Journal cover Journal topic
History of Geo- and Space Sciences An open-access journal
Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 3, 99-112, 2012
© Author(s) 2012. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
28 Mar 2012
Rectification of the ancient geographic coordinates in Ptolemy's Geographike Hyphegesis
C. Marx Department for Geodesy and Geoinformation Science, Technische Universität Berlin, Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Abstract. A multitude of the ancient places given by Ptolemy in his Geography (~150 AD) are so far unknown. One of the main problems of their identification are the errors of the given ancient coordinates. The different kinds of errors are illustrated by examples. A new geodetic-statistical analysis method is described, by which groups of places with homogeneous systematic errors and places with gross errors can be determined. Based on a transformation function describing the systematic errors, presumable modern coordinates of unknown places can be computed. That, in conjunction with further information, can make possible their identification. A test of the analysis method is carried out on a complex simulated example and shows its practicability. The analysis method has been applied within an interdisciplinary research project on Ptolemy's Geography. Further developments of the method are imaginable to make it accessible for related data diagnostics.

Citation: Marx, C.: Rectification of the ancient geographic coordinates in Ptolemy's Geographike Hyphegesis, Hist. Geo Space. Sci., 3, 99-112,, 2012.
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