Cosmography, Topography, Geography: From Antiquity to 6th Century Byzantium
This paper is part of the cycle of lectures held in June 2018 at Ilia State
University (Tbilisi), in the framework of an Erasmus+ exchange between
Tbilisi and the Institut orientaliste of the Université catholique de Louvain
(UCLouvain, Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium).1 The lectures aimed to retrace the main steps in the evolution of notions and “sciences” such as cosmography, topography, geography and the likes in the Greek world, from Antiquity up to the first centuries of the Byzantine Empire. The presentation certainly makes no claims to exhaustivity, but the author hopes to show that, despite radical changes provoked by the irruption of Christianity into Greco-Roman thought, it is possible to find, in 6th century Byzantium, an echo of old questions, long discussed in Hellenic thought. The result is necessarily partial and selective, but the evolutive path will clearly appear.