 15. Theoretical Arrangements - 40

§ 16. The Question of Prototypes - 42

§ 17. Synopsis of Prototypes - 45

§ 18. Collective Prototype A = Europe and Environs - 48

§ 19. Local Prototype A =. Germania - 67

§ 20. Local Prototype Aa = North-western Germania, Chersonesus Cimbrica, and

Scandia - 72

§ 21. Local Prototype Ab = South-western Germania - 83

§ 22. Local Prototypes Ac, Ad &. Ae =: Dacia and Environs - 84

§ 23. Local Prototypes Bi &. B2 =^ the Mercantile Road from the Danube to

the Mouth of the Vistula - 88

§ 24. Local Prototype C = Western Gaul, Belgium, and North-western Germania - 100

§ 25. Local Prototype D = Swabian Tribes about the Elbe - 107

§ 26 Collective Prototypes £ & F = Eastern Germania, Sarmatia Europaea &

Asiatica, and Scythia 112

§ 27. Local Prototype Sk = the Scandinavian Peninsula - 127

§ 28, The Position of the Cimbric Chersonese and the Scandian Islands within

the Ptolemaic Germania - 1 38

§ 29. Conclusion - 139


A. § 30. Additions to ^ 19, Prototype J - 141

B. § 31. Additions to § 22, Prototypes Ac, Ad, Ae - 142



§ 32, Introduction p. 144

§ 33. Editions of Ptolemy's Geography - 144

§ 34. Editions of the Ptolemaic Atlas, and of Single Ptolemaic Maps - 145

§ 35. Researches Dealing with Ptolemy or Based upon his Statements - 146

a. Researches Dealing with Ptolemy in a More or Less General Sense ... - 146

b. Geographic or Ethnographic Compendia, etc • 149

c. Topography of the Cimbric Chersonese - - 1 50


Fig. I. Ptolemaic Prototypes in Northern and Middle Europe, General Synopsis.

2. Germania, the Cimbric Chersonese, and Scandia. Version A (Cod. Urbinas 82).

3. — - — — - — — B ( - Burney iii).

4. — - — — - — Type of the Roman editions,

designed by Donis.

5. Prototype A, Germania, according to L. Schmidt.

6. Cimbric Chersonese and Scandia, according to the Cod. Urbinas 82,

7. Prototype Aa-^ North-western Germania, the Cimbric Chersonese, and Scandia.

8. Prototype Ad; South-western Germania.

9. The Limes Transrhenanus.

10. South-western Germania according to the Tabula Peutingeriana.

11. Comparison of details surrounding the Vallum Hadriani.

12. Dacia according to the Cod. Urbinas 82.

13. Prototype Ac^ Dacia, compared with a modern map.

14. Prototypes Ad and Ae-^ Dacia.

15. The Ptolemaic Dacia, compared with Fig. 16,

16. Dacia, according to the Tabula Peutingeriana.

17. The Ptolemaic names of Dacian tribes and places redistributed according to their
presumed correct localisations.

18. Surviving ancient names in Dacia.

19. Prototypes Bi and B^; the mercantile road from the Danube to the mouth of
the Vistula.

20. Prototypes Bi and B^^ compared with a modern map.

21. Prototype C; Western Gaul, Belgium, and North-western Germania.

22. Belgium and North-western Germania according to the Tabula Peutingeriana.

23. Ancient Belgium and North-western Germania with the names from Prototype C.

24. Prototypes £ and £; Eastern Germania, Sarmatia Europaea & Asiatica, and Scythia;
comparison of duplicates.

25. Prototype £ from the Cod. Urbinas 82.

26. North-eastern Germania and Western wSarmatia with the names of the Prototypes
£ and F.

27. Prototype Sk; Scandia.

28. The demarcation of Germania according to some modern representations.

29. The Cimbric Chersonese and Germania according to the Cod. Athous Vatopediensis.

30. A rectified Ptolemaic map of nationalities.

31. A reconstructed map of nationalities in Ancient Middle Europe.


PTOLEMY'S Geography, and the "Germania" of Tacitus, form the
main foundation ^ of our knowledge concerning the barbarian north
of Europe in classical times. It might be taken for granted that such
extremely important documents and their sources had long ago been
seriously examined. But the Ptolemaic description of northern Europe
is still practically a "terra incognita".

The present book is an attempt to supply the wanted research. It
is based upon studies which have been carried on for many years.

