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Paola Marone

Aethicus Ister is the unknown author of the Cosmographia, a fictional world travelogue that probably belongs to the 7th to 8th centuries. This work, written in an abstruse Latin, makes use of a whole range of antique (the Bible, the Isidore’s Etymologies, the Pseudo-Augustine’s De mirabilibus sacrae scripturae, etc.) and medieval texts (the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius, the Liber historiae Francorum, some Latin translations of the Alexander Romance, etc.). It is one of the most difficult and puzzling early medieval texts, and it has been the object of intense study since its earliest editions. According to a recent theory espoused by Herren, it could have been written c. 675–725 by a Frank with connexions to Ireland and, possibly, England.Aethicus Ister (c. 7th–8th century ce), otherwise known as Aethicus of Istria or the philosopher of Istria, is the supposed author of the Cosmographia, a description of the world that claims to have been written originally in Greek and subsequently translated into Latin by an ecclesiastical called Jerome (not Saint .



Stephen J. Harrison

Albunea, sulphurous spring and stream near *Tibur with a famous waterfall, and its homonymous nymph (cf. Hor. Carm. 1. 7. 12), classed as a *Sibyl by *Varro (Lactant. Div. Inst. 1. 6. 12) and fancifully identified by etymology with the sea-goddess *Ino-Leucothea (Servius on Verg. Aen.


Brian Campbell

To Hyginus Gromaticus has been mistakenly ascribed an incomplete treatise On Camp Fortifications (so named in the 16th cent.), which discusses the methods for siting military camps, measuring the internal areas (castrametatio) for a hypothetical army, and establishing fortifications. Its date is uncertain and has been placed in the late 2nd cent. ce, or the 3rd century ce, or most persuasively, the reign of *Trajan.


Nicholas Purcell

The terrestrial equivalent of *periploi, sequential lists of settlements, way-marks, or posting-stations, often with distances between them. As a genre, they originated with the Roman practice of making an iter, the military expedition into or through hostile territory which underlay the Roman theory of road-building. Thus the area of operation of Roman power could be marked out as a series of measured routes, and these were recorded and evoked very variously, from official monuments (like the Golden Milestone of the Forum in Rome) to souvenir ex voto dedications like the Vicarello cups. The best-preserved written version (in a MS which has also an Itinerarium maritimum) is that usually known as the Antonine Itinerary (Itinerarium provinciarum Antonini Augusti), a probably military document of the late 3rd cent. ce (it has tetrarchic names) which has been of the highest value in the reconstruction of the topography of the Roman road-network; the *Peutinger Table presents similar information in a different form.


Ravenna Cosmographer is an anonymous author of a Latin compilation commonly dated to the late 600s to early 700s. The Cosmographer describes the inhabited world, beginning with some theoretical questions and a general overview of the twelve southern and twelve northern regions (Book 1). His extensive lists of locations (Books 2–5) include over 5,000 place names, many otherwise unattested. Following earlier Christian authors such as Orosius, the Cosmographer incorporates Greco-Roman knowledge about the Earth into the framework of Christian scholarship. He cites the Bible and Christian theologians, and he mentions many secular authorities whose names only occur in this text. Although the Cosmographer never acknowledges his use of maps or itineraries, the forms of place names and the arrangement of toponyms by routes in Books 2–5 indicate that he was familiar with these sources. The similarities and differences to the Peutinger Map displayed by the text suggest that these works belong to different branches of the tradition, which ultimately goes back to a common exemplar. The Cosmography preserves the rich legacy of Roman and early medieval geographical knowledge, and its challenging material calls for a fresh examination.


David Paniagua

Vibius Sequester is the author of the De fluminibus, fontibus, lacubus, nemoribus, paludibus, montibus, gentibus per litteras, a short repertoire of geographical names mentioned by Virgil, Silius, Lucan and Ovid. The text, written at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century ce for the author’s son, Vergilianus, was likely intended to be used at school as an instrument providing basic information about the collected toponyms and ethnonyms. Despite the occasional mistakes in the text, Sequester’s repertoire represent a fine instance of school culture in Western Late Antiquity. The work was much appreciated by Italian humanists, which explains that it was copied in nearly 50 recentiores manuscripts; all of them, however, descend from a second-half of the 9th century manuscript (Vat. Lat. 4929).Vibius Sequester was the author of a short alphabetic repertoire of geographical names mentioned in Latin poetry, probably compiled at the end of the 4th or in the 5th century .