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Cosmas Indicopleustes, Christian Topography (1897) pp. 389-392.  Explanation of the plates


Plate I.----The picture on the left represents the City of Adulê----that on the right an Ethiopian travelling from Adulê to Axômê. The lower picture on the left is the tablet with the Greek inscription copied by Cosmas. It is surmounted by the figure of Ptolemy Euergetês, standing in a warlike attitude. The throne represented on the right is ascribed to the same Ptolemy by Cosmas, but erroneously. It was placed at Adulê by an Axumite conqueror. The writing on the right of it is Δίφρος Πτολεμοικός, Ptolemy's chair.

Plate 2.----The figure of the earth and the heaven, as Cosmas and the ancient Fathers conceived it. The cross-bar represents the firmament.

Plate 3.----A picture of the waters above the firmament.

Plate 4.----A representation of the conical mountain, and also of the sun and the moon under the firmament. The inscription along the pillars is: of οἱ στύλοι του̃ οὐρανου̃, the pillars of the heaven.

Plate 5.----A tracing of the inhabited world (γη̃ οἰκουμένη).

Plate 6.----A representation of the oblong rectangular figure of the earth which we inhabit, with its surrounding ocean, which is itself surrounded by the other earth which was the seat of Paradise and the abode of man before the Flood. The four gulfs which penetrate into our earth from the ocean, and the rivers which flow into it from Paradise, are also depicted. Above the ocean in the outer earth is this inscription· Φη̃ πέραν του̃ ὠκεανου̃ ἔνθα πρὸ του̃ κατακλυσμου̃ κατώκουν οἱ ἄνθρωποι , the earth beyond the ocean where men dwelt before the Flood. The lateral inscription is· Φη̃ πέραν του̃ ὠκεανου̃, the earth beyond the ocean. The inscription in the figure of the great gulf coming from the west is Ρωμαικὸς Κόλπος, the Roman gulf, ie., the Mediterranean. The gulf coming from the north Cosmas calls Κασπετά Θάλασσα, the Caspian Sea. The name of the northern river is Φεισω̃ν, and of the southern Φηω̃ν ποταμός, the Pison and Gihon of our bibles. |390 

Plate 7.----A representation of the earth with the walls which come down to it from heaven. The four gulfs are shown, and the conical mountain in the north-west whence the earth slopes downward to the south.

Plate 8.----A picture of the conical mountain with three circling lines to show the paths of the sun as he moves round it at different altitudes, thus making the nights shorter or longer. The words written here are μικρὰ νὺξ, μέση νὺξ, μεγάλη νὺξ, short night, night of medium length, long night.

Plate 9.----The figure of the world according to the Ptolemaic system. The twelve signs of the Zodiac are shown, and the names are given of the Roman and Egyptian months. The earth, in the form which Cosmas so much abhorred, is in the centre, encircled by the orbits in succession of the Moon, Σελήνης? of Mercury, Ἑρμου̃? of Venus, ̕Αφροδίτης? of the Sun, Ἡλίου? of Mars, Ἄρεος? of Jupiter, Δίος. The names of the Roman months are given in Greek characters, thus· Γεναρις, Φλεβάρις, Μάρτιος, Αυρίλλιος (u = v̓, Μαιος, Ιουνιος, Ιουλιος, ̕Αυγυστος, Σεπτεβριος, υκτωβριος, Νοευριος, Δικεβρις. Above the outer rim of the Zodiac are given the names of the twelve signs with the names of the corresponding Egyptian months· Αιγό-κερως Tybi? τοξότης Choiac? σκορπίος Athyr· ζυγὸς Phaophy? παρθένος Thôth? λέων Mesori? καρκίνος Epiphi? Διδυμοι Payni? ταυ̃ρος Pachôn? κριὸς Pharmouth? ἰχθυ̃ς Phamenôth? ὑδρόχοος Mechir.

Plate 10.----Antipodes drawn to deride the idea of their possibility.

Plate 11.----A delineation of the figure and dress of the pagan inhabitants of Attica, οἱ ἔξωθεν ̕Αττικοί, as seen in the time of Cosmas. These figures are meant for those of Hyperides and Menander, mentioned in p. 147.