Our principal investigations concerning the different prototypes of
Ptolemy's maps were already made 20 years ago, so the publication can
scarcely be called precipitate.

Of course, we do not pretend to have solved one half of the riddles
offered by our complicated problem. If Ptolemy's Geography were to
be examined thoroughly, it would take a lifetime, but as we have made
some observations which at any rate shed a new light on several points,
we thought it wiser to make an end of hesitation. For even if further
delay might have led to still better results in certain details, the study
will be more profitably advanced by subjecting our preliminatory obser-
vations to revision by expert critics.

The publication of a provisional study may possibly still be objected
to by scrupulous philologists, but the undertaking certainly assumes a
very different appearance, when we regard it from the geographical or
ethnological point of view.

Geographers and ethnologists, far from fearing the absorbing philolo-
gical problem, have used Ptolemy's work as the foundation for large
reconstructions, and still do so. We may name numerous publications

XII Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe

from later years, containing either entire reconstructions of Ptolemy's
Atlas, or detailed statements based upon his work. E. g.:

Miillenhoff's "Deutsche Altertumskunde", vol. II, with map designed

by H. Kiepert 1887, republished 1906.
Gerland, "Atlas der Volkerkunde" (Berghaus, "Physikal. Atlas", 3. ed.)

Perthes, "Atlas antiquus", by A. v. Kampen 1892, 9*^ ed. 1916.
Miiller's edition of Ptolemy, vol. Ill, atlas, 1901.
V. Erckert, "Wanderungen und Siedelungen", 1901.
Meyer's "Konversationslexikon", map of Germania designed by K. Wolff,

M. Schonfeld, "Worterbuch der altgermanischen Personen- und Volker-

namen", in Streitberg's "Germanische Bibliothek", 191 1.
R. Kiepert, "Formae orbis antiqui"; e. g. reconstructed Ptolemaic map

of Europe (191 1) and map of Germania (1914).

We may specially mention the latest publications of ethnological

Caspar Zeuss, "Die Deutschen und die Nachbarstamme", ist ed. 1837,
republished 1903 (unaltered).

O. Bremer, "Ethnographie der germanischen Stamme" in Paul's monu-
mental manual "Grundriss der germanischen Philologie", 1899,
republished separately 1905.

In all these publications, Ptolemaic data are used as a basis without
any serious attempt to solve the philological problem. In order to prevent
scientists from continuing such a proceding, it is not merely allowable,
but necessary to publish the results of a research in which the attempt
is at any rate made, — whether the outcome is satisfactory or not.

The necessity of revising the traditional ideas about classical geography
is specially urgent within the region of the author's native country, i. e.

Although Ptolemy's work offers an attractive base for such a study,
it has, since the middle of the 19th century, been lamentably neglected.
This neglect principally concerns the much discussed problems, as to


whether the classical Cimbri, Charudes, and AngHi, are to be identified
with the modern Jutlandic populations of Himmerboer, Hardboer, and
Angelboer, — or whether they are to be placed somewhere in Germany
south of the Elbe. Of late years, several authors have published very
learned researches dealing with the matter, e. g. in Germany Mullenhoff,
in Sweden Erdmann, in England H. M. Chadwick and R. W. Chambers.
But none of these authors has ventured upon examining the prototypes
of Ptolemy's map in detail. As such important problems concerning
the past of the Danish and English peoples could not be treated in a
satisfactory manner, while Ptolemy's map remained an unexplored laby-
rinth, we subjected classical Jutland to a special study, and this became
the nucleus of the present work.

Originally, it was our aim to write a compendious introduction con-
cerning the question of text criticism. We also published some provi-
sional sketches in "The Scottish Geographical Magazine", February and
June 1 91 4, and in Paul & Braune's "Beitrage zur Geschichte der deut-
schen Sprache und Litteratur", Vol. 41, 191 6, at the same time anti-
cipating our main results concerning the prototypes of Ptolemy's Atlas.
Cf. our article in the "Saga Book of the Viking Soctety", 191 3, Vol. VIII,
part I, and in the "Mitteilungen zur Geschichte der Medicin und der
Naturwissenschaften", 1914, Vol. XIII, No. 5.

On further consideration we found it inadviseable to publish in one
volume a detailed MS. criticism and a detailed investigation of carto-
graphic prototypes. The problem of text criticism is so complicated
as to require a separate volume. After being introduced into this dange-
rous labyrinth, the reader would scarcely retain sufficient energy to
venture upon the equally absorbing task of tracing Ptolemy's cartogra-
phic scheme.

