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Why Europe and not Middle East or China? The only good answer I can think of is Mongols. The cultural and technological momentum gained in Middle East and Song China came to a halt and did not recover after the Mongol Invasion.


A map manuscript of the world by the monk Cosmas Indicopleustes (Cosmas "the one who sailed to India") survives today: Wikipedia describes the map as follows: The map is oriented with north to the top. It shows a rectangular landmass in the middle of the World Ocean (Okeanos), reflecting what Cosmas thought was the "floor" of the tabernacle-shaped ...


I'm sure there are better examples, but I'm particularly fond of the only pre-1453 map of Constantinople, which dates from 1422 (see below). Wikipedia has a list of old manuscript maps, which appear to date from the 7th to the 15th century, so if there are Byzantine maps to be found, they might be there.

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