Plate 12.----A representation of the outward form of the Tabernacle, ἡ Σκηνή. The words written outside indicate the directions, ἀνατολή, east· βοῤῥα̃ς, north? Δύσις, west. The double line in the centre drawn from north to south represents the veil, καταπέτασμα, dividing the Tabernacle into the inner and outer sanctuary. The division to the right represents the outer, which contained the table of shew-bread, ἡ τράπεζα? the candlestick, λυχνία? Aaron's rod, ῥάβδος the vessel of sprinkling, στάμνος? the two tables of the Law, αἱ πλακές? the serpent, ὄφις. In the inner Tabernacle, ἐσωτέρα σκηνή, is depicted the Ark of the Testimony, ἡ κιβωτός του̃ μαρτυρίου. See pp. 148-154.

Plate 14.----A delineation of the coverings of the Tabernacle, σκεπάσματα τη̃ς σκηνη̃ς· the loops, ἀγκύλαι, and clasps, κρίκοι, by which they were joined. |391 

Plate 15. ---- A picture of the table of the Tabernacle turned by the lathe, τράπεζα τορνευτός, and another of the candlestick with its seven lamp-wicks, λυχνία ἑπτάμυχος? its shaft, καυλός? its ball, καρύισκος, in the middle of the shaft; its spherical bowl, σφαιρωτὴρ κρατὴρ? its lily, κρίνον? and its branches καλαμίσκοι, three on each side of the shaft, making, along with the terminus of the shaft, seven in all, and representing, according to Cosmas, the seven days of the week. See p. 152.

Plate 1 6. ---- The Ark of the Testimony, ἡ κιβωτός του̃ μαρτυρίου. Above it is the Propitiatory or Mercy-seat, ἱλαστήριον. Above it the Cherubim χερουβίμ figure of Zacharias on one side, and that of Abia on the other.

Plate 17. ---- A delineation of the Court of the Tabernacle, ἡ αὐλὴ τη̃ς σκηνη̃ς? the other words denote the directions· ἀνατολὴ, δύσις, ἄρκτος, μεσημβρία, east, west, north, south.

Plate 18. ---- The upper figures represent the celestials; the middle, the terrestrials; and those below, the subterraneans or the buried. See pp. 300-303.

Plate 19. ---- A delineation of the order in which the contents of the outer Tabernacle were arranged. On the left is the table (τράπεζα) of shew-bread, with three loaves at each of its four corners, to represent the fruits of each of the four seasons (see p. 152); then follow the candlestick, λυχνία? the vessel of sprinkling, στάμνος? the tables of the Law πλακές? the serpent ὄφις.

Plate 20. ---- Melchisedek arrayed in his royal robes. See p. 175.

Plate 21. ---- A front and back view of Aaron wearing his priestly robes τὸ σχη̃μα του̃ ἱερέως. Montfaucon states that Cosmas, in explanation of this sketch, wrote for the figure on the right· ̕Ααρὼν μέγας ἀρχιερεὺς ἐμπροσθοφανής front view of Aaron, the great high priest; and for the figure on the left· ̕Ααρὼν μέγας ἀρχιερευ̃ς ὀπισθοφανής back view of Aaron, the great high priest.

Plate 22. ---- A delineation of the circle of the twelve months and the fruits produced in each month. Outside the circle are written the names of the Egyptian months Μηνὲς ̕Αιγυπτίοι, and of the four seasons, which he designates respectively, ἐαρινή τροπή the spring tropic? θερινή τροπή the summer tropic? μετοπωρινή τροπή the autumn tropic? χειμερὶνή τροπή the winter tropic. The fruit produced in Egypt in Pharmouth (April) is σκόροδα, garlic; in Pachôn (May̓, κίννα a kind of pulse; in Payni (June̓, κάρυα ̕Αρμένια Armenian nuts; in Epiphi (July̓, σι̃τος κοπύμωρα. Montfaucon takes the latter |392 word to be a mistake for συκόμορος the fig-mulberry, called also συκάμινος ἡ ̕Αιγυπτία? in Mesori (August̓, συ̃κα σταφύλια, figs, grapes: but to judge from the picture only one kind of fruit is indicated; in Thôth (September̓, ελαιόδακνα an unknown fruit; in Phaophy (October̓, φοίνικες, palms or palm-leaves; in Athyr (November̓, ἀσπαράγια asparagus; in Choiac (December̓, μαλάχαι mallows; in Tybi (January̓, ἐυτύβια, endives; in Mechir (February̓, ἀγλάτια· this is unknown; in Phamenôth (March̓, κίτρα fruit of citron?

The remaining plates are pictures of the animals and plants which Cosmas has described in the earlier portion of the eleventh book.

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