In addition, the state of general European warfare prevented us from
carrying on our text studies in the countries where the Ptolemaic MSS.
are preserved.

We therefore resolved to publish our studies of Ptolemaic text criti-
cism occasionally, whereas we limit the present volume to the carto-
graphic problem. It will merely be introduced by a paragraph which
briefly sums up the main points of the text question.

Fortunately enough, a lately discovered MS., the Urbinas 82, pre-

XIV Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe

serves the Ptolemaic atlas in a state which must be called excellent.
Trusting the evidence of the greatest Ptolemaic MS. experts, — e. g.
Prof. Jos. Fischer — we have based our studies firstly and mainly on
this document which outweighs most other existing representatives of
the famous classical geographer's work. Critics may object to our pro-
ceding^ but it is at any rate a simple and practically justifiable expedient
during the present difficult conditions of text research.

Readers of our previous articles will notice that our theories have
in some respects undergone a radical revolution. The complete reversal
of some theses may seem startling and at the first sight cause the
impression of ''vestigia terrent". — In an unexplored field of study it is,
however, impossible for a pioneer to avoid some serious mistakes. Any
conceivable possibilities must be taken into account, simply for argu-
ment's sake. A number of them which have at first seemed satisfactory
will, in the long run, prove misleading, but yet they have fulfilled a
mission, namely that of contributing to the exhaustive discussion of our

The term "Gothonic" is in this work used instead of the synonymes
"Teutonic" and "Germanic" which are unpractical because of their ambi-
guity. Cf. Th. de la Saussaye, "The Religion of the Teutons" p. 79,
— and Axel Olrik, "Arisk og Gotisk" ("Danske Studier" 1916).
"Germanic" which is nowadays adopted by several English scientists, is
especially bad, for it has no less than 11 or 12 difierent significations, and
the English substantive "Germans" can only mean "inhabitants of Ger-
many"^). Cf. our treatise "Gothonic Names" in the "Publications of the

') We have only noticed two exceptions, namely Chambers, "Widsith", where the
Scandinavians are called "North-Germans", etc. (p. 157); and Stjerna's "Essays on Heowulf",
transl. by Clark Hall.


Society for the Advancement of Scandinavian Study", December 191 2
(Urbana, Illinois), and our article "Germaner" in R0rdam's "Illustreret
Konversations-Lexikon" (Hagerup), where the different significations are
pointed out. — The term "ethel Gotena" — "nobility of Goths" — is
used already in Old English in order to express the flower of the Teu-
tonic heroes, see Widsith, part III. In the Edda, and in other Old Norse
traditions, "Gotnesk" was equivalent to "Gothonic", "Teutonic"; and
"Got-thiod", i. e. "Gothic Nation", meant the whole of the Teutonic
group. Cf. W. Grimm, "Deutsche Heldensage", 3rd. ed. p. 6: "Sehr
natiirlich hat die Edda hernach gothisch im allgemeineren Sinne genom-
men". — "Gothic" was used in the same collective sense by Icelandic,
English, Dutch, Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish scientists from the
1 6th to the 19th century. This nomenclature is mentioned e. g. in the
"Encyclopedia Brittannica", 9th ed., 1876^). — We prefer the longer
form "Gothonic" in order to avoid ambiguity.

We owe much valuable information to Professor J. L. Heiberg in
Copenhagen, the editor of Ptolemy's "Syntaxis".

^) Art. "English Language", by J. A. H. Murray, p. 391. "The Angles, Saxons and
their allies belonged to the Teutonic or Gothic branch of the Aryan family, represented
in modern times not only by the English and their colonies, but by the populations of
Germany, Holland, Denmark and the Scandinavian peninsula .... For more than looo
years, the Teutonic or Gothic stock has been divided into three branches."

Art. "Goths", by E. A. Freeman, p. 847. "The name came . . to be used as a
philological or ethnological term; we heard of "Gothic nations", "Gothic languages" etc.,
meaning "Teutonic" in the widest sense. The name was also first scornfully, then respect-
fully, applied to a style of architecture which has some claim to be called Teutonic as
opposed to Greek or Roman, but which has nothing whatever to do with the Goths as a

The name "Gothic", meaning "Teutonic", is also mentioned in the i ith edition, art.
"Teutonic Peoples" by H. M. Chad wick, p. 679.

