What the Romans Noticed When They Reached New Elements of the World: Hear First-Hand Accounts by Appian, Pliny, Tacitus & Different Historic Historians


For those who actual­ly wish to impress your fam­i­ly, associates, and social-media fol­low­ing along with your subsequent voy­age overseas, con­sid­er e-book­ing a visit to Thule. However the place, precise­ly, is it? It could possibly be Ice­land or Inexperienced­land with­within the Orkney arch­i­pel­in the past of north­ern Scot­land; it could possibly be the Eston­ian island of Saare­maa; it could possibly be the Nor­we­gian island of Smøla. To underneath­stand the loca­tion of the much-mythol­o­gized Thule to your­self — and extra so, its imply­ing — it’s best to con­sult not sources nor mod­ern however historic, or no less than medieval. That’s the modus operan­di of the video above from Voic­es of the Previous, which spends an hour and 45 min­utes gath­er­ing his­tor­i­cal impres­sions of not simply Thule, however each extrem­i­ty of the recognized world reached by the Roman Empire.

To a lot of human­i­ty in antiq­ui­ty, “the recognized world” was kind of a syn­onym for the ter­ri­to­ry of the Roman Empire. It was by means of the exer­tions of that mighty empire’s adven­tures, merchants, and mil­i­tary males that, with time, the world to the north, east, west, and south of Rome itself turned ever extra “recognized,” and it’s alongside these 4 automobile­di­nal direc­tions that this video orga­nized its tales.

Telling of expe­di­tions “past Carthage,” it attracts upon the phrases of historic his­to­ri­ans Appi­an of Alexan­dria, Poly­bius, and Arri­an of Nico­me­dia; telling of the Roman pur­go well with of the trade-route “incense trails,” it brings within the Greek poly­math Stra­bo in addition to the King James Bible. Accounts of such even far­ther-flung locations because the supply of the Nile and the forests of Ger­ma­nia come from Pliny the Elder and the Roman Emper­or Augus­tus.

That is all in maintain­ing with the ori­en­ta­tion towards pri­ma­ry sources of Voic­es of the Previous, a Youtube chan­nel pre­vi­ous­ly fea­tured right here on Open Cul­ture for movies on Niko­la Tes­la’s pre­dic­tions for the world of 2026, Pla­to’s cre­ation of the parable of Atlantis, historic Japan as described by historic Japan­ese, and the Roman Empire as described by an historic Chi­nese his­to­ri­an. How­ev­er you outline it, Rome nev­er con­sti­tut­ed the complete world, nor even the complete­ty of the civ­i­lized world. However no pre­vi­ous civ­i­liza­tion had ever made such a con­sis­tent effort to push its sure­aries out­ward, attain­ing — and, if pos­si­ble, mas­ter­ing — dis­tant realms of appear­ing­ly fan­tas­ti­cal beasts, unfath­omable land­scapes, and unin­hab­it­ready cli­mates. We’d do nicely to imag­ine that it was simply such locations (or no less than the Roman per­cep­tion of these locations) greatest sym­bol­ized by Thule, although whether or not you belief Plutarch, Jose­phus, or Tac­i­tus’ descrip­tion of it’s as much as you.

Relat­ed con­tent:

The Most Dis­tant Locations Vis­it­ed by the Romans: Africa, Scan­di­navia, Chi­na, India, Ara­bia & Oth­er Far-Flung Lands

Based mostly in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His initiatives embody the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the e-book The State­much less Metropolis: a Stroll by means of Twenty first-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video sequence The Metropolis in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­e-book.


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