XVI Ptolemy's maps of northern Europe

We are especially indebted to the authority in the study of Ptolemy's
MS. atlas, Professor Jos. Fischer S. J. in Feldkirch, who has most
liberally allowed us to use his large material of MS. reproductions and
whose information and suggestions have been a great help. We there-
fore dedicated the present volume to him, hoping that our theories may
in some points contribute to the advancement of the highly interesting
study which has been so greatly promoted by his efforts and achieve-


The study has until now been handicapped by the fact that the
critics would not acknowledge the atlases of the Ptolemaic MSS. as
directly derived from the author's original cartographic work. These
atlases were regarded as reconstructions from the MS. text, executed
possibly by the Alexandrine grammarian Agathodaemon in the 5th
century, or even later, and consequently deemed unworthy of consi-

We may name some of the critics who more or less distinctly share
this view of the MS. atlas.

Fabricius, "Bibliotheca Graeca", III, p. 414.

Heinrich Kiepert^ "Lehrbuch der alten Geographic", 1878, pag. 10.^)

Berger, "Geschichte der griechischen Erdkunde".

— , "Die Grundlagen des Marinus-Ptolemaischen Erdbildes" (Berichte
d. phil. hist. CI. d. sachsischen Gesellsch. d. Wissenschaften". 1898,

p. 87-143)').

Christ, "Geschichte der griechischen Literatur" (in Miiller's "Handbuch

der class. Altertumskunde", VII, p. 506), 1888.
Henry Zondervan, "Allgemeine Kartenkunde", 1901.

It may be added that the Russian scholar Kunik wrote to Kiepert
on Jan. 7th 1892, directly drawing his attention to the atlas in the
phototypic reproduction of the Athos MS., published by Sewastionow
and Langlois in 1867. Kunik had noticed the great difference between
this atlas and the reconstructed maps in Kiepert's Atlas antiquus and

^) In order to avoid misunderstanding^ we may quote what K. Kretschmer says about
Kiepert's and Berger's opinions, "Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fiir Erdkunde zu Berlin",
1913, Heft 10, S. 28, He states, "dass H. Kiepert und H. Berger keineswegs den vor-
herigen Entwurf von Karten von seiten des Ptolemaus in Abrede gestellt haben; im Gegen-
teil, H. Kiepert sagt (Lehrb. S. lo) ausdriicklich, dass die Konstruktion der Karten dem
daraus erst abstrahierten Text vorangehen musste. H. Berger bestreitet vielmehr, dass
Ptolemaus die zuvor konstruierten Karten seiner "Geographie" als Illustration beigegeben
habe, Ptolemaus wollte absichtlich keine Karten liefern".


thence concluded iJiatKiepert' had either been unaware of the reproduc-
tion or that he — as an accurate critic — had put it aside on purpose,
deeming it to be of Uttle practical value ^). Kunik now wanted to know
whether the Athos Atlas might be regarded as truly Ptolemaic or not.

Kiepert's answer is unknown, Roediger adds, but the later editions
of his atlas do not seem to betray that he has in any way altered his
previous opinions concerning the MS. atlases of the Ptolemaic Geography.
Nor is any trace of an altered scheme to be found on the map of
ancient Europe, designed by his son and editorial heir R. Kiepert in
191 1 ("Formae orbis antiqui").

Thus the systematic ignoring of the Ptolemaic MS. atlases is shared
by almost all scholars, including the latest editors of the text such as
Wilberg 1838, Miillenhoff 1873, and C. Miiller 1883— 1901.

As late as 191 4, K. Kretschmer finished an article thus: "We con-
clude that the MS. maps do not originate directly from Ptolemy, but
at the best from Agathodaemon who lived after him"^).

A. Herrmann later has taken up Kretschmer's point and finally
maintains: "One result has proved certain, — our basis is not formed
by the MS. maps but by the eight books of the text. Only the
exterior qualities can be illustrated by means of the atlases : they supply
information concerning the number of maps designed by Marinus, and
concerning the regions described by him, and they show the technical
means by which the graduation and the mountains, rivers, and towns
were represented. But wherever the positions of the points described
and the forms of names are concerned — and that is finally our prin-
cipal subject — the text and not the maps must be our guide". ^)

We may point out some principal arguments of Kretschmer and
other critics who maintain that Ptolemy is not the author of the MS.

*) The letter is reprinted by Roediger in the Preface to the second volume of Miillen-
hoffs "Deutsche Altertumskunde", p. XV. Cf. the following sentences (our italics):

"Zu meiner Ansicht iiber die Welten war ich nach wiederholter Prufung des Textes von
Ptolemaus gelangt", Kunik writes. "'Erst vor einigen Tagen kam es mir in den Sinn, die
Karten zu befragen, welche im Athosmanuscript des Ptolemaus enthalten sind und von
Sewastionow photographiert wurden (Geographic de Ptolemee, Reproduction photo-litho-
graphique; Paris, Didot 1867). Ich wurde stutzig, als ich Karte LXXVI mit der Ihrigen
verglich und kam endlich dazu, vorauszusetzen, dass Sie entweder die wenig verbreitete,
teure Ausgabe von 1867 nie zu Gesicht bekommen, oder dass Sie als feiner Kri-
tiker die Karten als wenig brauchbar bei Seite gelassen haben . . . Bei dieser
Lage der Dinge halte ich es fiir das Beste, meine Zuflucht zu Ihnen zu nehmen, indem
ich Sie um gtitige Aufklaring iiber die Athoskarte No. 76 bitte. Darf man sie als eine
Copie der von Ptolemaus selbst entworfenen Karte ansehen?"

*) "Die Ptolemauskarten", in "Petermanns Mitteilungen", 19 14, p. 142., cf. Kretschmer's
statements in the "Zeitschrift des Vereins fiir Erdkunde zu Berlin", 1913, Heft 10.

^) "Marinus, Ptolemaus und ihre Karten", in "Zeitschrift der Gesellschaft fiir Erdkunde zu
Berlin", 1914, No. 10.


atlases, cf. Dinse in "Zeitschr. d. Vereins f. Erdkunde zu Berlin", 19 13,
p. 745 seq.

Firstly, the conclusion is drawn from Ptolemy's own words in his
Geography I, XVIII, 2, stating that repeated copying would always tend
towards the deterioration of the maps. It is supposed that Ptolemy
would in order to prevent such deterioration publish his geography in
tabular form without maps.

Secondly it is urged that Ptolemy has in his geography laid stress on
the conic projection as preferable to the cylindric, — but the atlases
contain only one specimen of the former; the remainder are square maps,
designed in the cylindric projection which was by Ptolemy characterized
as inferior.

Thirdly, none of the MS. atlases are by the copyists attributed
directly to Ptolemy, nor are maps designed by Ptolemy mentioned any-
where in classical or mediaeval literature. On the contrary, several MS.
atlases contain a notice attributing them to "Agathos Daimon", a mechanic
in Alexandria. This author has again been identified with an Alexan-
drine grammarian Agathodaemon who lived in the 5th century A. D.
— The authorship of Agathodaemon has been regarded as most con-
clusive, and declared to be quite irreconciliable with the assumption that
the Ptolemaic MS. atlases could have been designed by Ptolemy himself.

The Ptolemaic MS. atlases have already been defended against the
sceptics in 1822 by N. H. Brehmer, "Entdeckungen im Altertum",
Heft I, p. II, and in 1828 by Heeren, "De fontibus geographicis
Ptolemaei" ("Comment. Gotting." VI, p. 66).

But it was not before the beginning of the 20th century that a more
general reaction against the scepticism made itself felt.

Prof. Jos. Fischer S. J. in Feldkirch is the main upholder of the
revised theory recognizing the better MS. atlases as true continuations
of Ptolemy's own work. Whereas his predecessor C. Miiller has made
the greatest collective study of the context, Fischer has undertaken a
corresponding collection of the MS, atlases in photographic reproduction,
originating from more than 40 Ptolemaic MSS. The collection has been
supported by the ''Istituto Austriaco di studii storici". Fischer's provi-
sional results are principally found in the treatises "Die handschriftliche
Ueberlieferung der Ptolemaus-Karten" 19 12, and "An Important Ptolemy
Manuscript" 191 3.

A report of Fischer's as yet unpublished results together with
numerous inividual observations is given by Paul Dinse, "Die hand-
schriftlichen Ptolemauskarten" ("Zentralblatt f. Bibliothekswesen" XXX, p.


results by a series of comparisons with the Tabula Peutingeriana and the
insignia in the Notitia Dignitatum.

A regular scale of development may be observed, stage I with few
pictorial elements and no living beings, stage II with a growing number
of pictorial elements among which are some few living beings in repose,
stage III with complete overgrowth of pictorial elements among which
several living beings in movement. Within this perspective, the Ptolemaic
MS. atlases distinctly occupy the oldest stage, whereas all other existing

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